- What is a Dip Bar and Why You Need One
- Different Types of Dip Bars in Calisthenics
- What to Look for When Buying a Calisthenics Dip Bar
- The 3 Best Portable Dip Bars for Calisthenics
- The 3 Best Wall-Mounted Dip Bars
- The 3 Best Dip Stations
- The 3 Best Power Towers
- Useful Dip Accessories Complementing Your Dip Bar
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dip Bars
Dip Bars are an important part of any Calisthenics equipment assortment. If you’re going to do Calisthenics, you’re going to be doing dips. There’s no way around it. Sure, you can try and make do with a park bench or a staircase, but these put your wrists in odd positions. Not even two chairs feel really comfortable in the long run. It’s time to step up your Calisthenics game and get some professional Dip Bars. They provide you with better grip, better wrist comfort and in the end better results. In this list review, we’ll be taking look at the best Dip Bars for Calisthenics and for any situation and budget.
What is a Dip Bar and Why You Need One
A Dip Bar or dipping bar(s) are two elevated horizontal bars standing opposite to one another and with room between them for the Calisthenics practitioner to perform exercises. The most common Calisthenics exercise performed on the Dip Bars are its namesake, dips. Dip Bars are considerably taller than Parallettes, which are used more for Push-Up type exercises instead.
Dips are a fundamental exercise in Calisthenics along with the Push-Up and the Pull-Up when it comes to upper-body and arm strength. Any serious Calisthenics practitioner will be doing dips on a regular basis and virtually all Calisthenics programs will feature dips quite heavily. The main focus of doing dips is to work out your triceps, shoulders, and chest. It also has a positive influence on your core strength. This compound effect makes dips one of the best exercises you can do, inside and outside of Calisthenics. This makes ownership of your own dip bars a quintessential part of your Home Gym Equipment.
Different Types of Dip Bars in Calisthenics
Although all Dip Bars come down the same basic design, two parallel horizontal bars, they come in a number of different arrangements. Depending on your situation, whether that be a home gym or taking them with you outdoors or to a gym, different solutions present themself to you for doing dips. We’ll go over the most common types of Dip Bars for Calisthenics you can get.
Portable Dip Bars
Portable Dip Bars consist of a set of two individual but identical Dip Bars. They are lightweight and take up the least space of all the options on our list. They are a great solution if you’re short on space and need something which you can put out of the way when you’re not using them. Their portability also means that you can take them with you to a gym and most will fit just fine in the trunk of a car. The best portable Dip Bars have a wide base to maintain stability and a safe exercise platform. Another major but oft overlooked advantage of Portable Dip Bars is that it’s easy to adjust the width between the bars themselves. This is almost never possible with the other types of Dip Bars.
Wall-Mounted Dip Bar
As the name suggests, the Wall-Mounted Dip Bar is permanently fixed to a wall. Often the Wall-Mounted Dip Bar is part of a larger device and may include other elements like a Pull-Up Bar. The advantage of a Wall-Mounted Dip Bar is the strength of the wall. Mounted onto a concrete or brick wall and when made of steel, these Dip Bars are practically as strong as the wall itself. This offers you the best safety guarantee of all options. Since Wall-Mounted Dip Bars tend to be relatively flat in design, they aren’t the most spacious either. To a Home Gym where space availability is a concern (think a small extra room reserved for your Calisthenics), a Wall-Mounted Dip Bar can be the ideal addition.
A Dip Station functions in much the same way as Portable Dip Bars, with the single and most notable difference being that the Dip Bars are both fixed to the same base plate or platform. You stand on the platform and between the Dip Bars to do your dipping. Dip Stations offer a similar look and feel to Portable Dip Bars and are frequently quite minimalist in design. They are more stable since the Dip Bars are fixed in place.
A Power Tower is a standalone unit which combines a Dip Station with a Pull-Up Bar and often also a workout bench. In essence, a single Power Tower will accommodate for most if not all the arm and upper-body workouts for most Calisthenics practitioners. Power Towers are tall and do take up a considerable amount of floor space as well, but they do effectively replace a bench, a Pull-Up Bar and Dip Bars altogether. If you have some space to spare for your Calisthenics equipment but not too much, a Power Tower might be the all-in-one solution which fits your needs.
