How to do Dips, and Tips to get Better at Dips


Dips are simplest and effective body weight exercise for the pectorals (chest) and triceps. Since many people avoid this exercise because of the difficulty, instead they choose other exercises for building chest and triceps.

It's a great exercise to develop the upper body muscles such as the deltoids, triceps and especially the pectorals. As this is a compound exercise, you can also perform different variations to increase the intensity of dips.

Although, it takes some practice to get better at dips. This exercise is mainly performed without weights. However, dips are a versatile that can be used for many purposes.

How to get better at dips

Here are the few important tips that help you perform more repetitions.

1. Correct Distance between bar

Your arms length and distance are important when it comes to doing dips. Wider distance (slightly shoulder width-apart) works more at chest but also increases the difficulty. On the other hand, closer width grip works more on triceps. We can't adjust the width of fixed bar, but some bars we can adjust which allows us work on both triceps and chest.

2. Negative Dips

Negative reps are the best way to improve the strength, if you can't perform normal dips, then try negative reps at the end of your workout when your muscles are tired.

Position yourself so that your arms are straight and locked, then slowly lower yourself in 3-4 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat as many times as possible.

This will increase the tension in your chest and triceps which help to build more strength and endurance.

3. The Angle

Just like different grip activates different muscles, same also works with different angles. By leaning forward up to 30-45 degrees angle, this will activates pectoral more and less triceps.

While doing this you should keep your leg straight, this will improve your balance and stability.

4. Do diamond Push-ups

For dips, we need more strength in triceps, pecs and shoulders. Diamond push ups are best exercise that strengthens those muscles and increases the endurance. As a result, you will notice improvement while doing dips.

5. Weighted push-up

Just like other variations, weight increases the intensity when the normal push ups are no longer challenging. As you increase the weight it increases the pushing strength. All you need a weight plate, place it on your back and do push ups as much as you can. You can also use backpack.

6. Reps until failure

Always aim for one rep max to increase the tension in your pectorals by doing dips. Do the maximum reps, since there is almost no rest time between each dips, you will feel the effect on your chest, shoulder and triceps.

How to do dips

Following steps will help you perform the perfect dip

  • Stand between the parallel bars, grab the bar shoulder width apart and jump, your arms straight, legs off to the ground.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body, lean forward and keep your leg straight (you can bend if bar is short).
  • Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms are almost parallel to the ground.
  • Don't go too low and don't use any motion.
  • Pause for 1 second and then move up to the top using your arms.

Do as much as you can. If you can't do 3-6 dips with your body weight, Build some strength by doing diamond or weighted push ups. You can also do dips on machine which is quite easier than body weight dips. You can also perform negative reps to increase the strength and endurance.

How to Do Dips for Pecs or Chest

To train the lower chest, dips are an excellent alternative to the bench press. Place your hands wider than shoulder width, Lean slightly forward while keeping your leg straight. This will put more stress on your pecs.

Here, the angle play important role; if you aren't feeling the effect on chest, you are not leaning enough forward.

How to Do Dips for Triceps

When the hands are close, and the body is straight as possible, the triceps are used more. To work more on triceps, you can perform dips between two benches.

Place yourself between two benches, with your feet on the front bench and your hands on the back bench; Lower slowly until you feel a stretch in your triceps, then raise up until your hands are fully extended. If your body weight does not provide enough resistance, you can place weight plate on your thighs.


Dips are the best exercise to woek on your pectorals and triceps, don't ignore the dips; it's one of the best exercises you can do. If you find it difficult then try above tips to increase the strenth in your upper body.

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