Main Muscle Worked: Triceps
Equipment: Body Only
What are Tricep Dips?
The triceps dip is a great bodyweight exercise that builds arm and shoulder strength. This simple and easy exercise can be done almost anywhere and has many variations to match your fitness level. You can use it as part of an upper body strength workout.
Dips are one of the most effective exercises for working your triceps muscles, (the muscles in the back of your arms.) Sometimes, we’re so focused on working the “show” muscles such as the muscles in the front of the body, like the biceps, that we neglect the opposite muscles, such as the triceps. Yet, we should always aim for a balanced upper body workout. As much focus as we give to the biceps, we should also give to the triceps. It’s all about balancing our workouts right.
Muscles Worked in Tricep Dips
primary: triceps brachii
secondary: anterior deltoids, rhomboids, pectoralis major and pectoralis minor
Benefits of Tricep Dips
Superior to Push Ups
The push up is an amazing bodyweight exercise. However, you are able to lift your entire bodyweight with dips (and then more, if you add weight through a weight vest). You only lift a fraction of your bodyweight with push ups. And while it’s possible to do weighted push ups, it’s not always practical.
Improve Your Lockout Strength
A dip repetition isn’t complete until your elbows lockout. Sometimes the final few inches are the most difficult part of the range of motion. Through doing dips you improve lockout strength significantly. This strength transfers directly to the lockout phase of related exercises like the overhead press and the bench press.
Tones your whole arms
The muscles that run on the backside of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow, triceps dips are one way to easily tone your arms. A basic body-weight exercise, tricep dips don’t require much equipment: if you don’t have a bench, you can always do them on the ground or on some stairs.
How to do Tricep Dips
1. Sit on the edge of the chair or bench and grip the edge next to your hips. Your fingers should be pointed at your feet. Your legs are extended and your feet should be about hip-width apart with the heels touching the ground. Look straight ahead with your chin up.
- 2. Press into your palms to lift your body and slide forward just far enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair or bench.
- 3. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees.
- 4. Slowly push yourself back up to the start position and repeat. Control the movement throughout the range of motion.
Repeat for desired reps
If you need a bench which can be flat and in an incline or decline postion one can be purchased here: Benches
Mistakes commonly made in the Tricep Dip
If you lean forward when dips, you will actually be exercising your chest instead of your triceps.
You should keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. You need to maintain a straight line of your neck throughout the entiremovement.
Locking out Elbows
You should not lock your elbows out at the top of the tricep dip, instead keep them slightly bent as it maintains tension on the triceps and continues to work them.
Safety when performing Tricep Dips
Tricep dips can stress the elbows and shoulders when performed, so if you have any current or had joint pain in the past, you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see if this exercise is appropriate for you. Though If you have any shoulder problems, you may want to avoid the tricep dip completely.
Variations of Tricep Dips
Weighted Tricep Dips
Advanced lifters can add weight to the exercise by using a weight belt that allows the addition of weighted plates or alternatively a weighted vest, it can be done with the variation above or below.
- 1. Carefully secure a weight belt around your hips.
- 2. Step up to a dip bar and position your hands on the bar with an overhand grip.
- 3. Begin the exercise by bending at the elbows and slowly lowering yourself.
- 4. Push yourself up and into the air until your arms are straight. Tighten the core to control stability.
- 5. Lower yourself back down
Repeat for desired reps.
Bent knee tricep dips
You can also do the dips with bent knees for the easiest variation.
- 1. Sit on the side of a bench and place your hands on the edge of the bench, by your hips.
- 2. Move your feet forward a little and slide your bottom off the bench so that your body weight is supported by your arms and your knees are bent at 90-degree angles.
- 3. Keeping your torso upright and your elbows close to your body, inhale as you lower your body by flexing your elbows.
- 4. Exhale as you raise your body by extending your elbows.
Repeat for desired reps.
Write below in the comments your opinion on the tricep dip, if it works for you and any questions you might have.