The 10 Best Dip Stations
What To Look For In A Dip Station
It’s functional, versatile, economical, and easy to install — all you need is a little bit of space and the motivation to continually reap its benefits.
With these, you can rotate the handles outwards for a wider grip or inwards for a narrower grip.
Whether you’re looking to add the next component to your existing home gym, or you simply need that first piece of equipment to ignite a new fitness routine, you won’t regret going with a dip station. It’s functional, versatile, economical, and easy to install — all you need is a little bit of space and the motivation to continually reap its benefits.
While it’s true that power towers offer you the opportunity to perform a more diverse array of exercises, dip stations are simple and affordable. They’re also lighter, easier to move around, and give you the ability to work on more parts of your body than you likely realize.
When you choose a model, the most important consideration is size. There’s no industry standard size for dip stations; one station could work wonderfully for you, but that same piece of equipment may be useless to someone of a significantly different height and weight. Look for bars with a width between them that more or less matches your shoulder span — bars that are too wide or too narrow will impede your range of motion and limit the effectiveness of the exercise.
In addition, if multiple people of varying sizes will be using the station, it would be wise to invest in a model with adjustable height and adaptable grip widths. With these, you can rotate the handles outwards for a wider grip or inwards for a narrower grip.
You’ll want to ensure the station’s overall load capacity will be able to support the weight of all potential users. A solid base of support is crucial, as well, as it’s essential that you remain steady as you perform dips to get the most out of your workout and prevent injuries.
It may not matter if it’s in the garage, but if you’re setting up your station on a nice surface, a model covered in rubber or neoprene will help prevent damage to the floor. It also helps with practicality and comfort if the bars are designed with these materials, as they’ll provide you with a firmer hold and ensure a softer feel on your palms.
A Powerful Upper Body Workout
Many educated workout enthusiasts consider dips one of the best upper body exercises out there. Think about dips as pushups on steroids — whereas pushups target a ton of muscles while you lift a portion of your body weight, dips engage similar areas as you lift your full body weight.
Consider this often overlooked benefit of incorporating dips into your regimen: you can’t outgrow it.
A compound push motion that puts the most emphasis on your triceps, the dip also engages your shoulders, forearms, and lower chest. From balancing and stabilizing yourself on the handles to lowering and raising your body, all of these muscles face resistance and contract for the duration of the movement.
Consider this often overlooked benefit of incorporating dips into your regimen: you can’t outgrow it. Using a dip belt, you can add unlimited weight to an already challenging exercise, which is instrumental in helping you gain strength and build muscle mass over time.
Standard dips are great (especially with added weight), but you can easily modify them to target different areas or make them even more difficult. Adjust your tempo by doing them slowly — or even pause in the middle of a rep — to challenge your muscles more. You can control the impact on your chest by leaning forward (more chest) or leaning backward (less chest). By using a narrow hand grip, you’ll put more emphasis on your triceps.
If your solitary fitness goal is a sculpted body with bulging muscles, we’re not here to judge you. But even if you already resemble Adonis, you stand to benefit from increasing your flexibility — something dips are great for. They also help strengthen your joints and stabilize your muscles, making you less susceptible to injuries.
The Importance Of Proper Technique
When performing dips, using the correct form is a key part of avoiding pain and potential injury. Before you get started, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind. You should position your shoulders back and down; don’t shrug them or let them roll forward. Use a strong, full grip when squeezing the bars. Keep your head in line with your torso, and don’t overarch your lower back.
Keep your head in line with your torso, and don’t overarch your lower back.
When you’re ready to start, the process is pretty simple. First, position yourself on the bars with locked elbows, then lower your body with your torso leaning slightly forward by bending your arms. Next, keep lowering yourself until your shoulders are just below your elbows, before lifting your body back up by straightening your arms. Finally, finish by balancing yourself with your shoulders above your hands and locking your elbows again.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can begin focusing on some more specialized techniques for maximizing the efficacy of your workouts. In terms of grip, push the heels of your palms into the bars and keep your wrists and forearms straight to increase strength and prevent wrist pain. You should also keep your forearms vertical at all times for the same reason.
Try to lock your elbows at the beginning and end of each rep. By failing to straighten your arms and lock your elbows, you’re not completing the rep — and you're significantly reducing the rewards of your efforts in the process.
Newcomers to the world of dipping are often confused about what to do with their legs. The easy answer: whatever’s most comfortable for you. Performing dips with straight legs helps keep your lower back neutral, but this is difficult if your dip station features bars that are rather low. In this situation, it’s totally fine to bend your legs, just make sure to neutralize your lower back by squeezing your glutes and abs during the exercise.