What is the Parallel Bar Dip?
The Parallel Bar Dip, also known as the Tricep Dip, is a tricep exercises that also works the shoulders and chest. Because Parallel Bar Dips are a compound upper-body pushing exercise, they're a great tool to create more powerful arms. You can even perform a full upper-body workout using just the Parallel Bar Dip and the Pull Up.
The Parallel Bar Dip can be a challenging exercise for beginners. As such, there are pre-requisite movements to master before performing the Parallel Bar Dip. These include the Bar Support Hold, and the Negative Dip.
As the Parallel Bar Dip is a bodyweight movement, it's important to make regular adjustments and keep your body challenged. This will prevent plateauing and will result in improvements to your performance and physique.
Performing the Dip with rings is one example of making the exercise more challenging. Another is through the use of a dip belt to add extra weight.
One of the downsides to the Parallel Bar Dip is that they cannot be performed without a set of bars. Most calisthenics parks will have the parallel bars available, but you can also purchase a pair and perform them anywhere.
Parallel Bar Dip demonstration
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How to perform the Parallel Bar Dip
Begin the exercise in your Support Hold, with your arms locked out and your core engaged. As you begin to descend, tilt your body forward and bend your arms until they're parallel with the floor. If this position is comfortable for you, explore going a little lower to increase the range of motion. For some, depending on their shoulder mobility, bending the elbows 90deg may be the most suitable option.
At the bottom of the movement, push down on to the bar with your hands and, with control, bring yourself back to starting. Squeeze your triceps when at the top of the position.
When performing the eccentric (negative) portion of the exercise, ensure that you do so in a controlled manner. When performing the concentric portion of the exercise, ensure you don't jerk your chest up and bend your back.
You can explore different body angles when performing the dip. With your torso in an upright position, you place more emphasis on the triceps and less on the chest. And vice versa, leaning forward engages your chest more.