A dip is a push-style complex exercise that simultaneously engages many muscles in your arms, shoulders, and chest.

The muscles that you use when executing dips are listed in the following table.

Basic Exercise Data For Dips

By holding onto two parallel bars that are roughly shoulder-width apart, you can perform dips. With your arms extended and bearing the full weight of your body, raise yourself to the starting position. Finally, lower yourself until your elbows are bent and your shoulders are slightly extended.

Variations Of Dips: Chest & Triceps

Dips can help draw attention to your chest muscles, depending on the kind of exercise plan you’re following. You can achieve this by completing chest dips while leaning forward as you dip. Take hold of the parallel bars‘ handles and push yourself back up to the starting position.

Lower yourself to the ultimate position while keeping your hips straight and your elbows close to your torso. It’s important to keep in mind that the ultimate position should only minimally strain your shoulders. Push yourself back up to the starting position while maintaining a forward-leaning posture. The muscles used during chest dips are listed in the table below.

Muscles Worked With Chest Dips

Targeted Muscles: Pectoralis Major

Synergists: Anterior Deltoid Triceps Brachii Pectoralis Minor Rhomboids Levator Scapulae Latissimus Dorsi Teres Major

Stabilizers: Trapezius (lower) 

Dips can also be used to draw attention to your triceps, just as you can use them to accentuate your chest. When doing dips, maintain your body upright at all times to accentuate your triceps. Triceps Dips is the common name for this particular form of dips.

To do Triceps Dips, grasp handles of the parallel bars and push yourself up to the initial position. Lower yourself to the ultimate position while keeping your hips straight and your elbows close to your torso.

Your end position should be just enough to mildly expand your shoulders, like with all dip variations. Push yourself up to the starting position, keeping your body straight at all times.

When completing dips, you can either bend and cross your legs or keep them straight depending on how high you are off the ground. Just remember to keep your body upright the entire exercise, whether you cross your legs or not! The muscles used in triceps dips are listed in the table below.

Muscles Worked With Triceps Dips

Targeted Muscles: Triceps Brachii

Synergists: Anterior Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae Latissimus Dorsi, Stabilizers, Trapezius (lower), Dynamic Stabilizers, Biceps Brachii

More Weight

Dips require resistance, which is given by your bodyweight. But as you get stronger, you’ll probably require more resistance than just your own weight. This issue can be resolved by utilizing a dipping belt to suspend weight plates from your waist.

The Dipping Belt has an end with a support ring and an end with a chain and clasp fastened to a similar ring. You can hang weight plates from your waist using these parts. By putting the dipping belt around your waist and putting the clasp and chain through the ring on the other end of the belt, you can utilize it.

The belt around your waist is tightened by pulling on the chain. The clasp should then be fastened to the ring that the other end of the chain is attached to after the chain and clasp have been passed through one or more weight plates.

You’ll see that the plates‘ weight keeps the belt from slipping off your waist. Now that you are close to the parallel bars, you may gently move there and do several weighted dips.

Less Weight

Some athletes might not have the strength necessary to maintain their own weight on parallel bars just yet. Before the trainee’s strength is sufficient to complete regular dips, bench dips are a terrific approach to get the benefits of completing dips.

By resting your feet on a support of some sort and placing your hands on a bench or a suitable pair of handles, you can perform bench dips. The student is supporting himself by holding onto a set of parallel handles while placing his feet on a bench. Bench dips‘ main benefit is that they substantially reduce the weight of the legs.

Bench dips are done in a manner that is very similar to regular dips, as you can see. Take hold of the two handles or parallel bars and then place your feet on the support to perform bench dips. Raise yourself up until your arms are fully extended, maintaining your legs straight the entire time. Then, stoop till your shoulders are just barely stretched.

Lift yourself up to the starting position while keeping your legs straight, then repeat. Similar to previous dip variations, you can focus your chest by leaning forward or your triceps by maintaining a straight body throughout the workout.

You can adjust the training resistance by placing weight plates on your lap as your strength improves. Your strength will gradually improve to the point where you will be able to perform frequent dips.

A dip machine can be used instead of performing bench dips. With a dip machine, you can select the weight you want to use. As your strength improves, it becomes easier to choose heavier weights. A weight stack, two parallel bars with handles, and a seat make up the Dip Machine.

Before strapping yourself into the seat to use the Dip Machine, you typically select the weight you want to use. After that, while holding the handles, lower the parallel bar. However, as with any other piece of equipment, you must read and follow the Dip Machine’s instructions.

Dips In Your Training

Now that you know how to do different types of dips, let’s look at how to incorporate dips into your workout routine.

A dip is a pushing exercise that primarily targets the chest, triceps, and front shoulders. As a result, combining Dips with pulling exercises that train muscles that work in opposition to the chest, triceps, and front shoulders is a good idea. One option is to combine Dips with Chins or Pulldowns.

Chins and pulldowns primarily target the back, biceps, and back shoulders. Another possibility is to combine Dips with various types of Rows. Here’s an example of a full-body routine that combines Dips and One-Arm Rows.

  • Squat
  • Leg Curl
  • Inclined Bench Press
  • Wide Grip Pulldowns
  • Dips
  • One-Arm Rows
  • Inclined Hammer Curls
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Shrugs
  • Abdominal Crunches

Remember that the Inclined Bench Press also works the chest, triceps, and front shoulders. As a result, after the Inclined Bench Press, Wide Grip Pulldowns, which target the back, biceps, and rear shoulders, are performed.

By structuring the exercises in this manner, the chest, triceps, and front shoulders get a break before being attacked again with dips. Let’s take a look at a shortened version of the aforementioned chin technique.

  • Squat
  • Leg Curl
  • Inclined Bench Press
  • Chins
  • Dips
  • Seated Rows
  • Shrugs

This exercise sequence, as you can see, begins with chins and ends with seated rows. Following the Inclined Bench Press, the front shoulders, triceps, and chest rest.

A popular alternative strategy is to alternate your workouts every other day. Try the following exercises for an all-body workout.

  1. Squat Leg Curl, Bench Press, Chins, Rear Delts, Shrugs, Curls, Triceps Extensions, Calf Raise
  2. Leg Press, Leg Curl, Dips, Rows, Rear Delts, Shrugs, Curls, Triceps Extensions, Calf Raise

In this workout, incline bench presses are alternated with dips and chins with rows. Take note, too, that for these exercises, exercise A is performed on one workout day, exercise B on the next, and so on.

Nonetheless, dividing your workouts into push and pull workouts is a common strategy. On different workout days, this method involves training the muscles that push (chest, triceps, and front shoulders) and pull (back, biceps, and rear shoulders). The following upper-body workouts alternate between push and pull motions.

  1. Bench Press Dips Triceps Extensions
  2. Chins Rows Bicep Curls

Workout A includes the bench press and dips as compound pushing exercises, while Workout B includes the chins and rows as compound pulling exercises. For a little more arm work, triceps extensions and bicep curls are thrown in.

Alternatives To Dips

Although dips are an excellent exercise, they are not suitable for everyone. Dips may cause shoulder pain in a trainee who already has shoulder pathology.

In fact, any exercise that causes more than minor discomfort should be discontinued, and a skilled medical practitioner contacted. If you are unable or unwilling to perform dips, any of the following exercises can be used to train the chest, triceps, and front shoulders.