Traditional Dips Provide Powerful Results…

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chfitnessdipsPush-ups still rank at the top for developing a powerful chest, triceps and total upper body strength.

Dips…another compound, body-weight exercise comes in a close second and if you’ve been avoiding them because they’re hard, it’s time to focus on the benefits of these old-school, simple but amazingly effective and demanding exercises.

There are many varieties of dips and how we choose to perform them will depend on our strength levels, conditioning and what we have available to us in our surroundings that allow us to perform our dips on.

Parallel Bar Dips

Using a completely different range of motion than push-ups, Parallel Bar Dips are one of the best exercises you can perform to build the chest, triceps and shoulders. You can easily adjust which muscles you are working on the most by shifting your body position. For example, if you are focused on building your chest at the moment, then simply lean forward when performing the parallel bar dip in order to activate the chest muscles more.

This traditional dip requires the most starting strength and is a great way to begin training and most gyms offer a Dip station that you can use. It’s best to avoid doing dips on rings or between benches as you can damage and hurt your shoulders. Best to use parallel bars for this power-house exercise.

With your hands on two bars/handles, dip your entire body and press it back up using your upper body power.

This type of dip uses standard equipment in the gym. You simply start with your body-weight and add a chain you can clip around your waist in order to add weight so you are able to continue to build strength.

Staggered Dip

Similar to the traditional classic dip, this dip requires you to place on hand in front of the other while on separate parallel bars. This targets the upper-body muscles from numerous angles and can be adjusted by repositioning the hands and arms.

Chair Dips

chair dip

Putting your hands on a chair behind your back while your legs are extended and heels resting on a second chair (your body should be roughly “L” shaped). This offers a much easier dip version for those who find full dips too difficult. Most of the bodyweight has been removed.

There’s no rigid rule that insists you add weight to a dip. You can always build endurance by performing high-rep body-weight dips.

However, adding weights is an option and if you are really serious about your dips, experiment adding weight at some point.

Without a doubt, pull-ups remain the ultimate upper-body measure of pulling strength but performing a few deep dips especially with added weight can be just as impressive.

Dips are a key component in building true upper-body pushing power however like all body-weight exercises can cause damage if not preformed correctly (never tuck elbows or bounce in the bottom position) or preformed too often.

Moderation and form are the keywords here in order to perform optimally and effectively and to avoid developing any shoulder or chest pain.

Dips in 5 Easy Steps:

Get Ready: Jump up and grab the parallel bars; lock elbows and balance yourself

Dip: Bend arms and lower body while leaning your torso slightly forward

Break Parallel: Dip down until shoulders are below your elbows at the bottom

Rise Up: Raise your body back up to the starting point by straightening your arms

Lockout: With your shoulders over your hands, balance yourself with your elbows locked

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