The best way to Do the Chest Dip: Kind, Muscular tissues Labored, and Options


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The chest dip is an upper-body train that entails decreasing your physique between two “dip bars” and urgent your self upward once more.

It trains your whole upper-body pushing muscle tissue to a excessive diploma and permits you to raise heavy weights safely, which suggests it’s splendid for gaining muscle and energy.

That stated, many individuals keep away from the chest dip as a result of they’ve heard dip workouts are unhealthy for his or her shoulders. 

So long as you carry out the chest dip with correct kind, shoulder points shouldn’t be a trouble. The truth is, many individuals discover that the impartial grip that you just use within the dip is kinder to their shoulders than urgent with a barbell.

On this article, you’ll be taught what the chest dip is, its advantages, which muscle tissue it really works, learn how to do a chest dip with correct kind, the perfect chest dip exercise and chest dip options, and extra.

What Is a Chest Dip?

The chest dip (sometimes called the parallel-bar dip, straight-bar dip, or often simply the dip) is an upper-body train that entails holding two horizontal bars, supporting your physique weight in your arms, decreasing your physique between the bars by bending on the elbow, then urgent your self upward till your arms are straight.

You possibly can carry out the chest dip utilizing any parallel bars, supplied they’re robust sufficient to help your physique weight and excessive sufficient to can help you “dip” between them with out touching your ft on the ground. Nevertheless, most individuals want to make use of a dip bar station—a sturdy metallic body with parallel bars so you may carry out the dip, a pull-up bar for pull-ups, and armrests and a again pad to do the captain’s chair leg elevate. 

Chest Dip vs. Triceps Dip

The chest dip and triceps dip are nearly an identical dip workouts. The one distinction is the way you tilt your higher physique and flare your elbows.

Within the chest dip, you lean barely ahead and permit your elbows to flare at a 30-to-60-degree angle relative to your torso, which emphasizes your pecs marginally greater than your triceps.

Within the triceps dip, you retain your torso upright and elbows near your sides, which trains your triceps barely greater than your pecs.

Many declare these minor variations make the workouts distinct and separate, however I disagree; each variations prepare the identical muscle to an identical diploma. The first purpose to do one over the opposite is consolation. 

For instance, some folks discover leaning ahead in the course of the dip causes ache of their sternum. If that is so for you, you’re most likely higher suited to the triceps dip.

Different folks discover staying upright mauls their shoulders. For those who expertise this in the course of the triceps dip, the chest dip might be extra becoming.

Due to this fact, as an alternative of considering by way of chest vs. triceps dip, it’s higher to assume by way of chest or triceps dip, relying in your preferences and circumstances. 

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Chest Dip: Advantages

1. It trains a number of main (and plenty of minor) muscle teams.

Research present that the chest dip trains your whole higher physique “pushing” muscle tissue, together with the sternocostal (“decrease”) and clavicular (“higher”) heads of the pecs; the lateral, medial, and lengthy head of the triceps; and the shoulders, significantly the anterior (entrance) delt.

In contrast to most compound chest workouts, the dip can also be a closed-kinetic-chain train—an train the place your palms or ft are fastened on a stationary object. Within the case of the dip, your palms are fastened to the bars, whereas within the bench press, for instance, a bench helps your again so you may transfer your palms and ft freely.

One of many advantages of closed-kinetic-chain workouts is that they require extra stability and stability than open-chain-kinetic workouts, which suggests they prepare “stabilizer” muscle tissue throughout your whole physique to a better diploma. 

2. It’s extremely scalable.

It takes quite a lot of energy to decrease your whole physique weight between two bars and press your self again up once more, which is why the complete body weight chest dip isn’t at all times the perfect place to begin for newbie weightlifters. 

Luckily, there are workouts you may carry out, such because the bench dip, machine chest dip, and assisted chest dip, that aid you construct the energy it’s good to progress to the common dip.

Upon getting the energy to do a number of reps (often 10-to-15) of the body weight dip with out resting, you too can make the train tougher by snatching a dumbbell between your thighs or strapping a weight plate round your waist utilizing a dip belt (often known as the weighted chest dip).

In different phrases, the chest dip is very scalable. That’s, no matter how robust you might be, there’s a chest dip different that’ll fit your expertise and energy stage and problem you to get stronger over time.

3. It might be simpler in your shoulders.

In contrast to many different compound urgent workouts, such because the bench press and incline bench press, the dip entails a impartial (palms dealing with one another) grip. Utilizing a impartial grip retains your forearms and higher arms aligned, which locations much less stress in your shoulders.

This makes it splendid for people who find themselves coaching round a shoulder damage or who discover barbell urgent workouts uncomfortable.

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Chest Dip: Muscular tissues Labored

The primary muscle tissue labored by the chest dip are the pecs, triceps, and anterior deltoids.

Right here’s how these muscle tissue look in your physique:

Close-grip Bench Press Muscles (Anatomy)

Chest Dip: Kind

One of the best ways to be taught learn how to do a chest dip is to separate the train into three components: arrange, dip, and ascend.

Dip before after

1. Set Up

Seize each handles of a dip bar station, then press your self upward by straightening your arms and gently leaping off the bottom in order that your arms are straight and supporting your whole physique weight along with your palms beneath your shoulders.

