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What Is a Dip Bar?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A dip bar is sometimes known as a dip station, and it is a piece of exercise equipment that allows a person to brace the body with the hands and dip the rest of the body when the legs are lifted off the ground. It features a sturdy stand with two horizontal bars parallel to each other. The dip bar can be used for a variety of exercises that use the body's weight as resistance for building muscle, improving balance, improving mobility, and toning the upper body. This unit is usually fairly inexpensive when compared to other pieces of exercise equipment.

Some versions of the dip bar do not feature a solid stand at all; instead, two individual arms can be mounted to a wall with screws or bolts to provide the stabilizing surface for performing dips. These are far less expensive than dip bar models that have a stable stand, though they can be difficult to install because the arms will need to be installed level with each other. The bars will also need to be screwed or bolted into studs, which means a stud finder may be necessary to locate the proper positioning on the wall. Some dip bars mounted to a wall are one unit, making it easier to line up the two arms.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The size and stability of a dip bar apparatus can vary according to the model purchased. Home versions of a dip bar may be lighter weight and more compact for easy storage in smaller homes, while units intended for use in a gym will have a tendency to be overbuilt to accommodate people of various weights. The frame is usually made of a strong metal, and the tubing can be quite large. The base of the dip bar station will usually feature rubber feet to protect the floor from damage. The handles themselves will also be padded to make the dipping motion more comfortable on the hands.

Sometimes a dip bar is a feature on a much larger exercise machine. It will be only one exercise to be done on a home gym or on an exercise unit at a gym or fitness center. It can, for example, be included on a chin up station, or even on a leg raise unit. Dip bars are fairly simple units, so they can be attached to many machines with a stable frame that can support a person's weight.

Discussion Comments


One great thing about dip bars is that it is easy to take advantage of them even if you do not belong to a gym. There are approximations of dip bars all over the place.

Lots of parks have exercise stations with chin up bars and dip stations. If they don't have this check out the playground. It may be possible to do dips on the monkey bars. If you are at home try putting two chairs parallel to each other and seeing what kind of movements you can do that challenge your body. It might not be as good as the real thing but it is closer than you think.


Using a dip bar is one of the best ways to develop the muscles in the shoulder, arms, chest back and core. Really it is good for the entire upper body and there are a whole variety of exercise that you can do with this one piece of equipment.

If you really want to know how to get the most out of a dip station, look up some videos of the ways that male gymnasts train. They must have complete and total control over their bodies in a number of dynamic movements and dip training gives them a lot of the brute strength that they need. Also, dips only use your own body weight so you can build bulk and tone without worrying about turning into a bulky body builder.

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      Man with hands on his hips