What do Dips Workout? Your Guide to Perfect Dips

this is a drwing of a girl doing chair dips

what do dips workout?

Triceps - Chest - Shoulders

When you do a dip you work your chest, shoulders, triceps, upper back, and lower back. You can do dips in the gym on multiple pieces of equipment while at the same time doing dips at home off of your kitchen chair. Also known as tricep dips, this movement is one of the best upper-body strength exercises you can do.

Here is What do Dips Workout? Your Guide to Perfect Dips.

Hey! I am glad you are here to learn about the perfect upper body, body weight workout.

When starting your fitness journey it can be daunting to try different movements that look complex. This is why I broke down the movement step by step for you and dive into the exact muscles that will be working as you do the exercise.

Before you move onto the dips though, I want to share these other top articles that will give you insightful information to make the most of your first months getting fit!

Now that you know what else you can learn from me, let me take you to what you came for. Here is all the info you need to understand dips perfectly.

What do dips workout?

A dip, performed well, can be a great choice for an upper-body strength exercise. Narrow, shoulder-width dips primarily train the triceps, accompanied by the shoulders, chest, and rhomboids making them stronger over time. When done correctly, combined with adequate nutrition, dips can add muscle mass to your upper body. This exercise can also help build your strength for other exercises like benchpresses.

Dips muscles worked

Dips work more than just your triceps.

Your arms bend and straighten to move your body. But they get help from your shoulders, chest and back muscles. And many more muscles work to keep you balanced while your body moves.

This is why Dips are a compound exercise: they work many muscles at the same time. This is also why you can go heavier: more muscles working is more strength.

Muscled worked on while doing  Dips are…

Dips work Arms

Your triceps straightens your arms to move your body up. Your triceps is your largest arm muscle on the back of your upper-arm. The stronger your triceps is, the more muscular it will be and the bigger your arms. Your forearms muscles also work to hold the bars tight.

Dips work Chest & Shoulders

Dips are like a vertical bench press. You’re pushing you body up on Dips like you’re pressing the bar away on the Bench. Your upper-arms are parallel to the floor at the bottom and must get vertical to lockout. This works your chest and shoulder muscles.

Dips work Abs

Your ab muscles keep your lower back neutral while your body moves up and down. They prevent your torso from arching excessively and keep it neutral. This develops the “six pack” muscles running over your belly, your rectus abdominus. They’ll show if you eat right.

Dips work similar muscles as the bench press and Pushup. The difference is you can go heavier on the Bench than Dips, and on Dips than Pushups.

On the Bench you just add plates on the bar. On Dips you can easily add weight using dip belt. Pushups are hard to do weighted. You need an x-vest or chains around your neck or someone has to put a plate on your back. The Bench Press and Dips are much easier to do heavy.

Welcome to the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to the Gym! Triceps edition…

This guide will dive deep into everything you need to know about Dips and how to perform them properly in a gym setting, or even in your own home with minimal equipment.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll never have to wonder “what is a dip, and what do they workout?” When starting to workout in a public place like the gym, it can be intimidating. Especially when you are unsure of what the Best Time To Go To The Gym is… hint, we got your back with that!

“Is everyone staring at me?”

“Am I doing this right?”

We understand. No one wants to feel self conscious. The reality is everyone is just focused on themselves! And so should you!

When it comes to hitting your triceps, “The Dip” is one of the most effective and versatile exercises you can choose. This is a movement that you can confidently make a staple of your workout arsenal.

Benefits of dips

The purpose and intent of the triceps dip exercise is to strengthen the upper body, and increase the range of motion of the body – as a whole.

This particular exercise has been proven to be highly effective in building strength!

Building strength and exercise can not only improve longevity, but it can also have a massive impact on overall wellbeing and mental health.

Studies actually show that exercise is AS effective, if not MORE effective than SSRI’s or other anti depressant medications! This is an amazing piece of research and should encourage anyone who’s currently taking medications.

* Please consult with your doctor before changing any medications, and understand that what’s listed here is not considered medical advice.

Dip Workouts: Variations

There are many exercises that incorporate the dip. Some common ones are:

  • Bench dips

  • Chair dips

  • Weighted dips

  • Bodyweight dips

  • Tricep dip machine

  • Assisted dips

  • Floor dips

  • Parallel bar dips

Dips Form 101

No matter what style of dips you’re doing, performing them using proper form is the key to staying healthy and injury free.

The ideal way to do Dips is with your hands under your shoulders. This keeps your arms close to your body. Wider shoulders thus need a wider grip. This works fine if you have an average build. But it can be an issue for special body-types.

Keep it in mind and follow these guidelines to do Dips with proper form from starting postion…

  • Grip Width: Your hands should be under your shoulders and just outside your hips.

