Straight Bar dips are a rather controversial exercise. In this blog we will discuss whether they are worth adding into your training regime.
The Pros and Cons of Straight Bar Dips
Straight Bar Dips Pros
1) Can be performed anywhwere with a straight bar
There are some workout parks that don't have parallel bars but have straight bars. At a place like this you wil lnot be able to perform regular dips. However straight bar dips are an option.
2) Tranfers to the Dip portion of the bar muscle up.
Since the movement is the same, it should transfer over to making the dips on the muscle up easier. However the dip portion of the muscle up is the easiest portion and therefore improving it will most likely not improve your muscle up performance.
If you want ot improve the muscle up you must improve the weak portion which is the pullup portion for 99% of the population.
Straight Bar Dips Cons
1) Bad Range of motion
Unlike a regular dip where you can go as deep as you want, the bar gets in the way during a straight bar dip. Due to the shortened range of motion you do not get the stretch on your chest which is essential for a good hypertophic stimulus.
Furthermore, the range of motion can be change dramatrically by widen your grip, which makes it harder to be consistent with your range of motion.
There is one fix to this range of motion issue which is to create a setup shown in this picture where the bar only exsits on the two sides.
2) Awkward to perform
Tjhe straight bar dip is a balancing act since you must coordinate your arms and legs so that your center of mass is in line with the bar. This balancing act may be beneficial or distracting depending on your goals. For hypertrophy this distraction will prevent you from achieving a good mind-muscle connection and will reduce muscle growth.
3) Unsafe for shoulders
You shoulders are internally rotated during the straight bar dip. Similar to how a bench press is dangerous when the scapula isn't retracted and depress.
The straight bar dip puts the shoulder in an unstable position that can lead to injuries.
In conclusion, we believe the straight bar dip doesnt offer a good reward given the risks. They lack in range of motion and place your shoulders in a dangerous position. We would only recommend doing them if you don't have access to a parralel bar to perform regular dips.
About the Author
Remy started calisthenics in 2014 and has mastered advanced movements such as the one arm pull-up, front-lever, one arm muscle-up and more.