Dip bars are ideal for performing dip exercises for your triceps, but with a little creativity, you can use dip bars to work your entire upper body, including your abs. The bars provide a sturdy base to work from, allowing you to do variations of exercises.
Dips emphasize the muscles of the triceps. To perform dips, stand facing the base of the bars and place one hand on each bar with your palms facing inward. To get into position, lift your body into the air with your knees bent and hold yourself up on the bars. Keep your arms straight to flatten your back. Next, bend your elbows but keep your arms squeezed to your sides and lower your body, stopping when your elbows make 90-degree angles. You may lean forward slightly with your upper body and look down, but keep your spine straight.
To do leg raises and work your abdominal muscles, assume the same starting position as for the dips exercise, but face your body away from the base of the bars. With your arms and back straight, raise your legs until they are parallel to the floor. Keep your knees bent if it is too difficult for you to raise your legs straight and with control. Lower your legs straight and dangle them toward the floor to complete one rep.
Push-ups are an effective exercise for the triceps and muscles of the chest and shoulders. Using dip bars to perform push-ups places less weight on your upper body, making the exercise doable for almost anyone. Begin by standing to the side of the dip bars, facing them. Grab one bar with both hands, palms down and shoulder-width apart. Then bend your elbows out the sides and bring your chest toward the bar. Press your body back to the starting position to complete one modified push-up. Keep your spine straight throughout.
Pull-ups target the lat muscles of your lower back, but the biceps and muscles of the shoulders also come into play. Doing a modified pull-up with a dip bar means that you do not have to lift all of your body weight each time. This version is more accessible to those not possessing great upper-body strength. To perform a modified pull-up, place your hands shoulder-width apart on one bar, with either an overhand or underhand grip. The hand position may be changed for variety. Then hang from the bar with your arms straight and walk your feet forward until your legs are straight and your chest is in line with your hands. Pull your chest toward the bar by bending your elbows. To finish the exercise, lower back down.
- Emond Montgomery Publications: Exercises for the Abs
- A Guide to Personal Fitness Training; Mary Yoke, M.A.
- CrossFit Journal: "Mess You Up" Pull-Ups