Updated: 2019, Aug 14

Dips Exercise: How to Do Dips the Right Way

Learn how to properly perform a bodyweight dip, a great exercise that really works.
Dips Exercise: How to Do Dips the Right Way
Dips are a bodyweight exercise that develops the triceps and other upper-body muscles. Shutterstock Images

Dips refer to upper-body strength-training exercises whereby you are required to lift loads equivalent to your body weight. Thus, the heavier you are, the more challenging they become.

The best thing about dips is that they can be easily modified in such a way that the lifters won’t find them challenging if incorporated into their workout regimes.

Dips come with many benefits, let alone their ability to help build your strength in several layers of your body muscles at the same time. Their benefits can only be realized if they are conducted in the right way; otherwise, if done, inappropriately can lead to injuries.

Here are some of the benefits[1] you can get from performing dips:

1. Builds Strength

Dips help in building strength by targeting several layers of your upper-body muscle groups. Mostly, they focus on your triceps that happens to be the major muscle located at the back of your arm. This is the same muscle charged with the role of extending your elbow joint.

Additionally, when you are pushing up out of the dips, your upper chest along with anterior delts (at the front of your shoulders) supports by flexing the shoulders.

A few other muscles including levator sculpae, rhomboids, and latissimus dorsi regulate your movement at your scapulas. Thus, all these muscles are worked out to make them firmer and stronger muscles.

Builds Strength

Builds Strength with Dips Exercise. Shutterstock Images

2. Complex Exercise

Dips are complex in that they require movements in several joints. Any complex or compound exercise is beneficial in that it promotes the development of multiple muscle groups at the same time.

As a result, you will be in a position to strengthen and tone several muscle groups by merely engaging in dips.

Additionally, compound exercises ape the regular tasks you carry out every day. This means that strength and coordination improve each time, making these tasks easier to perform regularly.

3. Easy to Modify

With dips, they can easily be modified to make them difficult or easy to perform. Should you find it hard to perform the traditional dips that involve bars, you can switch to the bench dips.

Sit on the edge of a bench while extending your legs out in front of you while placing your heels on top of another bench.

Next, put your hands on the edge of the bench on both sides of your hips in the direction of your feet and then lift your hips forward away from the bench.

You can also make the traditional dip more challenging by fastening a dumbbell between your feet secured with a strap or dipping belt around your waist. Alternatively, you can use a weighted vest.

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4. Reduces Injury Risks

If conducted the right way, dips reduce the risk of injury to joints while at the same time ensuring that your triceps, shoulder, and scapular muscles are effectively developed.

For you to practice dips correctly, start by standing between two dip bars. Get hold of each bar with your hands and push your body up such that your elbows are locked while your feet hang in the air.

Lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows, putting aside your feet to avoid reaching the ground.

Continue moving until your elbows attain a 90-degree angle.

Next, extend your elbows to push your body up again. You can repeat the process a couple of times for every workout session.

To work on your triceps, use narrow dip bars and wider bars for your chest.

Reduces Injury Risks

Reduce Injury Risks by making Dips Exercise. Shutterstock Images

5. Caution

If you experience severe pain or instability in your shoulders, try to avoid dips as they apply more stress on the anterior side of your shoulder capsule.

In reference to the American Council on Exercise, the shoulder capsule may become stretched which can trigger instability.

Additionally, the stress can cause impingement of nerves that are located in the joints.

It is thus advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before you start dips or any other new workout program.

Read Also – 7 Common Myths About Exercise

Conclusion

If you would like to build the strength of your upper-body muscles, you should consider dips as one of the best workout practice.

Dips are a compound exercise[2] that work the majority of your upper muscles without much struggle because you can adjust their difficulty level.

This means you will burn more calories when all these groups of muscles are being worked out.

Additionally, dips ensure that there is an even development of muscles on your shoulders at both the back and on the interior side.

Author

Rachel Straub, MS, CSCS

Rachel Straub, MS, CSCS, is an exercise physiologist, nutritionist, biomechanist, certified strength, and conditioning specialist, and

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