Don’t skip this classic upper body trainer. Here are four of the best dip variations for both beginners and advanced lifters. Try them all!
Old-school powerlifters build muscle with a simple combination of pull-ups, rows, bench press, and dips. Or at least it seems so. But take a closer look at the training of someone who relies solely on these “basic” exercises, and you’ll actually find a lot of variation.
They made small tweaks to the technique to help them better target the muscles and avoid unnecessary pain. Of these old-fashioned muscle-building exercises, the dip is arguably the most misunderstood. When you see “weighted dips” in a training program, there is probably one type of dip that comes to mind.
Here are four methods to choose from: Beginner to Professional.
if you can’t do five dips weight only, and start here. This is your first goal. If you can, skip down to some of the more advanced variants below.
In order to get stronger at the dips, it is necessary to do the dips regularly. Ideally twice a week or more, provided you vary loading parameters and/or dispersion volume.Simply try strengthening your triceps by doing the following variations push down Won’t cut it, and exercises like the narrow-grip bench press have very little transfer.
In order to get better at dipping, you have to dip.
use one resistance band Much closer to replicating the real thing than using a machine to help. Why? The band puts more load on you at your weakest bottom and less load on your top at your strongest.
The assisted version also works well if you have shoulder issues. It relieves you in the bottom position, when your shoulders are hyperextended and most vulnerable to injury.
Just choose a band that is thick enough to allow you to do the first 5 reps. Keep going until you can do 10 reps, then choose a slightly lower resistance band that brings you back to 5 reps again. Rinse and repeat until the strip is no longer needed.
These are harder than you might think. It’s a bit complicated to set up, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked.
Get help by placing a bench behind your dip station to keep you steady and press at a consistent angle. Use your feet to push the bench and offer assistance as you approach technical failure. It’s kind of like a drop group.
The angle of the press emphasizes the fibers of the lower pectoral muscles more than the standard, more upright version.
John Meadows is a master at tweaking old-school favorites to get the most out of them. When working with an elite physique, the little details matter.
If you want to work the lower part of your pecs (i.e. the coastal area), the Meadows dip is a great option. Complete each rep at the top by thinking about pushing the shoulder blades down and around the ribcage, and pushing the upper arms down where the lower pecs meet in the middle.
Extend your legs forward to maintain a better angle of compression. These workouts work best in the higher hypertrophy range (such as 12 or more reps) and focus on contraction and tension throughout. If you want to load them up, try using a weighted vest or chains on the shoulders. Avoid dipping the belt.
Regular dips can be loaded in a number of ways, including hanging the weight from the shoulders or around the hips. Once you’ve built up considerable strength in the desired rep range, you can use the weighted version. Carrying about 50% of your body weight in a sling is a good start. Then try to break through with prominent weirdos.
During the eccentric/negative phase of the lift, your strength increases by about 40%. Emphasizing the negative helps tap into additional strength capacity, generates massive mechanical tension and tissue breakdown (important triggers for muscle growth), and helps develop more intermuscular and intramuscular coordination for increased strength, muscle and from harm.
The lowering phase lasts 4 seconds, or up to 10 seconds if you are the abuser. Aim for 5-8 reps.
I’ve shared four versions of dips for different starting points and training goals. While you may want to start trying all of these methods now, you have to stay true to your training goals and choose the method that works best for you.
- If you’re new to dips and looking to improve or address uncomfortable shoulder issues, try the band-assisted version.
- The assisted version of the bench press is also a good option for those with shoulder instability, but even more so if you want to strengthen your lower pecs and increase the intensity of your workout.
- If you want to reach a higher rep range than you can with regular bodyweight dips, you can also use bench presses to assist with dips.
- If you’re not too self-aware and want to feel humbled about your weight, use Meadows dips to engage your lower pecs. Of course, you can also use all of these versions to work your triceps.
- Finally, emphasize that eccentric tilts are a more advanced version of regular tilts. You can do these moves with your torso upright to focus more on your triceps, or lean forward slightly to focus more on your pectorals.
Before proceeding with any of these, it is important to lay down some solid foundations first. Let us know how you get on.
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