Top 10 Dip Bar Exercises for Beginners
Reach your calisthenics and strength goals faster with these top 10 dip bar exercises for beginners. Mobility and calisthenics skills included.
Forgive me, but what I’m going to say next will be so frustrating…. The SECRET to unlocking Calisthenics skills and strength has been hiding in PLAIN sight.
You know the colourful bars that are always tucked in the corner at the gym?
Well, here’s the thing….
Those bars (dip bars, Lebert Equalizers, or p-bars) are my number one recommended piece of at-home calisthenics equipment…more than a pull-up bar or weights.
And no, it’s just because they make a great activewear clothing rack at home.
Dip bars are an excellent investment for your entire fitness journey as they can be used for high-level calisthenics, down to beginner strength training.
TOP 10 Beginner Dip Bar Exercises
My name is summerfunfitness. I am a self-taught calisthenics athlete dedicated to helping you achieve incredible feats of athleticism – even as an untrained adult (like myself).
1. Dip Bar Rows for Beginners
Rows are essential for developing pulling strength and scapular control. If you can’t do a pull-up yet, rows will be your best friend.
To make rows more attainable, use a resistance band to assist you with the “up” portion. If you use a band, pause at the top to ensure you are strengthening your body (not just relying on the band).
For those with broader shoulders reposition the dip bars as shown above to make the exercise work better for your body.
2. Scapular Drills
Scapular Pushing Drills. Perform small shoulder “shrugs” with straight arms on dip bars or in a push-up position. To make the dip bar variation more accessible, place your feet on the ground for added assistance. Really focus on pushing down (shoulder depression) creating lots of space between your ears and shoulders.
Scapular Pulling Drills. With straight arms in a row position or on a pull-up bar (scap pulls) pull your shoulder blades together, then apart. This is a small movement that should be done slowly, with focus. If you struggle with an imbalance ensure you include single-arm scap drills to balance things out. Use your legs to decrease the difficulty of the exercise.
Scapular drills are crucial to improving your ability to execute calisthenics exercises. Performing scapular push-ups and pull-ups helps develop strength and awareness around the scaps (or shoulder blades). This increased control allows you to “set” your shoulder blades into the most desirable position to execute upper body movements with more precision and strength.
If you struggle with “scapular winging,” it’s time to implement scapular drills to create strength and control.
3. Dip Bar Core
Here are two modifications to improve your core compression.
Both variations require shoulder depression (shoulders away from ears) as practiced in the scap drills listed above. Start with the forearm L-sit hold. Once you’ve mastered that, along with scap push downs move towards the straight arm tucked hold.
4. Pull-Up Holds
And here you thought we couldn’t improve our pull-ups without a pull-up bar!
The image above demonstrates a chin-up style hold (more accessible) and a false grip style hold (harder). As a calisthenics beginner, if you struggle with either variation, just place your feet on the ground to make the exercise more attainable for your strength level.
5. Beginner Push-Ups
Dip bars are an excellent tool to increase your overall pushing strength. This push-up modification allows you to increase the number of push-ups you can complete per set. Over time, you may consider adding in holds at the bottom position or slowing down the push UP part to increase overall strength.
6. Beginner Front Lever
This one may seem a little advanced, but it is certainly attainable with the right resistance band. Focus on pulling down on the dip bar as much as possible while engaging your core (and breathing!). Check out Frank Medrano doing a full front-lever on these Lebert Equalizer Dip Bars. (discount code: SUMMER)
7. Beginner Dips
Dips are fundamental to developing calisthenics skills and strength. They are a must-do in any bodyweight training program. The easiest beginner dip is to use a lunge position. The goal of the dip is to keep your elbow directly on top of your wrist. Take a video of yourself performing dips to check your form! For more calisthenics pushing exercises, click here.
8. Beginner Squats
There’s no way this list of beginner dip bar exercises would be complete without a lower-body exercise.
Dip bars are an excellent tool for developing lower body mobility in squats, pistol squats, lunges, sissy squats..etc by helping you maintain balance and improve depth. Use a hip circle to make your calisthenics leg workout more effective for maximum muscle connection.
9. Beginner Calisthenics Skill
One thing that keeps me consistently working out is having a calisthenics skill in mind that I am trying to achieve! This keeps things fun – especially when you are just getting started in calisthenics. It also gives you a massive sense of accomplishment when you reach the skill (plus, you’ll have a new party trick for your next night out). My beginner calisthenics skill recommendation is a crow pose, as shown above.
10. Lat Stretch
After all that strength work, it’s essential to take at least 10 minutes to stretch. When training calisthenics, your lats, neck and pecs can become quite tight without a proper cool down. I keep my dip bars next to my desk to stretch out my back throughout the day.
Dip Bar Beginner Calisthenics Workout
Now you know the top 10 best dip bar exercises for beginners…but what to do with them? How do you format a calisthenics workout? Well, let me make that easy for you with this free calisthenics workout below.