Outdoor Dip Bars for Calisthenics
An Outdoor Dip Bar is very much like a Portable Dip Bar but meant for outdoor use specifically. Most Dip Bars are made of steel and steel will rust when it comes into contact with moisture. Dip Bars are usually also powder-coated to protect it and to provide a surface with better grip. This coating can be damaged if the Dip Bars fall over on hard outdoors surfaces such as cobble stone, tarmac or pavers. Outdoor Dip Bars are specifically designed to resist this kind of wear and tear. They will also be more suited for use on uneven terrain, like lawns or to be temporarily mounted on uneven fixture points like a tree.
What to Look for When Buying a Calisthenics Dip Bar
Whichever type of Dip Bars you’re looking for, you want to ensure they are both comfortable and safe to use. Dip Bars don’t need to cost the whole world and you can find a decent product if you know what to look out for. We’ve assembled a list of best Dip Bars for Calisthenics below, to help you with your search. In each category you’ll find options to suit practically any budget. Regardless of cost, they all have the core characteristics for a good Calisthenics Dip Bar:
- Solid construction which won’t buckle or break
- Stable base which won’t topple easily
- Comfortable to hold, so you can conclude your exercise without pain or undue discomfort
The 3 Best Portable Dip Bars for Calisthenics
Gravity Fitness XL Pro Parallettes 3.0
Although named Parallettes, the Gravity Fitness XL Pro can certainly pass for portable Dip Bars. The all-steel, minimal design ensures solid and durable performance. The high-quality powder coating gives you that perfect middle ground between smooth and traction. Unlike foam, powder-coated steel will not deteriorate and become brittle. That’s why Gravity Fitness extends a lifetime guarantee on these Dip Bars. The wide base is stable and, in part thanks to the high-quality rubber caps, these Dip Bars will remain standing firmly even while doing explosive or Weighted Calisthenics. If you’re looking for durability and portability in one, the Gravity Fitness XL Pro is the product for you.
Sportsroyals Adjustable Dip Bar
Both adjustable in height and boasting a 1200lbs maximum capacity, the Sportsroyal has about everything you could ever want from portable Dip Bars for your Calisthenics. The height is adjustable from 31.5” to just above 45”. This allows you to gradually increase the taper at which you’re performing your dips. It also allows you to do different kinds of dips and sits at different heights, whichever you’re comfortable with. The wide base with non-slip feet provides excellent stability while the foam handles strike a perfect middle ground between firmness and give. These feet can also be extended individually to account for any unevenness of the floor.
Frank Medrano Lebert Fitness Dip Bar Stand Equalizer
These no-nonsense Dip Bars deliver exactly what you need for Calisthenics; a solid platform to perform dips and more. The Frank Medrano Lebert Fitness Dip Stand Equalizer is of an all-steel construction with rubber caps on the ends of its feet and a foam grip for added comfort. The Lebert is stable enough for practically all non-inverted exercises, including Planches and L-Sits. They aren’t meant for handstands and related techniques. The Lebert Fitness Dip Bar Equalizer is available in six different colors, to expand your choice of matching your Calisthenics equipment to your interior. It also comes with a free hip Resistance Band.
The 3 Best Wall-Mounted Dip Bars
Pullup & Dip Mobile Pull-Up and Dip Bar
The Pullup& Dip Mobile Pull-Up and Dip Bar comes with great versatility, acting as both a Wall-Mounted Dip Bar and an Outdoor Dip Bar. The perpendicular bars extending from the top bar can be used for doing dips. You can mount the Mobile Pull-Up and Dip Bar with either the bar pointing up or down, giving you a range of options for either Pull-Ups, Chin-Ups, Dips or all of them combined. Pullup & Dip delivers a level of high quality with the highest degree of fit and finish and a nearly indestructible product. The Pullup & Dip Mobile Pull-Up and Dip Bar also ranked high on our list of Best Wall-Mounted Pull-Up Bars.
