Are Dips Good For Triceps ?

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Last updated on September 5, 2022

Are you looking to build your upper body strength most effectively? Triceps make up the majority of your arms muscles with their three heads. If you’re particularly looking to work these muscles, pressing exercises like the triceps dips should be part of your workout routine. This article will explore how to perform tricep dips correctly, what variations you can try, and what actions should be avoided for a perfect dip.


Dips are good for building triceps. They are considered one of the best ways to build strength and can activate the triceps area for muscle growth. Even if you’re new to strength training and building muscle, you can do dips with variations to develop muscles and increase strength.


Triceps are large muscles at the back of your arm. These can’t be ignored when you’re focused on building upper body and arm strength. Doing regular dips can help you gain lean muscle mass and strength in your triceps.


Since this is a bodyweight exercise, you don’t even need fancy gym equipment to do them. You can even do them at home, and this is a great exercise move for people who are new to strength training. Let’s look at how you can build out those triceps by adding dips to your workout routine.

How Are Tricep Dips Beneficial For You?


Let’s explore further evidence why introducing triceps dips as a staple move in your training sessions is essential and how triceps can benefit your body overall.


Dips Lessen The Risk of Injury


Dips can activate the muscles in your elbows and shoulder joints. It makes them stronger and more stable. If you have a strong body, you will be less prone to injuries and have a resilient response to them.


Dips are also great for stabilizing your core and strengthening it. This added strength allows you to maintain a better balance. For example, you are less likely to stumble on a sidewalk, lose balance, and fall.


Dips Make Your Body More Stable


Stability is just as crucial for your daily life as it is during exercising. Since dips add strength to your triceps, core, and knees, you will see how you can perform daily tasks like throwing a ball or walking down the street with more stability and balance than before.


Dips Improve Metabolism


Dips target your triceps and help you build more lean muscle mass. Research proves that having more muscle mass results in a faster metabolic rate. A faster metabolic rate means you will accumulate less fat and look leaner. You also lose excess fat as a result of building more muscle mass.


How to Perform the Triceps Dip Properly


Like any other exercise, a perfect form will get you the most gains from the session and ensure you don’t sustain any injuries along the way. Let’s look at the steps involved in performing a proper triceps dip:

Step 1

Sit down on the border of the weight bench, step, or stable chair, keeping your feet hip-width apart.


Step 2

Hold the corners next to your hips. Ensure your fingers are pointed towards your feet and heels touching the ground. Keep your chin telling ahead.


Step 3

Boost up your body by pressing into your palms; also, make sure you move forward a little so that your back isn’t touching the corner of the chair.


Step 4

Bend down till your elbows are set at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees.


Step 5

Now slowly, force yourself back until your arms are straight and in the original position.

Triceps Dips Variation for Easier or More Challenging Workouts

There are different variations of dips that you can try to keep things interesting and ensure your triceps are challenged at every session. You can also play with these variations and their intensity based on your fitness levels.


Decreased Range of Movement for Newbies


If you are new to working out and want to put in minimum effort, don’t get your hips to go too low during a dip. Keep increasing the range of movement as you feel you’re getting a good grip on your workout and becoming stronger. After some time, you will gain enough upper body strength to perform a full chair dip.


Bend Knees Triceps Dips


This change is for those who want to go slow and easier. This dip is not as complicated as the full triceps dip. It includes twisting the knees set against the legs during the workout. This variation relies more on the legs for support. Consequently, shoulder joints gain less stress.


Two Chairs Triceps Dips

If you want to improve your workout, you can increase the strength of triceps dips with two chairs or go for two strong benches. One chair or bench will support the body’s upper portion, and the other will support the lower part. In this case, you will be moving more weight.

Here is how you can perform this variation:


  1. Fix the chairs so that they face each other at a distance of 3 feet.
  2. Be seated on the corner of one chair and hold the border using your hands.
  3. Set your heels on the other chair’s corner and grip yourself up with your triceps.
  4. Move forward so your back does not touch the chair’s corner, then bend yourself till your elbows are curved in the middle of 45 to 90 degrees.
  5. Again, push yourself to the start position, then repeat. Don’t go too fast, be slow and control the motion during the range of movement.


You can make the triceps dips tougher by crossing one ankle above the contrary knee during dipping.


Triceps Dips Using Bars or Rings


Dips using rings or bars are the strongest version of dips. You will have to lift your whole body without any support except your arms to perform this variation successfully.

To grip rings or bars, use an overhand hold with straight arms. Compress your core, taking your entire body weight onto the arms with bent knees so your feet are off the surface.

  1. Slowly lower yourself with bent elbows. Initially, lower yourself for only 2 seconds.
  2. Stay still for two seconds in the lower position.
  3. Press upper back
  4. In the end, to stand up, just straighten your legs.

If you want to experience a more intense dip using bars, then do this dip on parallel bars using a weight joined to a weight belt.

You maybe also interested in the best tricep exercises for men and women.


What Do You Need to Avoid During Dips?


Make sure you don’t make these common mistakes to get the best out of your workout without risking injuries.


Bending Shoulders


Make sure your ears are away from your shoulders while bending down during the triceps dips. Struggle to keep a long neck during movement.


Don’t Go Too Low


During performing triceps dips, pay heed to the pressure on your shoulders. Dipping too low can cause shoulder injury; stop right there if you feel heavy stress on your shoulders while lowering yourself.


Don’t Lock up the Elbows.


When you are at the peak of the movement, make sure you don’t lock elbows since keeping them a little accessible extends the tension on the triceps.


Tilting Forward


For instance, if your tilt is forward, you will be working out on your chest instead of your triceps, so make sure you sustain a line without leaning forward in your body.


Although the exercise can put a good amount of pressure on your elbow and shoulder, if you have pain or injury in that area, you should look at your form and adjust it. If you still experience pain, it is best to stop the workout and rest.

You should also read our article barbell vs dumbbell tricep extension.

Frequently Asked Questions


1.   Are triceps built with dips?


Dips are a fantastic movement to develop strength, power, and size in the triceps. However, using variations in triceps dips can be a wise method to build muscle mass and improve strength.


2.   Is performing dips a great exercise?


Dips are pressing exercises for the upper portion of the body that help make stronger and better triceps. However, they also are an excellent workout for the chest, shoulder, and back. In short, consider dips as the best exercise to develop upper body strength.


3.   Do dips help you to build big arms?


You can build bigger arms with dips. Triceps dips are like those exercises which help people who want to develop a strong body and bigger arm muscles. When triceps are combined with extreme resistance workouts, muscle mass is improved.


Final Thoughts


Tricep dips are great for gaining upper body strength and working your triceps. They can also improve body stability and strengthen your core muscles for a more robust form overall. We hope our article helped you learn how you can leverage triceps dips and make them a regular part of your strength training sessions.

About the author  Steve

Steve Theunissen is from New Zealand and is a qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with over 30 years experience. Read more about Steve in the 'about us' page.

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