So you want to learn how to do dips on a pull up bar.
Even if this is not a beginner-friendly exercise (you’ll learn more next) once you master it you will easily build a ton of strength and muscle mass in your upper body.
But even better… you will also learn a ton of different variations in case your don’t have the strength, space or the needed equipment.
So without any further ado let’s jump right in and see why you should master dips on a pull-up bar…
Can I Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar?
Yes, you can do dips on a pull-up bar by simply grabbing the pull-up bar, lifting your torso over it, and then by doing straight bar dips! Doing dips this way is an easy alternative to work your upper body muscles while building more strength without the need to own or use dip bars or some type of a dip station!
To help you get a clearer idea of what you need to know, here is a guide to help you learn how you can perform dips on a pull-up bar.
What Do You Need To Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar?
What Skills Do I Need?
- In case the pull-up bar is too high you should be able to do a muscle-up to lift your body over the bar. (muscle up tutorial)
- You should have the strength to do at least 8 regular dips.
Most people who have been stength training regularly should be able to perform this dip. This move is not for complrete beginners.
It would be better for you to do basic dips if you are a beginner.
If you cannot do a muscle up, I have an easier variation that you can do below.
Equipment You Need:
- A pull-up bar (preferably short and somewhere about chest height)
- An alternative is to use regular parallel bars or anything that can be used as such
- In the worst case you can use a standart height pull-up bar but you will have to find a way to get on top (do muscle-up or somehow climb)
How Much Space You Need: In order to be able to do dips on a pull-up bar you would need enough space above the pull-up bar so you can hold your body straight without any problems and enough space below so your legs don’t touch the ground. So, it’s best to do this exercise outdoors or a room with a high ceiling (a long hallway, a garage, etc.) Make sure you have lots of space above your head so you can properly perform the move.
How To Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar (The Complete Step By Step Guide)
How To Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar (Steps)
- Grab your pull-up bar little above shoulder width and transfer your body weight above the bar. (if the bar is short you can do that with a basic jump but if the bar is too tall you would have to climb or do a muscle-up)
- After your weight is above, push yourself up until your hips are at the bar and your arms are straight. (Refer to the first image above)
- Slightly bring up your legs and lean your upper body forward to create a V shape.
- Tighten your core and slowly bring your body down by bending your elbows until your stomach or the lower part of your chest is near or touches the bar.
- Push yourself up and straighten your arms to bring yourself back up until you are back at the starting position.
If you find it too hard to transfer your body over the pull-up bar because you can’t do muscle-ups or simply can’t find a way to get there you can try this easier variation.
How to Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar Without Muscle-Up
Scenario 1: If you pull-up bar is high.
- Put something sturdy under the pull-up bar, like a box, a pile of rocks, chair, or some type of furniture (if you are indoors) that is going to help you transfer your weight above the pull-up bar.
- Step on the item under the pull-up bar so you can comfortably reach the bar and jump and try to put your body over it.
- Perform the exercise as mentioned earlier.
Quick Tip: If you do not have an item that you can step on to reach your pull-up bar, you can try and climb it using your feet and your creativity.
Scenario 2: Find a short pull-up bar
- If you can’t do muscle-ups or you can’t place anything high enough under the pull-up bar your better option is to simply find a short pull-up bar. Look around the area you live and be creative. You can also use parallel bars as a great alternative.
- Once you’ve found a short pull-up bar (or anything that could do the job right) hold it with a grip slightly wider than shoulders and jump.
- Transfer your weight above it.
- Perform the exercise as mentioned earlier.
If possible, you can try finding a lower pull-up bar or use pipes to get creative and make a lower pull-up bar!
Do you want an excellent pull-up bar for your home that lets you do straight dips?
If you have a high ceiling and want to have the freedom to train at home then you need to check out this tall and wide pull-up bar that I personally recommend and use.
This is a sleek and sturdy pull-up bar that you can use horizontally or vertically. This is made out of heavy weight steel that can handle up to 500-lbs. of weight!
But what if you have a detachable pull-up bar?
Then you check out the next variation that I have in store for you.
What Muscles Am I Training When I Do Dips With a Pull-Up Bar?
