T Nation

Silly Question Concerning Parallel Dips


I know this is a stupid question but if you don't ask you'll never know right !!

When performing parallel dips for triceps on tapered parallel bars I know you do them at the narrow end but which way do you face ie should you be facing towards the narrow end or the wide end to get the most out of the exercise for your triceps ?


I might be mis-understanding what you are asking, because I don't have an exact definition of 'tapered parallel bars'(besides the one I googled) but I don't think this would matter much for you, at all.

There are far more important things to worry about with the dips, to 'get the most out of the exercise for your triceps'.

Here is a great resource to worry your head about:


A discussion about 'parallel bars' is included in the article.


The way that hurts your shoulder the least. I face the narrow end. I doubt it matters.


I agree with Claudan, I doubt that the direction you are facing would matter very much at all. The only difference should be a slight one in wrist angle which shouldn't impact things. The reason for the tapering is so that you can perform them at different widths along the bars as the bars progress from closer together to farther from each other. I've found that if people are going to run into discomfort with the dips, it's often because the bars they are using are too wide for them. To hit your triceps the most with the movement, you generally want to keep a more upright body position whereas you want to bend more forward to work the chest more.


This is what I like to call "over thinking things"


This is what I like to call "over thinking things"


Thanks for the link I've read that article before its very interesting, Reed without doubt i'm over thinking it perhaps a better way of putting it would be to ask which way do people prefer facing and why ?

If i'm going to take the time to use an exercise I may aswell try and get the best out of it and with all the experience you fella's have I might aswell over think and ask the questions here :slight_smile:


I prefer facing the narrow end if it's not actually parallel. It feels better for me.

This was also the standard direction Gironda taught things, that Larry Scott suggests, that Elliot Hulse does in his videos, etc.

I can't recall seeing anyone doing it the other way, actually.


For the most part, just start out facing the narrower end. There are variations where facing the wider end works better, but just get the basic ones down good before you start worrying about the fancy stuff.