How to Do A Perfect Triceps Dip—And Challenge Yourself
Tricep dips are for everybody, as in every body on the planet. And you can literally do them anywhere, with proper form. No machines or weights necessary. And in this article, we’ll tell you all about this muscle and the myriad ways to work it until you are hip to everything tricep dip.
Triceps are the large muscles at the back of the upper arm. We use them all the time, but, man, can they be tricky to tone. That said, it’s still necessary to strengthen them because they have very important jobs to do. Our tricep muscles allow our forearms to extend and retract. They also stabilize our shoulder joints, and because our shoulders move up, down, sideways, and around, they are, by themselves unstable. But our triceps are always there, making sure everything works out okay. It could be said that the triceps muscle is the shoulder joint’s wingman.
So let’s get into proper form and dip them to maximum durability.
What Do Dips Do?
Tricep dips, of course, work your triceps, but they also tone your entire upper body AND strengthen your core. Score!
Tri It, You'll Like It
Because you have so many options when it comes to tricep dips, the regular dip, chair dip, elevated standard dip, you’re bound to find one that suits you. Just look around, people are doing them everywhere on repeat. At the gym, in the park, on a bus bench, at the beach, on the floor… You don’t need any props like weight plates or dumbbells because it’s an incredible bodyweight exercise, but sometimes it’s nice to use a little gear to mix things up. So check out the suggestions below if you want to know how to do tricep dips to dip any day, any way.
Tricep Bench Dips
Every good tricep bench dip (or chair dip) has a prerequisite start position: a stable surface like a chair or the weight bench in your gym. (The one you’d typically use for a bench press.) Place yourself in a straight arm position with your hands on the bench and face away from it, then lower your torso to a sitting position on the ground, creating a lap with your lower body, with palms down, fingers curled, and knuckles facing forward. Slide your legs forward (either bent or in a straight line, depending on your ability) with your feet hip-width apart, resting on your heels, and get ready to lower your body with your hips squared. Take care that you are always using proper form by keeping your chest high and open, making sure to avoid rounding the front of your shoulders or hunching forward with each movement. Keep your elbows tucked directly behind your shoulder blades to protect your joints and ensure that your upper arms and triceps are doing the brunt of the work.
There are simply so many ways to do a tricep dip, you’ll never get bored. From beginners to vets, the infographic below shows you all the places you can go with this move. Weights or not, bench or not, on the floor or in the air with parallel bars. The variations on the tricep dip are beyond compare. Adding weight plates for elevation, keeping your hips high for extra challenge, or supporting yourself using just your hands and arms, without any help from your lower body, are more advanced moves. But those moves are nothing you can’t work up to, especially if you have a great coach or personal trainer pushing you to your edge. The popular chair dip is just the tip of the iceberg.
No matter which dip you do, it’s a great exercise, and the rules for safety pretty much remain the same from the regular dip on up. Your starting position will almost always include your hands on a stable, dry surface with straight arms in parallel straight lines. Then, depending on the exercise, keep your feet hip-width apart, chin up, chest out, and elbows straight back behind your shoulder blades. Knees above ankles at the top of the rep (not hyperextended over the ankles.) Torso square, pelvis tucked, and core tight to protect your back.
Do any of the below for 10-15 repetitions depending on your fitness level!