The muscles that you train when you use a pull-up bar to perform dips are your triceps, serratus anterior (the muscles in front of your upper 8-9 ribs), trapezius, and the pectoralis major (i.e. your pecs).
Dips are one of the most well-known exercises for helping you grow larger and stronger triceps. According to this study , dips are one of the best exercises you can to build your triceps.
This study  states that dips are also a good exercise to help you grow your pecs. So, you can easily add this to your workouts to pay a little more attention to your pec muscles.
According to this study , dips are a wonderful way to get stronger and condition your body, which is why many coaches and trainers love this exercise.
So, keeping all of that information in mind, you might be thinking:
If I do a dip on a pull-up bar, will it be different?
Well, you have to keep reading to find out the answer!
Are Doing Dips on a Pull-Up Bar Different?
According to science and the type of the 2 movements, there is a small to none difference when you do dips on a pull-up bar instead of doing regular dips. However, because you need to get somehow above the pull-up bar they are seen as harder if your pull-up bar is high because you need to have more strength and explosive power. Nevertheless doing them you will get most of the same benefits of regular dips without needing additional equipment.
As you can see doing dips with a pull-up bar is a great option for anybody since you can do them at home if you have a pull-up bar without having to splash out money on a dip station and you can do them outdoor as well.
However, you might notice a small difference if you frequently do dips on a dip station.
Is Doing Dips on a Pull-Up BAR (Straight Bar Dips) Better than Doing Regular Dips? (Parallel Dips)
If you already have a pull-up bar at home that you can use to do dips, then doing dips on a pull-up bar can be better than doing regular dips since you do not have to spend additional money on a dip station, parallettes or other equipment. The difference between regular dips and dips on a pull-up bar is pretty minor, so you will get the same benefits as doing a regular dip.
However, what if you have the wrong kind of pull-up bar that doesn’t allow you to do this movement or ever worse… you do not have and can’t find a suitable pull-up bar at all?
Well, luckily for you, I have made a list of 4 great pull-up bar dip alternatives that you can do anywhere!
Let’s check them out…
The 4 Amazing Alternative Exercises You Can Do Instead Of Straight Bar Dips (Dips on a Pull-Up Bar)
Looking for ways to do dips without a pull-up bar?
Here are 4 excellent exercises I have prepared for you that you can anywhere without the need of expensive equipment.
Here we go!
Exercise 1: Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar on the Floor (A Step By Step Guide)
What You Need: A detachable doorframe pull-up bar (click here to check mine)
How Much Space You Need: Enough space on the floor so you can place your pull-up bar flat + enough space infront so you to perform the movement.
How To Do Dips on a Pull-Up Bar on the Floor (Steps)
- Detach if needed and set your pull-up bar on the floor, like in the picture above. Make sure the curved part is away from the floor.
- Sit near the pull-up bar. Make sure your back is facing the curved part of the pull-up bar. Make sure your legs are straight.
- Use your hands to grab the top of the curved part of your pull-up bar like in the picture.
- Keeping your body straight in the same seated position, push your body up using your triceps while keeping your arms straight as possible. Your heels should be the only part of your body touching the floor, so keep your core tight to remain stable.
- As you bend back down, your elbows should bend until you are nearly sitting on the floor then push yourself back up.
Quick Tip: In order to make this exercise harder place your heels on something higher – a chair, bed, table, etc. Another thing you can do is to wear a weighted vest or place something heavy on your lap.
What to do if you don’t own a doorframe pull-up bar?
If you want to try out the dips on the floor and a ton of amazing other exercises in the comfort of your home I highly recommend you to invest in a detachable doorframe pull-up bar that you can set on the floor like in the image above.
This is a fantastic pull-up bar that you can easily install to do pull-ups without any drilling!
Plus, the design is ideal for doing dips on the floor and a ton of other useful exercises.
Exercise 2: Gymnastic Ring Dips
What You Need: Wooden or Plastic Gymnastic Rings (click here to check mine)
How to Do Gymnsatic Ring Dips (Step by Step):
- Find a solid and stable place where you can hang your gymnastic rings. Make sure you have enough height so you can do the dips without hitting your head.
