7 Useful Parallel Dip Bar Alternatives

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Parallel dip bars can offer many benefits but you may want other options. What are some alternatives to parallel dip bar with similar benefits?

Parallel dip bars are a type of fitness equipment that is basically two horizontal bars. You can use this piece of exercise equipment to do the exercise with the same name but there are plenty of other exercises you can use it for.

Among other benefits, you can use parallell dip bars to strengthen muscles at home or in the gym, they are a compact piece of fitness equipment, etc.

Whether you don’t enjoy using parallell dip bars, you want to do dips with different equipment options, or you want an alternative for any other reason, these parallell dip bar alternatives can help you train similar areas of your health.

Keep in mind that implementing these alternatives can offer benefits but like while using any exercise equipment, there is always some risk of injury. Make sure you use these equipment options in a safe way and if needed, get guidance from an expert.

1. Dip bar at-home alternatives

Parallel dip bars are a great piece of fitness equipment but you may have some alternative objects at home that can be used in similar ways. It is especially easy to find an object to do tricep dips without dip bars.

For this first exercise example, you can do chair or bench dips. Either with your feet on the ground or if you are more experienced with your feet elevated. One downside of this is that it can be harder on your shoulders. If you are more experienced with resistance training, chair and bench dips may also be too easy for a lot of muscle growth.

Something else you will likely have at home is a backpack. You can fill this up with books or other heavy things and use it for exercises like a tricep kickback, chest press, or tricep extension.

These parallel dip bar alternatives will not get you the best workout but they can help you train similar muscles without investing in any fitness equipment.

2. Resistance bands

Resistance bands are a versatile type of fitness equipment that are basically elastic cords. They can be used for a variety of exercises, including options with a similar movement as tricep dips.

For example, you can anchor your resistance band somewhere high. After that, you hold the resistance band similar to how you would hold a parallel dip bar. Next, you push down the resistance bands.

There are plenty of other resistance band tricep exercises besides that.

Some of the other benefits of resistance bands are that they are relatively inexpensive, easy to store, extremely versatile, and very portable.

One downside is that resistance bands are not the type of gym equipment you can use for the rest of your life. At least every few years you will need to replace the last set with new resistance bands.

Certain exercises will also benefit from anchoring your resistance bands somewhere. Sometimes you can attach them to objects that are already around the house. Even so, it is likely safer to get an inexpensive resistance band anchor to avoid any problems.

If you are looking for a gym alternative to parallel dip bars the cable machine can offer similar benefits as resistance bands.

Check resistance bands prices

3. One-handed free weights

One-handed free weights are basically the free weights category excluding the barbell, medicine ball, and EZ curl bar. You can also use these two-handed weights for triceps and lower chest exercises but one-handed weights offer some advantages.

One-handed free weights can be helpful to avoid muscle imbalances since each side inevitably carries the same weight. They also allow you to do exercises like the tricep kickback which is a great alternative to tricep dips.

Some examples of one-handed free weights are dumbbells, kettlebells, the right types of weight plates, certain sandbags, wrist weights, etc. These types of equipment are convenient for many exercises for a wide variety of body parts, including your tricep and lower chest muscles.

Another benefit of free weights is that they generally last an extremely long time. One dumbbell can potentially improve your workouts for many years and potentially even decades. On top of that, many free weights do not really lose their value.

This means that if you decide to stop using dumbbells or other free weights you can likely sell them for a very similar price as what you put into them.

The disadvantage is that free weights often require a slightly bigger investment compared to parallel dip bars.

Check dumbbell prices

4. Barbell setup

A barbell is a long steel bar you can put weight plates on. This piece of equipment generally comes with a barbell rack. A barbell setup can serve as an alternative to parallel dip bars in a few different ways.

First of all, you can set the rack to a low setting and do bench dips but with the barbell as support instead of a bench.

Secondly you can to a wide variety of exercises like a close grip bench press, decline bench press, skullcrushers, etc. to replace the tricep dip exercise.

Similar to one-handed free weights, a barbell and weight plates often last a very long time without really losing their value.

In turn, a barbell setup does require a relatively high initial investment compared to parallel dip bars. Especially if you get an accompanying barbell rack.

Check barbell prices

5. Weighted vest

A popular exercise alternative to tricep dips on parallel bars is the pushup. Especially an incline pushup can train your body in a similar way.

One downside of pushups is that they can be too easy for individuals more experienced with resistance training. To keep seeing a lot of muscle growth progress you can switch over to weighted pushups. A weighted vest is one of the most convenient ways to make pushups weighted.

Besides tricep and chest exercises a weighted vest can benefit workouts for many other body parts too. On top of that, some of the best weighted vests are in a similar price range as parallel dip bars.

Check weighted vest prices

6. Pull-up bar

Pull-ups are a typical resistance training exercise. To do this exercise you need a pull-up bar which is basically a sturdy horizontal bar.

While the name implies differently, parallel dip bars can also be used to do inverted rows for your back muscles and a variety of ab exercises.

If you want an at-home or gym alternative to parallel dip bars for these body parts, a pull-up bar can be a good choice. Even if you currently don’t have a pull-up bar or gym subscription, doorway pull-up bars are relatively inexpensive.

A benefit of pull-up bars is that there are relatively inexpensive options available.

Check pull-up bar prices

7. Plyo box

A plyo box, also known as a jump box or step box, is simply a box that is strong enough to deal with jump exercises. Similar to a chair or bench, a plyo box can be used to do tricep dips.

You can also use a plyo box for a wide variety of other exercises for a wide variety of other body parts. This piece of equipment is slightly more versatile than parallel dip bars.

One downside is that a plyo box requires more storage room. In terms of investment, parallel dip bars and a plyo box are generally similar.

Check plyo box prices

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.