Dips are a compound exercise that mainly trains your chest and triceps, as a valuable addition to your presses. Read on for ten useful dipping tips.
1. TRICEPS- VERSUS CHESTDIPS
There are subtle differences in the performance so that you target your triceps or your chest the most. Perform triceps dips with a shoulder-width (narrow) grip and with your body as upright as possible (but still leaning slightly forward). With chest dips you use a slightly wider grip and lean more forward, i.e. at an angle of approximately 45 degrees compared to parallel.
For the chest, the most strict (and effective) version is the so-called hinge position (which coach Vince Gironda also advocated), or keeping your feet in front of you.
In short, the correct version for the triceps:
And for the chest:
2. LOCK YOUR ELBOWS
Lock your elbows before lowering. So dip with straight arms. Starting your dips with bent elbows doesn’t count because of the shorter range of motion, just like squatting with half reps doesn’t count.
3. EXPERIMENT WITH THE DEPTH
In principle, the deeper you dip, the greater the stimulus. However, don’t dip deeper than feels good for your joints. In most cases, the shoulder ends up just slightly below the elbow. So you dip at least slightly further than parallel.
4. EXPERIMENT WITH THE GRIP WIDTH
For optimal shoulder and elbow comfort, experiment with your grip width. Try different grip widths to find what feels best for you.
5. KEEP YOUR HEAD NEUTRAL
Don’t look at the ceiling or your neck will hurt and your shoulders will come forward. Your head should remain in line with your torso.
6. KEEP YOUR SHOULDERS DOWN
Try to keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
7. USE CORRECT BREATHING
Breathe in at the top of the exercise, just before you start dipping. Lift your chest and take a deep breath, hold it and go down. Hold your breath on the way down and at the bottom. Come back up, lift your chest and exhale. Repeat.
8. TAKE IT EASY
Lowering yourself slowly and even pausing at the bottom can make the exercise both safer and more effective. So take it nice and easy, with an eccentric (lowering) phase of two to three seconds:
9. ADD WEIGHT
Ideally, you do dips in the range of 10 to 20 repetitions. That means you may need to add weight because your body weight isn’t enough. The easiest way to do weighted dips is to use a dip band. This is a belt that you put around your waist. There is a chain that goes into the holes of the plates that you place on the rod. The plates hang from that chain and belt between your legs while you do dips.
10. START WITH A DIPPING MACHINE
Do you lack the strength to do at least a few repetitions? Then use a dipping machine, which most gyms have. The machine helps you on your way up by raising the knee pads. Counterweight is used for this. The higher the weight you place on the machine, the more help you get on the way up to complete your dips.