- Attach the straps and adjust the height of the rings so when you grab the rings your feet will not touch the ground.
- Grab the rings and put yourself in the support position. You have to support your body weight, keep your arms straight, and have your body over the rings.
- Keep your shoulders near your sides and bend at your elbows to lower your body. Make sure you are controlled and stable. To get a full range of motion (if you can), keep going down until your shoulders nearly touch your hands.
- Press your body back until you reach the initial position.
- Repeat and aim to do between 6-15 repetitions
What’s the Difference between ring dips and normal dips?
The main difference between ring dips and normal dips that use parallel bars or a straight bar is the stability. Because gymnastic rings are unstable and move easily in all directions they are a lot harder to use. That makes doing dips and different exercises more difficult and hard. However, that’s not a bad sign because harder exercises usually results in better and faster results.
Are you looking for some excellent gymnastic rings to dips and other useful exercises?
It can be hard to look for good gymnastic rings online when there are so many to choose from.
However, from my experience, I think these are the best gymnastic rings that both beginners and experts should get.
These gymnastic rings feature non-slip handles. Plus, they can support up to 992-lbs. And let’s not forget that they are made from solid wood + very strong and safe straps.
Exercise 3: Do Dips Using a Bench, Bed or Chairs
What You Need: A sturdy chair, tall enough bed or a bench (you could even use a staircase or anything where you can place your legs)
How to Do Dips Using a Bench, Bed or Chairs (Steps)
- If you can do more than 12 dips using good form, put some weight (heavy books, blocks, etc.) on your lap.
- Additionally, make sure to add extra weight on top of the chair or furniture you use to hold yourself to make it more stable.
- Sit on the ground. While keeping your feet hip-distance apart and flat on the floor hold down the edge of the chair/your chosen support.
- As your arms are extended, move your torso off of the chair in a forward motion. Your buttocks should be hovering over the floor, with your knees bent slightly. Your heels have to be touching the floor several inches in front of the knees.
- Lower your body as you slowly breathe in and hinge at your elbows until you both elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
- As you push up to go back to the first position, slowly exhale. Your arms should be extended fully.
What makes this exercise so great?
You do not need to buy any equipment for this variation. Plus, you can easily do this at home and still target greatly your triceps, shoulders and chest.
Exercise 4: Do Regular Parallel Dips
What You Need: A dip station or any other equipment that has a dip station like a power tower.
I personally really like doing them using my dip bars (click here to check my dip bars)
How to Do Regular Parallel Dips (Steps):
- Grab your parallel bars then jump up and straighten your arms.
- Lower your body slowly, leaning forward while bending your arms.
- Dip your body down until your arms are parallel to the ground.
- Hold down for a second.
- Lift yourself up slowly until you are back in the beginning position.
- Once you are at the top, lock your elbows.
What’s the benefits of the traditional parallel dips?
The benefits of doing traditional parallel dips is that they are great for beginners, don’t require a lot of stabilization and are pretty safe. Additionally investing in a dip bars or equipment like that is pretty cheap and portable.
If you currently don’t own any dip bars but are eager to see which ones are the best then I highly recommend you to check mine.
I really like them because they are very stable, extremelly lightweight and have the option to be attached one another (as you can see from the photo above).
As you can see you do not always need a dip station or parallel bars to do dips.
There are so plenty of different ways to do dips, like using a pull-up bar, gymnastic rings, and even a chair or your bed.
But no matter what you can do I still find doing straight bar dips really rewarding and benefitial.
They don’t require additional equipment and if your pull-up bar is not too high you can do them almost anywhere.
So next time you do dips please try and do them on a pull-up bar. See how you feel.
But that’s just the beginning… If you want to see other useful articles about working out and fitness equipment, then feel free to check out these:
- How To Progress Quickly and Make Calisthenics Harder (The Ultimate Step By Step Guide)
- 15 Solid Reasons Why You Should Buy A Power Tower (Tried and Tested)
- How To Get Results with Basic or Weighted Calisthenics (The Definitive Step By Step Guide)
- 5 Unique Ways to Train on a Power Tower (5 x 20Min Workouts)
Remember to stay determined to see results whenever you do workouts like dips – that way, you can totally get the results that you want!
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.