Are you getting the most out of your dip?

You may or may not know that at SOF we run a pretty comprehensive internship program. Over 50 students and trainers from all over the world have been through the program and hopefully gained valuable experience from their involvement with us.

Just recently, a German student and gymnastics extraordinaire, Paul Uhler, completed the internship program.

His involvement in the program was invaluable to us and often, we found ourselves learning from him rather than the other way around - check out his online gymnastics specialised program at

As part of his studies, Paul has completed a thesis in which he compared the difference of apparatus (parallel bars vs gymnastic rings), used in the ring dip support hold (holding at the top position of a dip)

Using EMG (electrodes that measure how much electrical activity is happening in a muscle) the aim of the study was to evaluate the difference in muscle activation between the support hold on rings and parallel bars.

The study found an increased activity for the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi and serratus anterior muscles when using the gymnastic rings. The trapezius muscles showed higher muscle activation on the parallel bars potentially due to the more upright position allowed by the use of the parallel bars.

So what does this all mean?

If you want more recruitment of your pectoralis and other humeral adductors when using dips or support holds - we’d suggest using gymnastic rings.

If you haven’t included dips into your program but you are hoping for increased pectoral strength and muscle size - well you better reconsider your exercise selection.



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