How to Do Bar Dip: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Bar dip exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Bar Dips

Muscles worked in the bar dip exercise

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Bar Dips

  1. Grip a dip station about shoulder width apart, and climb or jump to get into the starting position.
  2. Lower yourself with control until your shoulder is below your elbow, or as deep as you comfortably can.
  3. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position.


The bar dip is a classic upper-body exercise, and for most people heavy enough to give a good training effect with the bodyweight alone as resistance. If you are unaccustomed to dips, they might feel quite stressful on your shoulders and sternum, and in that case (and actually in almost all cases) it might be a good idea to very gradually increase the training volume. In a competitive event, the requirement for a successful repetition is often that your shoulder passes below your elbow joint, but in your own training, it is more important that you let your own capabilities determine how deep you go.

If the exercise is too light, you can increase the resistance by using a weighted belt or by holding a dumbbell between your legs. If on the other hand, the exercise is too heavy, you can make it easier by having another person lift up your legs, or by using a dip machine.

>> Return to exercise directory.

Text and graphics from the StrengthLog app.