TKing Fashion Pull-Up and Dip Bar
If you’re looking to turn an empty wall into a permanent Pull-Up and Dip station, this TKing Fashion Pull-Up and Dip Bar is an inexpensive solution. With a modest width of only 26 inches, the TKing won’t impact the utility of the rest of the room much and should fit perfectly in the small to modestly sized Home Gym. The strong tubular steel design ensures a safe workout and the TKing Fashion Pull-Up and Dip Bar offers a versatile range of Calisthenics exercises to perform. Aside from being Dip Bars and a Pull-Up Bar, there are arm and back rests for L-Sits and O-rings for attaching Resistance Bands. The foam grips are decent enough to remain comfortable through even a lengthy exercise.
Synergee Wall-Mounted Dip Bars
A very affordable alternative to a complete setup, the Synergee Wall-Mounted Dip Bars offer you a bang for your buck when it comes to doing both Dips and L-Sit related exercises. The simple, robust design is mounted either directly to a concrete or brick wall, or through a wooden board to further distribute the weight and prevent damage to a plaster surface. When mounted properly, there is nothing that can go wrong with these Wall-Mounted Dip Bars. The stated weight capacity of 400lbs should suffice for anyone capable of even doing a dip and is likely an underestimation either way. The foam grips are very firm and you are of course limited by the 11-inch wall clearance of the arm rest. There is no way to adjust this.
The 3 Best Dip Stations
Gravity Fitness Portable Pull-Up Rack
The Gravity Fitness Portable Pull-Up Rack can be converted, or rather shortened, into a Dip Station within minutes. You get all the benefits of a Dip Station such as great stability but with the added functionality of a Freestanding Pull-Up Bar. The quick-release tension springs make converting the Gravity Fitness Portable Pull-Up Rack to and from a Dip Bar quick and easy, or you can pack it up completely for storage in the provided storage bag. The typical Gravity Fitness high-quality fit and finish applies, and its powder coated construction steel design will perform for years to come. This is a perfect solution for those with a modestly sized room to do their workouts in but who can’t (or don’t want too) dedicate multiple areas to different exercise types.
Fuel Pureformance Dip Station
A combination of Dip Bars with Gymnastic Rings is what sets this Dip Station apart from the rest. The Dip Bars part is of a no-frills solid construction and due to its slightly slanted design, offers a very stable and robust platform to do dips on. The addition of gussets on the lower leg joints eliminates any possibility for wobbling while doing your exercise. The foam grips are comfortable enough. The real attraction is the possibility to add Gymnastic Rings to your dips, which can be a real game-changer. There is also a cheaper version of the Fuel Pureformance Dip Station without the rings, but that kind of defeats the purpose of this setup. The added versatility of the rings makes up for the relatively low number of other options you have with this Dip Station for doing Calisthenics.
BalanceFrom Multi-Function Dip Stand
Adjustable for height from 40 to 51 inches and of a solid, steel design, this Multi-Function Dip Stand combines simplicity with stability. It is wider than most Dip Bars with 26½ inches. For most this will mean a chest and shoulder exercise as well. The heavy-duty steel is good for a weight capacity of 500lbs and the Multi-Function Dip Stand comes with integrated Push-Up Bars as well, giving you that much more versatility. We recommend this Dip Station for the broad-shouldered individual who needs more than the typical 18” for proper posture.
The 3 Best Power Towers
Fitness Reality X-Class Power Hi-Cap tower
With a fully adjustable, ergonomic design, the X-Class High-Capacity Power Tower is a flagship among Power Towers. The heavy-duty steel frame allows for a maximum weight of 400lbs and the whole Power Tower is covered in an impeccable powder coating for scratch and corrosion protection, enough for Fitness Reality to give a 10-year guarantee on the steel frame. Both the grips and the padding for the Dip Bars and the arm and back rests are very comfortable and allow for an excellent Calisthenics workout. At the higher end of the pricing spectrum, the Fitness Reality X-Class Power Hi-Cap tower functions like a standalone and all-in-one unit which can comfortably replace most if not all Calisthenics Equipment you will ever need.
Sportsroyals Power Tower
With an adjustable height between 65.5 and 88.1 inches and a 14-gauge tubular steel construction, the Sportsroyals Power Tower is a popular choice. Apart from the adjustable Pull-Up and Chin-Up Bar and the Push-Up Bars, the Sportsroyals is equipped with Dip Bars for both all your Calisthenics needs. The H-Frame design precludes any twisting or lateral movement of the Power Tower while in use, even if things get a little aggressive. The firm foam grips feel nice to hold on to and the padding for your back and arms are more than adequate. A scratch and corrosion resistant powder coating keeps your Power Tower in peak condition for many years to come.
