Chair dips vs parallel bar dips

If I’m doing parallel bar dips, do I really need to do chair or bench dips too?

I was just browsing on my Madbarz custom workout routines and I have noticed that I still have several saved workouts that include a chair or bench dips, even though I am also doing parallel bar dips.

bar dips

Because of that, I decided to do a bit of research online and combine it with my personal experience so I can write this article.
For a start let’s clarify the difference between chair dips and parallel bar dips.
With chair dips your feet are resting with your legs stretched or partly bent at your knees. In this way, your weight is dispersed between your arms and legs so there’s no full body load as with parallel bar dips.

On the other hand, with parallel bar dips you work with your entire body weight and you can safely go deeper without pain, but I would advise not to go deeper than 90-degree elbow angle.
If you can’t do proper parallel bar dips you will surely benefit from chair dips in your progress towards parallel bar dips.

If you are more advanced and want a harder workout, try extending your legs in front of you so that your weight is on your heels. With this tweak, you will have to press more of your body weight so the exercise is harder to do. If you want an even harder version you will need to place your feet up on another bench or chair. If you have tried all of this and still want to make it harder, you should place some weight on your legs.

Chair dips are also useful when there is no access to parallel dips bar. Because of this, the exercise is very convenient to be included in your workout.


A System Administrator holding several Microsoft and Citrix certificates, proud father of two beautiful girls, Calisthenics addict, author and founder of this site.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 − two =