Top 10 Dips Exercises

One of the best exercises out there for toned and stronger tricep muscles.

Reviewed by Rakesh Rathod, Certified Personal Trainer Rakesh Rathod Rakesh RathodCertified Personal Trainer facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Himanshi Mahajan BSc (Life Sciences), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
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With all of us becoming more and more health-conscious, regular exercise along with a well-balanced diet has become the priority for many! Amidst all the various types of exercises and workout routines, dip exercises are quite challenging and effective as well! They may not look like fun, but when done regularly can give you amazing results! There are many ways and variations of dip exercises such as triceps dips, chest dips, bodyweight dips, and assisted dips. These may or may not involve dip machines. You can choose from the many dip variations based on the place, convenience, and personal preference! If you reach a certain level of comfort with one particular type, you can either increase the number of reps or move on to a more advanced variation! You can keep challenging and motivating yourself to do more that way! So those of you who are looking to up your workout game, continue to read about the following types of dips exercise!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Dip Exercises
  • Frequency: 1-2 times per week
  • Benefits: Build upper body muscles and improve stamina.
  • Equipment Needed: Bench, parallel bars, gymnastic rings, dipping belt, barbell.
  • Space Required: Large area
  • Assistance Required: Yes, for certain exercises.
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with shoulder or elbow injuries and anyone who has undergone surgery recently.

Top 10 Dips Exercises

1. Bench Dips:

Stand with your back facing the bench and hold it on the edge. Rest your heel on the ground or put your legs on another bench of the same height (this is more complicated) and then use your arm strength to lift yourself up. This strengthens your triceps and shoulders.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is crucial that you do not dip down too low because doing so puts undue strain on the shoulder joints.

2. Parallel Bar Dips:

Stand between a pair of parallel bars and hold them. Put your entire body weight on your hands and lift yourself up until your hands are completely straight and then lower your body till your arms form 90 degrees. These kinds of bodyweight exercises remarkably help in strengthening the chest and triceps and broadening the shoulders.

3. Straight Bar Dips:

It is more difficult than the parallel bars and has more benefits as well. Place your hands on one bar which comes relatively above your chest and raise yourself up till your hands are completely stretched. These chest dips also work on your triceps and give you a widened upper back.

4. Korean Dips:

This is a variation to the straight bar dip in which the bars are behind your back. It’s more challenging than the straight bars and requires full-body strength. In this exercise, you also work on your lower back, abs, and glutes to prevent yourself from swinging. This is definitely the toughest dip exercise listed here.

5. Plyometric Dips:

This is a variation that can be added to any dip being performed. If you take the bench dips for example, then while pushing yourself up, you just move vigorously and lift your hands and legs up, and return back to the same position. This helps your triceps muscles to achieve power and stamina.

6. Ring Dips:

In this, you lift yourself up with your hands placed firmly on rings instead of a single bar. The rings make it extremely difficult to stabilize and thus more effort is needed. It works up the whole body but especially the arms, shoulder, and abdomen.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Before you begin, double-check that your ring setup is optimum for dips. Consider a few things, such as the height of your rings and the width of the ring straps.

7. Rucksack Weighted Dips:

You can also add weights to your dips. Wear a rucksack and add plates in it. By doing this the body weight increases and more pressure is put on the shoulders or triceps or chest. Thus they show better results.

8. Belt + Chain Weighted Dips:

This is the best way to do weighted dips. Wear a dipping belt and through the chain attach plates to it. This increases body weight from the center and works best for the chest and the abdomen.

9. Dumbbell Between The Legs:

This is another form of weighted dips in which a 10 – 15 kg dumbbell is held between the feet while doing dips. This makes it more difficult for the body to rise and thus gives better results.

10. V Bar Dips:

Here you have the freedom of varying the width of the grip and you can also change hand positions by facing them inwards or outwards. They also strengthen your upper body like all other dips.

A survey conducted by the CDC assessed the physical activity and fitness levels of adults aged 18 and above. It was found that 24.2% of adults met the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities while it was noticed that it declined with age in both men and women. Adults ages 18-34 had the highest percentage with 41.3% for men and 28.7% for women.

Michael Wittig, a fitness blogger, discusses his commitment to bodyweight exercises as a complement to weightlifting for muscle development. In one of his posts, he writes, “The body weight triceps exercises I find extremely effective are dips done on a chair/bench and extensions using a hip height table or stand (i).”

Infographic: 3 Dips Exercises For A Toned Upper Body

If exercising till you drop is your fitness mantra and experimenting with different exercises is your forte, it’s time to introduce dips exercises to your gym workouts as well. These upper body exercises have gained new popularity and offer a lot of benefits, from targeting tricep muscles to toning the whole body. Check out the infographic below for the top 3 dips exercises and get that heartbeat racing.

3 dips exercises for a toned upper body (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Dip exercises are perfect for muscle building and toning as well as building strength and stamina. If you are a beginner you might want to get comfortable with basic exercises like diamond push-ups before delving into the above listed exercises. The compound exercises discussed above work on the shoulder fronts (anterior deltoid and medial deltoid), triceps, chest, glutes, lower back, abs, arms, abdomen, and upper body. Moreover, parallel bar dips and straight bar dips help you broaden your shoulders and widen your upper back, respectively. However, most of these exercises are tough to nail. The key is to start slowly and maintain consistency to achieve perfection. If you feel pain while doing a particular exercise, stop doing it and go ahead with the next.

Frequently Asked Questions

What workouts go with dips?

If you are doing a full-body strength fitness routine, you need to include exercises in your fitness training that target your legs, push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull muscles (back, biceps, grip), and your core. Dips cover your push muscles. You can do squats and deadlifts for legs, move to dips for push muscles, pull-ups for pull muscles, and end with planks for your core.

Are dips better than push-ups?

Dips and push-ups both are a part of resistance training, more precisely calisthenics, that target the same muscles but show varying results. Push-ups are great for people who want to maintain good overall fitness and endurance, building on all the push muscles. Dips and its variations are for people who want more sculpted results in their tricep area.

Are dips good for arm growth?

Dips are great arm workouts for people who want bulky, sculpted arms.

Key Takeaways

  • Dips aim for multiple muscle groups. Therefore, you can do dip exercises to target the back, shoulders, chest, and triceps.
  • These exercises may help tone the muscles and improve strength and stamina.
  • You can use a dip bar, a sturdy bench, or a parallel bar to do these exercises.
  • Avoid straining yourself, as these are difficult in the beginning. However, with consistency and proper technique, these become easy.

Transform your body in just 10 days! Learn how 10 dips a day can help you get the body you’ve always wanted. Click on the video below to learn more!

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Rakesh Rathod
Rakesh RathodCertified Personal Trainer
Rakesh Rathod is a certified fitness trainer and yoga instructor with more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry. He also has a diploma in nutrition, level 1 in Krav maga, and is a bodybuilding contest coach.

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Shirin Mehdi
Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer
Shirin is a health and wellness writer with three years of experience and specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Prior to joining Stylecraze, she interned with an advertising firm as a copywriter and as an editorial intern for a luxury fashion magazine.

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Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

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Himanshi Mahajan
Himanshi MahajanHealth & Wellness Writer
Himanshi Mahajan is a Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach. She has a bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from Guru Nanak Dev University and two years of experience in writing SEO-based and research-backed content across health and lifestyle genres.

Read full bio of Himanshi Mahajan