The Most Important Information
A set of bars is a very convenient tool to have at your disposal. In this article, I cover everything you need to know to choose the best dip bars. No bells, no whistles, no bull.
Dip bars are suitable for you if you’re an intermediate or advanced level athlete regardless of your style of training. If you’re focused on calisthenics or gymnastics, you can benefit from a set of dip bars at the beginner level as well.
Note: Those looking to do inverted exercises or moves like the planche are also better off with a set of parallettes or, even better, a set of parallel bars.
If you wish, you can jump straight to exploring the best dip bars I could find. Alternatively, you can keep reading to better understand the reasons behind my recommendations.
- The Least Important Information
- The Most Important Information
- Weight Capacity
- Padding & Protection
- Last Words
You don’t want to be limited in your ability to go through your dip’s full range of motion. A 3-foot height is acceptable if you plan on doing an exercise that involves hanging weight with some sort of weight belt.
Athletes under 6 feet tall will have no problem with 3-foot high dip bars. Those of you who are vertically blessed should opt for up to 40-inch tall dip bars.
A reasonable rule when deciding the optimal width between dip bars is to measure the shoulder width of the future user. This measurement plus 3 inches is roughly the width you should look for in a set of dip bars.
If you’re going to have multiple users differing in size, opt for a set of bars with an adjustable width. If you’re dead set on a pair of fixed dip bars, choose a set that has slightly angled handles. Smaller users can grip these angled handlebars where they’re narrow and larger users can grip them where they’re wide. Otherwise, the width between the handlebars should correspond to the shoulder width of the largest user.
The diameter of the handlebars should be 1½-2 inches for wrist stability.
There are four different dip bar styles:
One-Piece Dip Stand
One-piece dip bars are fixed units designed to remain in one place. The width of the bars cannot be manipulated.
These styles are easier to use because of their great stability and height. Fixed units provide the possibility to use a weight belt as well as perform straight leg dips. However, you should not expect to be able to easily transport these from one location to another.
Wall-mounted dip bars will not budge during use. While this style offers maximum stability, it naturally lacks portability. In addition, you shouldn’t expect to have the room to perform any advanced level exercises.
Note: Some wall mounted dip bars can be folded against the wall.
Two-piece dip bars are the most popular choice. However, I believe that they will always under-deliver when it comes to stability compared to any other model. However, they are a popular choice because they are very portable and storable. These take up very little space and are usually lightweight.
The Hybrid dip stand or the adjustable dip stand is my personal favorite. They offer the possibility for excellent stability, unlike the two-piece dip bars, while still delivering on portability and storability.
The only problem with this style is its height. I haven’t been able to find high-quality adjustable dip bars that have a maximum height that’s greater than 3 feet. If you’re over 6 feet tall and you know you’ll be using a dip belt, you should opt for a taller style.
Almost all dip bars have a weight capacity of 300 lbs (136.08 kilograms) or more. Always account for your own bodyweight plus any extra free weights you’ll be carrying during the use of the dip bars.
Padding & Protection
Padding should be included to make gripping the handles easier. In addition, rubber feet should be included to prevent floor scratching and increase the bars’ overall stability.
To protect your dip bars from corrosion, store them indoors and wipe them down after using them outside.
- 3+ feet tall
- Padded handles
- Rubber feet
Stationary Single Piece Dip Stand
The XMark Fitness XM-4443 power tower is the tallest dip stand on my list. This is a great option if you can leave your dip bars in one place. The dimensions are 49½ inches high, 23 inches wide, 35½ inches deep. The bar has a 1-inch diameter which will be closer to 1¼ inches because of the padding.
This stand has slightly angled handlebars which are useful to accommodate multiple users who vary in size. Because of this stand’s stability, advanced level movements can be performed by more experienced athletes without worrying.
Naturally, those of you who favor storability and portability are better off with a completely different dip stand style. If you’re looking for a pull-up bar stand, you may prefer to save money and floor space by getting a single tower with a pull-bar and dip bars.
Click here for more details.
Wall Mounted Dip Station
This stand accommodates athletes who have somewhere to bolt a dip stand into the wall. The Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount Dip station’s bars are about 23 inches apart, however, the physical width of the dip station measures approximately 28 inches wide and 27 inches deep.
The obvious strength of this dip stand is its stability. Because the stand is mounted into the wall it comes with cushioned armrests and a cushioned backrest. This is a great option for athletes looking to perform more isolated exercises.
On the other hand, I don’t like the width between the handlebars. 23 inches is a greater gap than most people under 6 feet tall will be most comfortable with. The dip station is by far the least versatile in terms of who can use it, and what exercises it allows you to perform.
Click here for more details.
Two Piece Dip Stand
The Power Guidance dip bars are for athletes who want the freedom to move their dip bars around with ease. These are 30-38½ inches tall.
The qualities are portability and storability. These bars are adjustable and can be easily disassembled for storage.
The one con is the slightly reduced stability. That said, the reduced stability will likely only be an issue for those of you performing moves that are best reserved for a set of parallettes or parallel bars. These still have excellent stability for dips and weighted dips.
At the moment, you can only get these in Canada. If you live in Canada, click here for more details on the Power Guidance Dip Stand. If you live in the United States, click here for details on an alternative set made by KFK. I don’t know much about this KFK brand but the specs on their dip bars are quite promising.
Attachable & Adjustable Two Piece Dip Stand
ProsourceFit’s functional heavy-duty dip stand is versatile. The adjustable height is 31-35 inches while the adjustable distance between the handlebars is 20-26 inches.
Because this set of dip bars can be connected by a connecting rod, they have higher stability. The adjustable connecting rod in addition to the adjustable uprights gives you fair leeway with regards to the height and width between the bars. The individual dip bars can be detached from each other making this fairly portable and storable.
I would have liked to see a maximum height of 40 inches for athletes over 6 feet tall. If you are over 6 feet tall and plan on using a dip belt you may be limited by the 35-inch maximum height.
Click here for more details.
It isn’t uncommon for start-up brands to sell dip bars that are nearly identical to more established brands. Because dip bars are not extremely complicated to manufacture, many start-up brands will have good products even though they’re fairly new. In some cases, you’ll have to be more liberal with who you’re willing to buy from in order to get the style you’re looking for. Try not to worry, there’s nothing wrong with this when it comes to buying dip bars.
I hope this helps! Please leave a comment if you feel like something was missed or if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in the near future.