If you are trying to build up muscles on your upper body (chest, shoulders, and arms) then one of the simplest yet best exercise to perform would be the chest dips. This exercise routine targets all three major muscles on your upper body. It is also extremely easy to perform at home even if you do not have a dip bar readily available. In this article will we be discussing everything related to the chest dips exercise such as benefits and how to properly perform this exercise for optimum results. I will also be giving you some pointers and guidelines on how to do chest dips at home.
The Basics of Dips
Performing dips are pretty simple to accomplish. You will need two parallel bars at shoulder width apart. Simply grasp both bars with each of your hand and slowly and steadily extend your arms in order to lift yourself up. You then need to steadily lower yourself down with your elbows bent and your shoulders are slightly extended.
Dips for chest exercises are exceptionally effective in developing muscles on, you guessed it, your chest area. In fact, you can actually tweak this exercise a bit if you truly want to emphasize muscle development over at your chest muscles by doing dip chest variations.
You can do this by simply leaning forward a bit while lowering yourself during the dip. You must hold this leaning position throughout the dipping exercise (both during lowering and raising your body) for maximum effect.
What are the Muscles Worked on by Chest Dip Exercises?
In order to give you a clearer picture as to how dips for chest work on your upper body, I will list down all the major muscles that benefit from this exercise.
The primary muscle that will benefit from chest dips would be your pectoralis major. However, other muscles will also gain benefits such as the:
- Triceps brachii
- Pectoralis minor
- Levator Scapulae
- Latissimus dorsi
- Terese major
- Anterior deltoid
Another effective chest dip variation that you can perform if you want to target your triceps would be to keep your body straight while performing chest dips. This variation is called the triceps dips and can be done exactly the same as your standard chest dips but with your body maintaining an upright position throughout the set.
Benefits of Performing Dips
Time to enumerate the key benefits of doing dips! What I love about doing dips is that I can do it right in the comfort of my own home. I also won’t need any specific exercise equipment (although having a dip station will make things significantly simpler) as all you need are two parallel elevated platforms.
I also recommend dips over bench press exercises if you plan on developing lean muscles on your chest. Bench press works great on shoulders but by the time your chest muscles begin obtaining gains, your shoulders will most likely be too sore to continue further. Compare that to chest dips wherein your chest area is the main focus.
Dips also require you to use several muscle groups in synergy. You won’t have any support here so stabilizing your body falls on you. This stabilization means you will be activating several muscles on your upper body giving each a good workout in the process.
Your chest muscles will also be looking wider as well as bigger if you incorporate chest dips to your daily exercise routine. Chest dips also help you improve your overall mobility and stability which greatly helps if you are into any kind of outdoor physical sport/hobby.
Chest Dip Mistakes You Need to Avoid
While chest dips are relatively easier and simple to perform compared to other exercises, there are still several things you need to avoid when doing this exercise.
- Avoid swaying your shoulders forwards and backward. Keep them still throughout the exercise.
- Makes sure your body is not swinging. Remember, the key to an effective chest dip set is being perfectly still while lowering and raising your body.
- Remember to not lock your elbows upright when raising your body. Maintain a slight bend before dipping back down.
Just remember these simple and easy to make mistakes when doing chest dips and you are guaranteed to make the most out of your routine.
How to Do Beginners Dips at Home?
While you can perform chest dips at home without any special equipment, having a dip station does make things considerably easier. You can buy one at your local sports equipment or online. However, there are readily available alternatives you can use at home. For example, you use the following items/furniture as your dip station alternative:
- Kitchen Counters
- Back of the Couch
- Playground Bars
- Any Parallel Furniture of the Same Height
There are several variations of dips that you can do at home using dip stations or the above list of alternatives. I will be listing down 3 of the most popular dip techniques you can do right in the comfort of your own home.
Now, doing dips at home without dip stations are doable but you do need to put on the extra time to make sure that your substitute is perfectly stable. Here is a guideline on how to do dips at home for those who are still beginners:
- Bring out a single chair and sit near the edge.
- Place both palms behind you, making sure you have a full grasp of the edge of the seat.
- Extend your legs straight out in front of the chair.
- Now, steadily suspend your body using your hands and slowly dip your body down in front of the chair.
- This is a great beginners dip. Once you break the 50 reps limit, you can move on to more difficult dip variations.
How to Do Dips for Chest at Home?
Doing the chest dip will require a different approach compared to the beginner dips above. You will need to parallel platforms/bars to accomplish this exercise properly. At home, you can either use two furniture of the same height position parallel together or use the kitchen counter. You can also go to your local playground to use the bars installed there.
In order to properly perform the chest dip, you must follow these instructions:
- Place your palms firmly on top of an evenly elevated parallel platform (playground bars, kitchen counters, 2 nightstands or desks, etc.).
- Make sure that the distance between the two bars is shoulder-width
- Slowly raise yourself up without locking your elbow in an upright position. You can bend your legs if you want.
- Steadily dip your body lower. Make sure your body leans slightly forward during the reps to ensure that your chest muscles get the proper workout it needs.
- Work your way to doing 50 reps and then you can progress to using weights for an added challenge.
As you can see, dips are extremely effective and simple to perform. You can do this great upper body workout at home without the need for any special exercise equipment. Hopefully, this article has given you insight on the benefits that this simple exercise can provide. All of that gain without even needing to buy new equipment or go to the gym. As long as you follow the proper technique on chest dips and its variations, your upper body will start showing the benefits of this simple exercise in no time.