In a world where biceps get all the attention, most people are unaware of how significant tricep development is for making the arms look bigger and pushing more weight. Who doesn’t want a big bench press? Triceps make up two-thirds of your upper arm mass, and therefore they demand substantial attention.
Dips are among the premier movements for developing all three heads of the triceps. The best part? You don’t need exceptional upper body strength to perform them. Using a bench is an excellent avenue for building your triceps. However, if you’re without one, fret not. Any similar, stable platform can serve as an alternative, ensuring you can dip safely and effectively.
In this Exercise
- Target Muscle Group: Triceps Brachii
- Type: Strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Bench, weight plates (Optional)
- Difficulty: Beginner
Anatomy of a Bench Dip
A bench dip primarily targets the triceps brachii, a muscle residing at the back of your upper arm. Concurrently, it also involves:
- Anterior Deltoids: Front of the shoulder.
- Pectoralis Major: Chest muscles.
- Rhomboids: Muscles nestled between the shoulder blades.
How to Perform a Bench Dip
Bench dips are straightforward yet profoundly effective. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:
- Begin by sitting on the edge of a sturdy bench or platform.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart beside your hips, with fingers pointing forward.
- Extend your legs out in front, keeping the heels on the ground and toes pointing up.
- Lift your buttocks off the bench, moving slightly forward to clear the edge.
- Lower your body by bending the elbows, ensuring they remain close to your body and create about a 90-degree angle.
- Push through the palms, extending the elbows and using the triceps to raise your body back to the initial position.
- Find a steady bench press and sit on the edge of the middle part of it.
- Place both hands flat on the bench so that your fingers are pointing laterally away from your body.
- Then extend your legs out in front of you.
- Lift your butt off the bench and extend your legs out straight keeping your butt close to the bench.
- Retract your scapula and lean back slightly, then dip to where your upper arm is slightly above parallel.
- Then push your body up by contracting your triceps.
Check the bench dip video below:
Read also: Weighted Bench Dip Guide
Unveiling the Benefits
Improved Upper Body Strength
Integrating bench dips into your routine can elevate the strength of the entire upper body. With the simultaneous engagement of several muscle groups, you’ll experience a synergistic boost in overall strength.
Enhanced Muscle Definition
From an aesthetic standpoint, bench dips can deliver sculpted triceps, offering you those coveted defined arms.
Functional Strength Amplification
Functional strength refers to the kind of strength that aids you in everyday tasks. With bolstered triceps and shoulder muscles, activities involving pushing and pulling become notably more manageable.
Augmented Metabolic Rate
Similar to other resistance exercises, bench dips accelerate your metabolism. This is due to the muscle repair and growth post-workout, which leads to increased calorie burning, even while resting.
Different Variations of Bench Dips
Elevated Bench Dips
Position both your hands and feet on raised platforms. This variant heightens the intensity by further engaging the core.
Single Leg Bench Dips
During the movement, hoist one foot off the ground. This variation offers a balance challenge and recruits more stabilizing muscles.
Weighted Bench Dips
Introduce a weight plate or dumbbell on your lap for added resistance, promoting consistent muscle development.
Safety Tips and Precautions
- Warm-up Appropriately: Always indulge in a 5-10 minute warm-up prior to performing bench dips.
- Elbow Vigilance: Ensure your elbows remain tucked close to your body throughout to prevent undue strain.
- Shield Your Shoulders: Avoid dipping exceedingly low, as it can impose undue stress on the shoulders. Always maintain a controlled trajectory.
- Engage Your Core: A taut core ensures stability, fostering a safe and efficient workout regimen.
When executed with precision and understanding, bench dips can revolutionize your fitness journey. Prioritizing form over sheer repetitions, adopting its various modifications for sustained growth, and always emphasizing safety will guarantee a lasting and beneficial relationship with this potent exercise.