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How do you call an exercise that consists in holding the dip bars with the arms straight (during the whole exercise) and contracting the abs? What is it good for?

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    It's not good for much. Jun 26 '17 at 19:16
  • Are you just contracting the abs, or are you doing something the rest of the body? Jun 26 '17 at 20:57
  • It's mainly about the abs. But I imagine you could move the head down and the legs up (keeping the arms vertically straight). Jun 26 '17 at 21:01
  • @JardyKathwitz: Any chance you could come back and weigh in on the current answer? Jul 28 '17 at 14:58
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The L-Sit and V-Sit fit your bill, they can be done on dip bars (as well as on the floor), arms are straight, and they involve a whole lot of contracting your abs. Maybe that's what you're looking for ?

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If you're just engaging the abs, that's "bracing".

Abdominal bracing is the second way to strengthen your stomach with simple tightening maneuvers. To do the move, imagine preparing your stomach muscles for a punch in the gut. You’d automatically contract and stiffen your midrift to brace for the jolt, right? That’s abdominal bracing, which is a key component of plank and its many variations, as well as push-ups. Abdominal bracing activates all three layers of the entire abdominal wall, causing them to bind together. It works both the deep and superficial muscles.

More likely, given you're using the bars, is that you're doing "hollow body", which is the same technique, except you're bringing your head and legs in as well, and sort of "sucking in" the gut. This is more useful, because it promotes a whole-body movement and static strength, and can be done in a larger variety of positions. You can see a video of this being done on the parallel bars here which sounds like what you're describing.

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