5. Chest and Triceps dips
The fifth place in my body Weight list goes to the Chest and Triceps dips. It is, once more, a basic exercise and also a "selective" one, as it actually sets people apart. Those who can do them and those who cannot. In general the males are better at it as it requires more upper body strength.
It is one of these exercises that people who are serious about lifting will include in their upper body routine. As a matter of fact Lu Xiajun the -77kg Olympic lifting champion and world record snatch holder, dips with 75kg weight attached to his waist.
As a personal trainer, I have often seen guys who are serious about "upper" body muscles excel at dips.
That reference to "upper" body muscles is simply because, the majority of them have a highly developed upper body and an "average"lower body.
On the other end of the spectrum you will find the "lifters", body builders, crossfitters and people who are interested in calisthenics. These groups of athlete will see the dip as a major exercise as it is will benefit them in many ways.
The female population have more kind of a hate/love relationship with the dip. It is a hard exercise but at the same time a "pivotal" one. Most of the females focus on the same body part and triceps, rank high on the list of muscle to work hard.
Being a challenging exercise, to manage to dip is a source of pride for both genders.
The difference between a chest and a triceps dip:
There is no major difference, all lies in the body inclination.
The Chest Dip:
Just lean your body forward while dipping.
The chest muscles (pectoral is Major), as well as the arms, shoulders and back muscles are involved in the chest dips.
It is to say that it is a complete upper body workout!
The Triceps Dip:
Keep your body straight at all times while performing the dips.
This modality of Dip solely work the triceps muscles, hence it is referred as "Triceps dip".
How to perform a Dip:
1. Starting position:
You will grasp two bars which will be approximately shoulder width apart. You will have your arms contracted with your elbows locked, chest up, lower back straight (neutral spine), head neutral (facing forward). The rest of your body will be tight, contracted with your core engaged. Your feet are not touching the ground.
2. Finishing position:
You will bend your arms and slowly lower yourself to the final position where your elbows are bent and your shoulders mildly stretched. The posture described in point 1 has to be respected at all time.
Dips for Beginners:
Instead of two bars you will have your hands, shoulder width apart on a bench, a chair or a step
1. Sit and Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench.
2. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Difficulty level 1: You will have your legs bent to start with.
- Difficulty level 2: You can keep your legs straight, if you are strong enough.
- Difficulty level 3: You can put your feet on top of a step or a chair.
3. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Off you go, up and down.
Dips variation for advanced athletes:
You can perform the dips as explained above, nevertheless you can make it harder by hanging some weights at your waist or having using two benches, one to support your feet, the other your arms, and you can add weight on your middle section while you dip.
Benefits of the dips and functionality:
The dip is an important day to day exercise, we actually don't realize how much we use it till we struggle getting off bed or our chairs!
Yes we dip first thing in the morning and pretty much every time we sit down...
Apart from aesthetic purposes, the dips is a good alternative to push ups or chest press if you add weight.
The dip can substitute the chest press but also complements it, as stronger shoulders, back and triceps will increase your "push" strength while bench pressing.
The dip is free, versatile and all gender and age friendly:
You can dip anywhere even without equipment at all, depending on your level of fitness you will chose one of the options described above.
Give it a go and share this post with your friends!