Most people thinks that dips is only about triceps but the truth is dips work more than just your tricep. Chest Dips are a compound (multi-joint) body weight exercise.
It mainly use your own body as the weight for the lift. Chest dips emphasise on the lower pectoral muscles therefore it can be used as an alternative for decline bench.
This exercise can be done utilizing the paralel dip bar, dip machines, or bench dip.
- Raise yourself onto the paralel dip bar with straight arms. Hold on to the bar, put your thumbs around the bar and squeeze them hard.
- Bend your knees allow you to lean forward. Bending your knees places the weight of your feet further behind your body and get you to lean forward to balance. Leaning forward help targeting your chest muscles, and not your triceps. The more your chest is angled forward, the more the chest muscle fibers are activated. You can cross your legs to squeeze your butt for more power.
Keep your head in a straight line. Do not look up or down.
- Lower your body until your shoulders are below your elbows. Your elbows are flared out slightly. You will feel the stretch at your chest. Never go below 90 degree.
Bring your body back up. Pause for a second before going down again.
Do 3-4 sets with 8-12 repetitions each set.
- When you hold on to the bar, squeeze it hard. The more force you apply, the stronger support you have
- The wider the grip, the more emphasis on your chest muscle. The narrower the grip, the more emphasis on your triceps muscle.
- Don’t go too wide. It will put pressure on your shoulder joints and you are risking hurting your shoulder
- Lower yourself and lean towards your torso, about 20-30 degrees. Your shoulder should be around 90 degrees angle.
- Do not pause at the negative position (bottom). Stopping at the bottom will drain your strength and may put your shoulders a high risk for injury.
Here are some videos tutorial that might help you. Note that these videos are not mine. I picked the best video tutorial to help you guys perform the correct movement of a particular training and gain results.
Dips force you to lift your weight. This is often too heavy for someone who is new to weight training. It will take some time for you to be able to do perfect dip. The best way to make it easier is to do one dip daily and losing weight progressively. As you are trimming down your body fat and gaining muscles, you will soon be able to lift your own weight and do perfect dip. And in the meantime, you can use bench dip to perform the dip as an alternative.
For advanced gym-goer, you can put on extra weight using dipping belt that allows addition of weighted plates. Some prefer to use dumbbells and put them in between their legs.
Fitness HQ would recommend first time gym-goer to collect lots of information about weight training by reading books or learning from online materials. Books about strength training can be a lot of help to understand the form and which muscle groups are being worked out by a particular training.
Keep training hard and stay motivated!