The parallel bar dip for superior chest development

The parallel  bar dip for superior chest development

Along with the pull-up (and chin-up), parallel bar dips are probably the most overlooked exercise out there today. This is disheartening to know, as the dip is a superb exercise for the entire upper body. 

This one exercise is enough to work your upper body into the ground, if you do it correctly. Dips work your arms, shoulders, back - and of course your chest. The core is heavily taxed as well as are your forearms. Dips have often been referred to as the upper body equivalent of the squat, and with good reason. And there are endless variations to make the exercise tougher, once you master the basic movement.

Done correctly, dips will develop a deep, muscular chest, and also widen the shoulders and upper back tremendously. There is a reason that gymnasts sport the kind of upper body muscular development that they do - and dips form an integral part of just about any gynmast's routine.

This superior exercise is often ignored because it is a TOUGH one to perform for most people, especially if you are just starting out. In fact, I have seen many "strong" people wimp out after a set of 5 bodyweight dips in proper form - and thats not an exaggeration. Don't be one of those people. Don't ignore this exercise. Work up to doing a dip if you cannot do one yet, and once you get there, make sure you do them on a regular basis.

Always remember that form is of paramount importance. It is easy to injure yourself with dips if you do not perform them correctly, so proceed with caution. Get the technique down first, then build your strength up, and so on and so forth.

Fast and Furious fitness contains information on how to do dips, and explains how to do them in right form. I also offer advice on how to do dips if you are just starting out, and do not have the strength to do a full dip. 

Work your dips hard and regularly - they will reward you well.