How Straight Bar Dips Offer Great Bodybuilding Gains –

Straight bar dips are a great challenge to really fire up your muscles with a great bodyweight exercise.

When it comes to our gains at the gym, we all look to the big machine to get the job done. Whether it be the squat rack, smith machine, or leg press, the machines we can stack weights upon weights on seem like the best options to really get our muscles fired up so they can grow. But some common misconceptions around bodyweight workouts may be hurting our gains and ability to really see huge growth. An exercise like the straight bar dips may be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. What this exercise can do is really enhance your gains so you see huge growth and allow your body to be challenged in ways you may never have thought possible.

Dips have the ability to really enhance your strength and target several layers of muscles at a time, all while simply using your bodyweight for resistance. Easy to perform yet still challenging enough to see growth, dips are one exercise that are easily overlooked and they really shouldn’t be. As a complex exercise, dips have the ability to build strength, reduce pain, and strengthen smaller stabilizer muscles so you continue to thrive when its time to perform those big lifts. Giving yourself the best advantage for growth should be the goal and this exercise can really be a catalyst for that.

Let’s take a closer look at the straight bar dip exercise to really see what this can do for you. From what it is, to muscles worked, the many benefits, and how to perform it, we have all the answers into this killer exercise that will certainly push you to new heights when it comes to your goals.

straight bar dips

What Are Straight Bar Dips?

A great variation to the traditional dip, straight bar dips put a greater emphasis on your chest to give you an excellent workout. By challenging your range of motion and your body proximity to the bar, your legs are used as sort of a counter weight and anchor so you can perform this exercise. By using a different grip, your hands are now placed in front of your body in a pronated position to offer a unique variation to this exercise.

Muscles Worked During Straight Bar Dips

As a complex and challenging exercise, your chest will be targeted more than traditional dips to really enhance that pushing power. Along with this muscle group, your triceps and shoulders will also be targeted to give you great bodyweight resistance as you enhance all areas of your pushing capabilities.

straight bar dips

Benefits Of Straight Bar Dips

Enhanced Upper Body Strength

This exercise will really enhance upper body strength by targeting three main muscles groups in your upper body. Your chest will be targeted greatly and your triceps and shoulders will have to come to its assistance to really get the most out of this workout. As a great bodyweight workout, really challenging yourself just got a lot easier with this exercise as you seek to build serious pushing power and upper body strength capabilities (1).

Challenging Your Grip Strength

With a unique grip position now at play, you will start to see just how strong your grip strength really is. This variation of the traditional dip may be slightly misleading, but what you’ll find is a strain to hold this parallel grip. If you find your grip to be weaker than originally thought, look into strengthening exercises that can really help promote a more solid grip (2).

Build Functional Capabilities

While we all want to look big and have that shredded physique, it is helpful when our exercises are functional and can really allow us to work hard for our everyday activities. Building functional strength should be the number one goal because this will help us as we work on development but also everyday movements.

Work On Stabilization & Balance

Working on stabilization and balance are more than important when it comes to every lift we do in the gym, as well as every activity we perform outside of it. By keeping our cores engaged and working on that upper body strength, our lower body will work to counterbalance our weight since this is a bodyweight workout. The benefit to this is that we will really start to see more stability when it comes to our bigger lifts.

Simple To Perform Yet Still Challenging

This exercise is simple to learn yet still provides a challenge for our muscles so they have to grow. These kinds of exercises are perfect because the complexity comes in the muscle building, not necessarily learning proper form. While good technique will come overtime and with continued practice, what you’ll find is this exercise can be placed anywhere in your workout and the gains will be the exact same.

straight bar dips

How To Perform Straight Bar Dips

Place yourself on the dip machine and have your hands in a pronated position on the grips. Lower yourself into a dip by allowing your elbows to bend as you lower to the floor. Your arms will be parallel to the ground as you stop your descent. Once in this position, drive back to the starting position and push through your palms. Repeat for your desired number of reps and really work to challenge yourself for great growth.

Wrap Up

Straight bar dips are a great variation of the traditional dip exercise to add diversity and a challenge to your workouts. What you’ll find is an increase in resistance for your chest muscles, as well as your triceps and shoulders being targeted as well. This will really work to build upper body strength and focus on functional movements while giving you a great workout to be proud of. Placed anywhere in your workout, this exercise has the ability to really enhance your gains and will prove to be great in the long run. Give this exercise a try and see what this can do for your strength and physique today.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Coyne, Joseph; Secomb, Josh L.; Tran, Tai T.; Lundgren, Lina E. (2015). “Reliability Of Pull & Dip Maximal Strength Test”. (source)
  2. Lee, Julia-Ann; Sechachalam, Sreedharan (2016). “The Effect of Wrist Position on Grip Endurance and Grip Strength”. (source)