With out bending your elbows, tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them collectively. A superb cue for that is to think about transferring your shoulders towards the ground, away out of your ears, and pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades.

Lean ahead barely, then bend your knees and cross your ft over one another behind you when you discover it extra snug. 

2. Dip

Decrease your physique by bending your elbows, permitting your elbows to flare about 6-to-8 inches out of your sides, till your arms are at a 90-degree angle.

Don’t roll your shoulders ahead or permit your shoulder blades to shift aside or upward.

3. Ascend

Press upward and return to the beginning place. This can be a mirror picture of what you probably did in the course of the dip.

Don’t permit your shoulders to “shrug” or attempt to straighten your arms slowly. Your complete “ascension” ought to be managed however solely take a few second.

Right here’s the way it ought to look if you put all of it collectively:

Dip gif

The Finest Chest Dip Options

1. Bench Dip

Bench Dip

The bench dip entails decreasing your physique over the facet of a bench till your arms are at a 90-degree angle and urgent your self again up once more.

For those who’re fully new to weightlifting and may’t carry out a single chest dip with good kind, the bench dip helps you strengthen the muscle it’s good to carry out the common dip with correct kind.

That stated, the bench dip could be harmful on your shoulders when you carry out it incorrectly. To keep away from this, hold your shoulder blades again and down all through every rep and by no means let your shoulders roll ahead on the backside of every rep. 

When the common bench dip turns into too simple, some folks additionally like to put weight plates of their lap and carry out a weighted bench dip. Nevertheless, I don’t suggest this as a result of it’s troublesome to arrange and unload, and in case your kind isn’t excellent, it could improve your danger of shoulder damage.

2. Machine Chest Dip

Machine Chest Dip

The machine chest dip is a chest dip different that makes use of a chest dip machine to imitate the motion of the dip train with out your physique leaving the ground. You need to use the machine chest dip for chest, triceps, and shoulder coaching, so that you just construct the energy it’s good to carry out the common chest dip. 

Machine workouts are barely much less efficient than free-weight workouts for gaining muscle and energy, although, which suggests any energy you construct on the machine chest dip most likely gained’t translate to the body weight model completely.

3. Assisted Chest Dip

Assisted Chest Dip

The assisted chest dip is a chest dip train involving an assisted chest dip machine. An assisted chest dip machine helps a few of your physique weight as you carry out the chest dip, successfully making your physique lighter and the train simpler to carry out.

The advantages of the assisted chest dip are that it permits you to prepare the chest dip by means of a full vary of movement even if you don’t have the energy to carry out it along with your physique weight, serving to you develop the energy it’s good to carry out the train unaided.

4. Weighted Chest Dip

Weighted Chest Dip

Within the weighted chest dip, you snatch a dumbbell between your thighs or strap a weight round your waist. This lets you progressively overload the chest dip when the body weight chest dip turns into too simple.

5. Ring Dip

Ring Dip

Ring dips are chest dips utilizing gymnastic rings as an alternative of a dip bar station. Ring dips are tougher than common body weight chest dips as a result of rings are unstable, which suggests your muscle tissue must work tougher to stabilize your physique. This makes them a viable dip different as soon as common body weight chest dips develop into too simple.

The energy of the ring dip is its greatest disadvantage, although. That’s, its inherent instability means it’s troublesome so as to add further weight to the train over time, which limits its muscle- and strength-building potential. 

The Finest Chest Dip Exercise

If you wish to maximize muscle progress, analysis reveals that it’s finest to coach your muscle tissue in numerous methods, from totally different instructions, and at totally different angles. 

To perform this, embody different chest workouts in your chest dip exercise, like this:

Bench Press: 3 units of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation*

Chest Dip: 3 units of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation

Triceps Pushdown: 3 units of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min relaxation

* It’s splendid to bench press first because it’s probably the most technically difficult and fatiguing. 

FAQ #1: Are dips higher than push-ups?

It relies upon.

The dip and push-up are each efficient workouts that prepare the identical muscle tissue. The primary advantages of the dip are that it trains your muscle tissue by means of a longer vary of movement and in a extra stretched place, and it permits you to add further weight simply, each of that are essential for gaining muscle and energy.

However, the push-up is simple to be taught and could be carried out anyplace with out gymnasium gear, making it splendid for folks new to weightlifting or who don’t have entry to a gymnasium.

FAQ #2: Is there a distinction between the common chest dip and the decrease chest dip?


Some folks say that you could emphasize the decrease a part of your chest by staying barely extra upright and exaggerating your elbow flare within the chest dip. This isn’t based mostly on any scientific proof, although, and will put your shoulders in a compromised place, so I don’t suggest you strive it.

FAQ #3: What’s the finest dip bar station for a house gymnasium?

In case your finances and exercise area allow, a “energy tower” is an effective choice as a result of it’ll can help you carry out a number of workouts, together with the chest dip, triceps dip, chin-up, pull-up, and captain’s chair leg elevate. 

The Weider Energy Tower is easy, sturdy, and robust (it could maintain as much as 300 kilos), which makes it splendid for any house gymnasium.

If you have already got an influence rack, you could want to get a dip bar attachment, which is a dip bar that attaches to one of many upright posts in your energy rack.

For those who determine to get a dip bar attachment, be sure you select one which’s suitable along with your rack.

+ Scientific References


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