How To Start Calisthenics: Your 5-Step Guide to Mastering Dips


How To Start Calisthenics: Your 5-Step Guide to Mastering Dips.

Dips are essential calisthenics upper body exercises.

They sculpt powerful triceps, engage your chest and shoulders, and build impressive upper body strength.

But mastering dips requires dedication, proper progression, and a solid foundation in bodyweight training.

This guide outlines a 5-step calisthenics progression specifically designed to propel you towards achieving full dips. It utilizes readily available equipment and focuses on progressive overload, gradually increasing the difficulty as you gain strength.

Remember, consistency is key!

Aim for 3 sessions per week minimum with rest days in between to allow your muscles to recover and rebuild stronger.

Step 1: Building the Base with Box Dips

Box dips are your gateway to achieving full dips. Find a sturdy bench or chair that allows you to comfortably lower yourself until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Here's how to perform box dips

  • Sit on the edge of the bench with your hands shoulder-width apart, fingertips facing forward.
  • Engage your core and  your legs, keeping your heels flat on the ground for stability if you are just starting. Raise your toes up to increase difficulty as you make progress.
  • Lower yourself down by bending your elbows, keeping your back straight and chest lifted.
  • Push through your palms to return to the starting position.

Step 2: Strengthen Your Triceps with Dip Shrugs

Dip shrugs are a great exercise to strengthen your triceps, preparing them for the demands of full dips.

Here's the execution:

  • Stand facing parallel bars or a sturdy dip station, placing your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend your arms and hold yourself up with a straight body, core engaged.
  • Keep your “head tall” (do not “sink” into your shoulders) and perform short shrugging motions, lifting your upper body slightly without bending your elbows.
  • Focus on squeezing your triceps with each shrug.
  • Aim for 10-12 repetitions per set and 3-5 sets total.

Step 3: Master the Dip Motion with Dip Walks

Dip walks introduce the full dip movement while offering support through assisted weight distribution.

  • Place your hands on the parallel bars, shoulder-width apart.
  • Push through your palms and perform a shrug then move one hand forward directly after the shrug.
  • Repeat with the other hand until you reach the end of the bars, then “walk” backwards.
  • Aim for 3-5 sets of 8-10 repetitions.

Step 4: Elevate Your Strength with Jump Dips

Jump dips are a fantastic exercise to bridge the gap between assisted dips and full dips. They utilize explosive power to propel you into the top portion of the dip motion, gradually building the strength required for full dips.

Here's how to perform jump dips:

  • Stand facing parallel bars with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Engage your core and jump explosively, reaching your arms straight to initiate the dip motion.
  • Lower yourself down with control until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Push back up explosively to the starting position, focusing on utilizing your triceps to power the movement, more than your legs.
  • Aim for 3-5 sets of 5-8 repetitions.

Step 5: Conquering the Full Dip


By consistently practicing these progressions, you've built the necessary strength and technique to tackle full dips.

Here's a reminder on proper form:

  • Stand facing parallel bars with your hands shoulder-width apart, fingertips facing forward.
  • Engage your core and jump slightly to initiate the dip.
  • Lower yourself down with control, focusing on keeping your back straight and elbows tucked in close to your body.
  • Descend until your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Push back up explosively through your palms, returning to the starting position.

Mastering dips takes dedication and patience. Celebrate your progress, listen to your body, and don't hesitate to modify exercises as needed. Remember, a strong foundation is crucial.

Consider incorporating other calisthenics training exercises like push-ups, rows, and planks to build overall upper body strength and stability.

Ready to Dive Deeper?

For a structured and comprehensive learning experience, explore my full day-by-day, level-by-level calisthenics course here!


Calisthenics Training FAQ’s


What is Calisthenics Training?
Calisthenics, rooted in the ancient Greek ideals of "Kalos" (beauty) and "Sthenos" (strength), emphasizes both physical and mental fitness. The modern practice integrates elements of classic calisthenics, acrobatics, gymnastics, yoga, and disciplines like breakdancing and parkour. This versatile, bodyweight training method allows you to train anywhere, anytime, without expensive equipment.

What makes Calisthenics different from traditional fitness?
Traditional gym routines can feel repetitive and lack motivation, often requiring costly memberships with inconsistent results. Calisthenics offers a refreshing alternative. By combining aerobic and anaerobic exercises, you'll burn fat, build lean muscle, and witness impressive strength and skill gains, all while enjoying the freedom of training outdoors or indoors. Plus, calisthenics fosters a supportive community, fueling your long-term commitment to fitness.

I am a beginner, do I need to get in shape before I sign up?
You can start no matter what your current level is! Our Online Calisthenics course is designed for every fitness level. Whether you're just starting out or looking to refine your skills, our program guides you in achieving your goals, from gaining strength and mobility to building lean muscle and losing fat.

Can I build muscle with Calisthenics?
Calisthenics is a progressive, functional training discipline that utilizes your own bodyweight for resistance. This evolutive system delivers impressive results, enabling you to shed fat, build strength, and increase mobility and endurance, all while sculpting lean muscle.


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