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Chest Dips

What Is A Chest Dip?

Chest Dips

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Chest dips are an advanced bodyweight chest exercise performed on parallel bars or a dip machine at the gym. They require a significant amount of upper body strength and stability, and help to build overall push strength.

Chest dips primarily target the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles of the chest, but also work the muscles of the shoulders (front deltoids) and triceps. Chest also strengthen smaller supporting muscles of the shoulder girdle to improve shoulder stability and reduce injury risk.

Chest dips work well with other push movements like press ups, triceps dips, and close grip bench press to build upper body strength and size.

Pressing up from the bottom of a chest dip requires a lot of strength and stability. You can get assistance for chest dips by kneeling on the pad of a dip machine, or by using resistance bands to offer support at the bottom of the movement. If you want to make chest dips more challenging, add weight by using a dip belt, weighted vest, or by holding a dumbbell between your feet.

Check out some other chest exercises: Press Ups, Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Chest Fly

Commonly Asked Questions About Chest Dips

How To Do Dips For Chest?

Chest dips are performed on parallel bars (tall parallettes) or on a dip machine. By leaning forward as you dip down, you will target your chest more than your triceps muscles. If you need assistance as you build chest dip strength, use a resistance band under your knees. If you want to make them more challenging, you can do weighted chest dips.

Are Dips Good For Chest?

Chest dips are an effective bodyweight exercise that targets both of the main muscles of the chest - the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor – which give the chest size, mass, and strength.

Are Chest Dips Bad For Shoulders?

Chest dips are safe for the shoulders because you only need to lower down to 90 degrees before pushing back up. This avoids over-stretching the front of the shoulder. Chest dips are a good way to strengthen the small stabilising muscles of the shoulder girdle.

Chest Dip Tips

  • Keep your shoulder blades pulled down and back and your chest raised throughout the chest dip movement.

  • Lean forward to 20-30 degrees to recruit more of your chest muscles.

  • Dip down to around 90 degrees before pressing back up, this will protect your shoulders.

  • Add weight by using a dipping belt, weighted vest, or dumbbell between your feet for advanced chest dips.

How To Do Chest Dips

  1. Stand between the parallel bars or bars of the dip machine and hold the bars with your palms facing inwards.

  2. Extend your arms so you are pressing your body above the bars.

  3. Bend your knees to move your feet behind your body.

  4. Lean forward so your upper body is at 20-30 degrees, with your core braced and spine straight.

  5. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower your body until your elbows reach around 90 degrees with your shoulders are below your elbows.

  6. Pause when you feel a slight stretch in your chest.

  7. Push back up to the start position, and stop just before you lock out your elbows.

  8. Once you’ve mastered the chest dip, you can add weight to make the exercise more challenging. Use a dip belt around your waist, and pass the chain through a weight plate, wear a weighted vest, or hold a dumbbell between your feet.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.