Level 1 – Ring Dip Progression

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In level 1 we will be working on building up some of your basic dip strength. We’ll be using a set of parallettes. If you don’t have a pair you can use chairs, benches, or something else along those lines. For the purposes of this post I’ll be using the term parallettes even if you are using another apparatus.

We will be using very specific progressions and specific rep ranges. For example, the first workout has 8-12 parallettes dips. If you go over 12 on each set then you will move to the next most difficult progression. Lets say you are doing knees bent dips and that becomes to easy. On the next workout where dips come up you will extend your legs out further or all the way till they are straight.

This sort of ‘micro-progression’ can be referenced below for paralette dips, push ups, and static holds.

Bench or Paralette dip progression Instructions 

Is elevating your feet too difficult? Not to worry. Use any of the progressions below and gradually work your way up to it

  1. Knees bent. Gradually get to the point where your legs are fully extended. Demo.
  2. Straight legs dip with heels on the grond. Demo.
  3. Straight leg dip with heels elevated. Demo.
  4. Straight leg dip with heels elevated + weight on thighs.
Push up progression for standard and close grip – Demo

The following progressions are used for push-ups. Both standard and close grip.

  1. Standing with hands on a tall box
  2. On knees with 2 abmats under your chest.
  3. On knees with 1 abmats under your chest.
  4. On knees with chest touching floor.
  5. On knees with weight on your back.
  6. No knees on the way down. Knees on the way up. Can add abmat if lowering is difficult.
  7. Standard push up
  8. Standard push up + feet elevated
Static dip hold progression

The static dip hold is a isometric exercise intended to build the stabilizing structures that will be used in level 2 where your goal is to get a bodyweight dip. Each of the following progressions you should have your elbows extended and your shoulders pulled back so that are not in-caved. The parallette’s should be set 1 cubit apart – i.e. the distance from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger.

  1. Parallette’s – feet extended straight with heels on the ground.
  2. Parallette’s – feet extended straight with heels on a bench or box.
  3. Parallette’s – tuck sit with 1 foot on the ground. Gradually take weight off the foot until you can support yourself with no ground contact.
  4. Parallette’s – tuck sit
  5. Static dip hold on dip bars
  6. Static dip hold on rings
  7. Static dip hold on rings + weight

Level 1 instructions

  • Current ability: 1-10 parallette dips with feet on the ground. Bent or straight leg.
  • Goal: 8-10 parallette dips with legs on bench. 25lb for women and 45lb on lap for me. Move to level 2 when this is complete.
  • Objective: Strengthening for structures involved in the dip. Primarily focus on triceps and shoulder hypertrophy.
  • How to: 3 workouts a week with at 1-2 rest days between each.
WARMUP3 sets of 8-12 bench dips. If you go over 12 reps move to a more difficult progression. 3 sets of 3-5 close grip push ups. If you go over 5 reps move to a more difficult progression.4 sets 4-7 bench dips at a progression slightly more difficult than day 1.
5-10 minutes practice of strict false grip ring pull ups in hollow rock position. Go as high as possible.
COOLDOWN3 sets of 8-12 standard push ups at most difficult progression3 sets 8-12 of lying dumbbell tricep extensions3 sets 10-20 second static dip holds.
COOLDOWNAccumulate 40 band tricep extensions. Add 5/week while in level 1.Accumulate 40 band tricep extensions. Add 5/week while in level 1.
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