Gold’s Gym XR 10.9 Power Tower
From the world-famous Gold’s Gym, started in 1965 by bodybuilder and US Marine, Joe Gold comes the tried and tested Gold’s Gym XR. Similar in design but more affordable than the Sportsroyal, the Gold’s Gmy XR gives you everything you would want from a Power Tower. The tubular steel construction is good for up to 200lbs workloads while the forgiving 57 by 41-inch base make placement in a modestly sized bedroom a possibility. With 84 inches in height, it should prove practical for most practitioners out there, although you do not get the adjustable Pull-Up Bar. The Dip Bars are solid, with a firm albeit a bit thin foam grip. The arm and back rests have minimal but enough padding for a comfortable L-Sit or Leg Raise exercise.
Useful Dip Accessories Complementing Your Dip Bar
Doing Dips in Calisthenics is hard work, in the beginning but also for the more advanced athlete. As you progress through your Calisthenics career, you could use some help to either make Dips easier to do or conversely, add a layer of difficulty to your Dips. For this, you can make use of Resistance Bands and/or Dip Belts. Both are excellent additions to any existing Dip Bar setup.
You can use a Resistance Band to greatly reduce the load while doing Dips. This makes Dips easier to do and once your muscles are used to the current load, you can incrementally apply weaker Resistance Bands until you graduate from them completely. They can also be used to make the exercise more difficult to do instead, adding the resistance of the band to the weight you’re pushing.
A Dip Belt is thick waist belt from which you attach weights (usually by a chain). This can drastically increase the weight of your body and consequently the weight you’re dipping. Dip Belts and Dip Bars are, as the names suggest, meant to go hand in hand. When you’re reaching a point where simply dipping your own bodyweight will no longer yield any results, you’ve reached a plateau. The solution is to artificially weigh down your body so you can continue to experience better results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dip Bars
Here is a collection of frequently asked questions we received and found about Dip Bars in Calisthenics in general.
Ideally, the Dip Bars should be right underneath your shoulders and you shouldn’t be able to keep your arms flush and relaxed next to your body while standing in between the Dip Bars. There would be no room for the arms and you would have to raise them to stand between both bars.
Dip Bars should be at minimum around 3 foot tall. There is no maximum and as long as you can perform the full range of motions for all your dipping exercises, you are good to go. Even relatively low Dip Bars would work for Calisthenics practitioners of most heights.
It is never recommended to target the same muscle groups every day. You grow when you rest, so you should leave enough rest between exercising muscle groups, including through doing dips. Instead, you can alternate muscle groups on a day-by-day basis to keep exercising.
Dips are a staple of Calisthenics and one of the fundamental, primary exercises to build thick upper arms. In particular the triceps, shoulders and chest are targeted and will require dips to build mass.
For most healthy adults and who aren’t too heavy for Calisthenics, dips are perfectly safe to do. For people not initiated in Calisthenics or other fitness type sports, the triceps (one of the main focus areas of dips) can be weak. Doing dips can lead to severe muscle burn until they have built enough strength. This is a normal and to be expected response from your body.
Portable dip bars have two key advantages over other types of dip bars in Calisthenics. The most obvious advantage is that they are portable and easily stored out of sight and out of the way. A second and often overlooked advantage is that it is easy to adjust the width between the bars with portable dip bars. Most other Dip Bars are of a fixed width which cannot be adjusted easily or at all.
Jari Dohmen has a B.A. in physiotherapy and has been involved with Calisthenics since 2013. Around the time Calisthenics began to proliferate in the Netherlands, he was already keenly interested in both the physiotherapeutic and general lifestyle benefits Calisthenics possesses. Jari started Calisthenics Worldwide (CWW) in 2016, after numerous internet searches for Calisthenics topics that sparked his interest yielded barely any information. Today, CWW is one of the largest and most widely recognized Calisthenics blogs in the world. Become part of the Calisthenics community by commenting on this article.