This is a very simple setup method for doing dips in the power rack. This is really useful if you don’t have access to dipping bars, but it’s also a great standalone exercise even if you DO.
Because this version is going to have you gripping on the FAT ends of the bars and it’s going to allow you to rotate your hands as you’re doing the exercise, increasing the contraction on the pecs as you’re doing it.
So first, you’ll need a rack and two bars (and a few plates to counterbalance your bodyweight).
Set the safety rails about mid-to-lower chest height. Set two Olympic bars on the rails. Now load the other ends of the bars with a couple of plates each. You can safely load two 45-lb plates on just one of a bar without it tipping, so don’t worry about that.
Now stand at the ends of the bars and grip onto the fat ends (gripping on the fat ends I find gives increased muscle activation).
Jump up into the top position.
Now come down into a dip.
To do dips with a chest focus, you’ll want to flare your elbows out to the sides and hunch forward, like a half-moon shape. For triceps focus, keep your body vertical and straight and tuck your elbows in to your sides.
Now, when doing these for chest, I mentioned you can rotate your hands on the bar ends. Because O bars rotate freely on the ends, this is very easily done. As you come down, rotate your hands outwards then as you push back up, rotate them back inwards. This really intensifies the contraction on the pecs and it’s something that’s NOT possible on a standard solid dip bars.
If you’ve been doing dips awhile and you’re looking for a way to spice things up, this is a great variation work with. It’s also a GREAT home-gym version of the dip that doesn’t require a full dip stand.
Nick Nilsson is known in the fitness industry as the “Mad Scientist of Muscle,” and for good reason! For more than 28 years, Nick has been creating unique, new exercises and training techniques and putting together some of the most innovative muscle-building and fat-loss programs available anywhere.