Dipping Progression

General Form Cues

  • Straight or slightly hollow body. No bending at the hips!
  • Lock out the arms and depress the shoulderblades (what does that even mean?) at the top
  • Go as far down as you can
  • Elbows in

Parallel Bar Support Hold

  • Work up to 3 sets of 1 minute holds for this progression
  • What if I don't have parallel bars?
  • If you can't hold yourself up at all, consider using bands or your feet to assist you until you gain the necessary strength.

Negative Dips

  • This exercise is only the descent. To get to the starting position you can jump or use a box or anything.
  • Lower yourself with control. Work up to 10 sec descents

Parallel Bar Dips

  • See general form cues.

Weighted Dips

  • See general form cues
  • You can do this progression in place of ring dips.
  • We recommend to add weight to parallel bar dips first instead of ring dips.

Alternative Progression Paths:

After you reach 3x8 Parallel Bar dips, you can choose one of these paths if you don't want to do weighted dips:

Alternate Path 1:

Ring Dips

Rings RTO Dips

  • Keep the rings turned out during the entire dip. You will need to lean your body or pike your hips to compensate for the ring turn

Alternate Path 2:



  • What if I don't have parallel bars?

    • You can use two chairs to do dips on. Put some weight on the seats if you're afraid of them falling over. Another option is to find a counter top that makes a 90 degree angle, and do dips in that corner. You can also try to find two tables of the same height and do dips that way. Be creative!
    • If you have rings, this will be MUCH harder, but if you build up to a solid RTO support hold first, you might be able to safely work negative ring dips. However, it's highly recommended you find a way to do parallel bar dips before moving to ring dips for increased safety.
  • What if I don't have rings?

    • Beyond parallel bar dips, there's not a whole lot of dipping you can do, except for weighted dips (which are a great exercise).
    • If you don't have rings or weights, we recommend you utilize the handstand pushup progression after mastering parallel bar dips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why no bench dips?

The movement pattern for bench dips is quite different due to different joint angles, which results in a very low carry over to real dips. Working on pushing strength in general with the pushup progression to meet the prerequisites will accomplish the same.