How to Increase Maximum Bar Dips

World Firefighter's Games

Dips are performed on parallel bars and work your chest, shoulders and triceps. Dips can initially be an extremely challenging exercise and it may take a while for you to build up to performing reps with your body-weight. Once you're there, however, you can increase your maximum number of dips by tweaking your training slightly and adding certain exercises to your routine.

Perform dips with perfect technique. This is vital for injury prevention, but also for making sure you hit the target muscles and generate maximum strength. Keep your chin tucked into your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together, advises Philadelphia-based strength coach and trainer Joe Giandonato. Descend until your feel a stretch across your chest, then forcefully push back up again.

Attach weight plates to a dipping belt and wear it around your waist when dipping. Performing weighted dips will make body-weight reps seem easier and allow you to get more reps. Perform one weight dip session each week. Aim for three sets of six to eight reps using as much weight as you can while maintaining perfect technique.

Add close-grip bench presses and pushups into your routine. These both target the chest, shoulders and triceps as dips do and will make these muscles stronger while giving you a break from dips. Perform these exercises once a week in an upper body workout for five sets of six to 10 reps each.

Set yourself a target of body-weight dips to hit each session. Start at 20 reps and aim to get there in as few sets as possible. Once you can do it in two sets, take your target up to 30 dips and go again. Do this once each week.


Perform dips in your chest workout or on an upper body workout day.


Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.