The dip should be a staple of any complete strength and muscle-building routine.
It's one of the best upper-body movements you can do. But what do you do if you don't have dipping bars in your gym? Are you doomed to miss out on all the incredible benefits this exercise has to offer? Not anymore.
Just because you don't have dipping bars in your gym doesn't mean you can't do dips. In fact, the dipping set-up I'm going to show you is much more versatile even than bars that are built specifically for the exercise!
In order to use this technique, all you will need is a power rack and two Olympic bars. That's it.
First, set the safety rails in the rack to approximately chest height. Now set two Olympic bars on top of the safety rails about 18 inches apart and voila! You've got a dip station.
You can choose to set the bars perfectly parallel or set them in a V-shape (I prefer a V-shape for best results).
But the functionality of this set-up doesn't end with it just being a simple dip station. You can take your dipping to a whole new level with the following techniques:
1. Partial Dips
Instead of setting the safety rails at chest level, set them at just above waist level. When you are standing in between the bars, you will notice that you only have a few inches in the top range of motion in the exercise now.
The partial top-range dip is excellent if you are just beginning with dips and need to build up strength or if you are an advanced trainer doing heavy partials with extra weight (either on a hip belt or with a dumbbell between your feet). Instead of climbing up onto something or using an elaborate set-up to do partials all you need to do is adjust the height of the safety rails!
For more information on partial training, read "The Benefits of Partial-Range Training"
2. Negative Dips
The negative dip is very useful for building up strength in all levels of trainer from beginner to advanced. If you are a beginner and have trouble doing full reps with your bodyweight, you can almost always at least lower yourself down under control. If you are an advanced trainer, add some weight to yourself and do heavy negatives.
Set the safety rails somewhat lower than your waist so that your arms are straight when you're in a standing position. Set your hands on the bar then bend your knees, lifting your feet off the ground. Lower yourself to the ground slowly until you are either kneeling on the floor or until you have lowered as far as you can safely go. Stand up, set your hands on the bar and repeat the movement.
For more information on negative training, read "How to Do Negative Training Without A Training Partner"
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