Using a dip bar for its intended purpose—triceps dips, naturally—isn’t the easiest. Even holding your body weight up on your arms with solid shoulder form is difficult for a lot of guys.
But when you manipulate the distribution of that weight while forcing your abs to contract and hold a position? Now you’ve reached a whole ‘nother level of gym...nastics. That's what the dip bar pike-up challenges you to do.
What is the dip bar pike-up?
This is a little less challenging on elevated dip bars, because your body can hang freely beneath you, so start with those. Turn it into a serious pike hold challenge by using short dip bars or parallettes—they're harder to get into and hold thanks to seated starting position.
- Put your hands on the bars and hold yourself up in a "front support" position (arms along sides, weight on hands on bars), so there’s nothing in your way in front of you.
- Press your shoulder blades firmly down your back to pop your chest up proud. (If you can’t hold yourself for at least 10-15 seconds without your shoulders collapsing up to your ears, then work on that position for a while first.)
- From here, brace through your abs to raise your legs together up in front of you while simultaneously leaning back slightly, coming into a piked body position. Hold it if you want, or slowly lower your legs to go for reps.
What's so great about the dip bar pike-up?
Abs—So. Much. Abs—not to mention shoulder stability, core integration, quads, glutes… yeah, it's the definition of a full-body exercise. There's a reason gymnasts are so jacked.
How can you use it?
The dip bar pike up is an especially tough total-body core move that requires serious strength and control, especially in the oblique muscles, which tend to be under-developed with traditional ab training exercises. It's a good complement to shoulder day or ab day, or a great way to simply enhance your isometric strength.