Korean Dips are a powerful dip variation that will really test your shoulder mobility. They are quite a limited variation because there are only a few exercises you can learn off the back of it, but they are still great to mix into your workouts.
Things You Will Need To Do Korean Dips:
Really all you need is a Dipping Bar, but I would also recommend some Liquid Chalk or a Chalk Ball as a general training tool to help with your grip on those (sometimes) slippery bars!
And of course a Training Partner or Spotter ready for your first attempt, just in case.
Pre-Requisites To Korean Dips
As I mentioned Korean Dips will put a lot of stress on your shoulders. There aren’t a lot of exercises that will move your shoulders quite like this, but there is a stretch that will help and of course, German Hangs!
Before you are ready to tackle Korean Dips, make sure you can do these pre-requisites.
German Hangs are a gymnastics hold that make an interesting rep based shoulder shredder!
They are one of my favourite shoulder exercises because they will absolutely destroy them! Did I mention they will also rinse your Core and burn great big holes in your forearms.
Getting good at these will not only make you super strong, but will also help build up your shoulder mobility and stability - two very important things when it comes to your shoulders.
Check out my full article on German Hangs here.
Shoulder Mobility Stretch
When you do Korean Dips your shoulders are forced right back behind you.
It is important to warm up your shoulders before you start them off, but also to consistently work on your shoulder mobility - at least maintaining a good range of motion.
Now, there is a limit because of our anatomy, and I think it’s about the 90 degree mark - So dont over do it or you could hurt yourself.
Using a dipping bar, straighten your arms out and try to squat as low as you can. Don’t step far out from the bar though or you will end up injuring yourself.
As with any stretch or mobility drill, start easy and gradually build up as your muscles stretch and you become more comfortable with the position.
How To Do Korean Dips: Step By Step Instructions
We are all warmed up let's get into these dips.
Step 1 - Grip
So first off get on the bar so you are stable, turning your hands out so you grip the bar with your palms facing forwards.
Keep your hands close to your body, not spread wide, this will help maintaining tension
Step 2 - Negative
Start by slowly sliding your hips off the bar, keeping your feet behind you. Hold on tight so you don’t face plant.
Step 3 - Pause At The Bottom
Pause briefly at the bottom of the rep to make sure you are stable and read to push up.
You should alway pause at the top/bottom of your rep, it kinda counts as an isometric 😉
Step 4 - Push Up
If you thought the previous steps were strange you are in for a real treat. Getting back up onto the bar takes an unusual movement and a bit of trust for the first set.
Drive your hands down hard to lift your body up, but maintain your ‘banana’ posture so that your body goes around the bar and not through it!
Step 5 - Pause At The Top
Dont sit back on the bar, whatever you do.
Finish proud at the top of the rep with your arms locked straight and your shoulders depressing (like a Scapula Dip).
You need to smash out another 9 before you can sit down.
Start with your grip slightly behind the bar, because as soon as you start, your hands will move slightly into the ‘correct’ position, shown below.
The problem is, if you start with your palms on top, your hands may move and you’ll just slip straight off.
That Banana Posture is important, but don’t over do it, especially on the negative.
The more you exaggerate it the further you will be put off balance, and eventually you'll go forwards not up!
Hold On Tight
Korean Dips are a bit of a leap of faith when you first try them, but if you are attempting them you have probably mastered simpler Dip Variations, and hopefully German Hangs too.
The Truth is you’ve just got to hold on tight and refuse to let gravity win!
How To Fit Korean Dips Into Your Workout
If you are smart, you’ll have already downloaded the Bodyweight Foundation Workout, in which case, you have a template for bodyweight training in your hands.
Switch your regular Dips out for these Korean Dips, et voi la.
But in case you havent let me explain:
I recommend Trisets and Supersets, so you would pair up dips (push exercise) with a pull exercise like Pull Ups - this is all explained in the workout guide which you can get below.
If you are like me, and prefer the novelty of multiple exercise variations - its also a better training methodology in my opinion - Then just add it to your Push Exercise arsenal and use it for one of the Sets.
Korean Dip Variations?
Yes Korean Dips are awesome and fun, but there are other variations of Korean Dip you unlock when you master this one:
Both are challenging but attainable and ultimately as rewarding as you make them!
If you put the work in, you get the results.
Also If you haven’t downloaded the Foundation Workout get your hands on it Right Now!
Full Exercise Guide and Warm Up included of course.