  • Grip: Hold the bars low hand, close to your wrists. Use a full grip and squeeze the bars.

  • Forearms: Keep your forearms vertical from all angles, on the way down and the way up.

  • Elbows: Lock them at the top. Tuck 45° at the bottom. Don’t flare them or touch your torso.

  • Chest: Raise your chest before lowering yourself. Raise your chest between reps at the top.

  • Shoulders: Push them back and down. Don’t let them roll forward. Don’t shrug them either.

  • Head: Keep your head inline with your torso. Don’t look at the ceiling. Look at the floor in front.

  • Torso: You torso must be slightly incline for balance. Lean slightly forward while you lower yourself.

  • Lower Back: Don’t over-arch your lower back. Stay neutral. Straight line from shoulders to knees.

  • Legs: Bend your knees and cross your feet. You can keep your legs straight if you have high bars.

  • Top: Arms straight. Elbows locked. Chest up. Shoulders pushed back and down. Torso slightly incline.

  • Way Down: Raise your chest, take a big breath and bend your arms. Lean slightly forward.

  • Bottom: Break parallel by lowering yourself until your shoulders are below your elbows.

  • Way Up: Rise up by straightening your arms. Don’t look up. Keep your shoulders down.

  • Lockout: Arms straight. Elbows locked. Chest up. Shoulders down. Head neutral.

  • Breathing: Inhale at the top. Hold it on the way down. Exhale at the top again.

What do bench dips workout

Bench dips can strengthen muscles in your triceps, chest, and shoulders. They are considered a excellent compound exercise for that reason.

They’re also simple to scale.

Whether you want to ease some pressure or take on more of a challenge, bench dips are a versatile move to add to your routine.

Simply by making the bench higher to make the movement easier to complete, or raising your feet on a box to make the movement more difficult, anyone and everyone can start doing dips to strengthen their upper body!

What do bar dips workout

Bar dips are very similar to bench dips in that they target the chest, shoulders and triceps muscles together.

One benefit of using bars is that they are easier to scale up to make more difficult. I wouldn’t consider this exercise to be beginner in nature, but can be scaled as well.

When the bars are raised high enough that your feet come off the ground, this turns the dip into a more advanced movement.

The need to control your body as you dip is critical to maintain proper form, which is key to staying health, strong and injury free.

As you become more advanced you can actually target muscles more specifically depending on how much you lean your body forward, or keep you body upright.

By leaning forward when completing a dip, you actually target your chest muscles much more than your triceps. And by keeping your torso upright, you make the triceps the major movers in this exercise.

What do chair dips workout

Seated dips unlike bar dips are more of a beginner exercise.

By giving you the ability to rest your feet on the ground, you don’t have to bear your full body weight on your arms if you haven’t developed the strength to do so.

The further you rest your feet away from your body, the more difficult it is to complete the movement, and can be a good way to scale up the exercise as you get stronger.

To execute this movement, hold your body weight up with your arms extended and feet hovering over, or sitting on the floor. Lower your body until your elbows reach a 90-degree angle before returning to your starting position.

It is that easy!

What do close grip dips workout

Close grip dips, are best performed with the hands at shoulder width. This combined with a fairly upright posture will mainly target the triceps with the chest and shoulders being used as a secondary mover.

How to do dips at home

Maybe you’re a hard charging executive, or a busy stay at home mom, it can be hard to find time to get to the gym. Sometimes working out at home can be just the thing to help make getting fit, a part of your daily habit!

High impact habits, or habits that make the biggest impact on lifestyle change are often the least difficult to complete. As long as your are able to stay consistent with them, the benefit you receive adds up quickly!

There are many objects around the house you can perform dips on, but the most common object that can be found in most homes, is the folding chair!

Folding Chair

Not only are folding chairs great for helping maximize storage, they’re also perfect for at-home workouts.

Set your chair in an open room on a sturdy surface and use it for tricep dips, inclining push-ups and declining push-ups.

These exercises engage your arm and back muscles.

How to do a seated dip

Move your torso forward off the chair with your arms extended.

Your buttocks should hover over the floor and your knees should be slightly bent.

Your heels should touch the floor a few inches in front of your knees.

Breathe in as you slowly lower your body, hinging at the elbows until each forms a 90-degree angle.

What do dips workout: your upper body!

I hope this breakdown of what dips workout and the multiple ways to do them has helped you feel more comfortable in your fitness journey. This simple movement is a perfect chest and tricep workout plus more!

Now that you can add a few different types of dips into your workout, you should head over to our post on how many exercises you should do during your workout for optimal success.

If you are at the absolute beginning stages of your fitness journey for physical health and mental health happiness then this guide on how long it takes to get in shape is an essential read.

Out of all the different types of dips above, what one do you use most?

Let us know in the comments!

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