I love dips, all types of dips even nacho cheese dips. They’re awesome to build the chest and triceps (I’m talking about the exercises now, too much nacho cheese dips will build your chest and triceps in ways you don’t want!)
In a previous post on Modest Dragon – “The Top 3 Best Exercises for the Triceps” I touched on 2 variations of dips.
In this post, I want to go over the parallel dips. When I added the parallel dips to my workout, my strength, triceps power and chest shape dramatically improved. I believe they are one of the best compound exercises out there for the upper body.
Applying dips in my workouts had huge benefits for me when I benched and overhead pressed because I could lift more weight. Lifting more weight = more strength and more muscle mass = WIN.
The problem with the parallel dips is at first they’re pretty hard to do especially for beginners. That’s why it’s as rare as an ice cube in the desert to see people lining up at the dipping station in the gym.
However, once you are able to perform sets of dips, it really is smooth sailing from there on. Upper body strength and size will increase as well as your flexibility.
Dips are excellent because from the first moment you position yourself on the dip machine (or any parallel bars) your triceps forearms, shoulders, chest and lower back are all engaged, as these muscles are needed to help stabilize and balance yourself on the arm handles.
The rising and lowering of the body works with gravity to provide resistance to the muscles just like pull ups. One reason dips are a superior compound exercise is because the lack of momentum during the exercise keeps the muscles contracted throughout the entire exercise. So I highly recommend them.
Benefits of the Parallel Dips:
- Builds great strength
- Engages the core and helps to strengthen it
- Master your body weight
- Build dense muscle in the arms, shoulders and chest
- No gym required!
The Method to go From 0 to Multiple Sets of Dips;
1) Position yourself on the dip bars with your arms locked out and your legs crossed.
2) Squeeze the bars tight.
3) Take a deep breath into your stomach; brace your core as if you were performing the squat.
4) Lower yourself so your arms are in a 90 degree angle by gently breaking at the elbow joints.
5) From the bottom of the rep, use all your upper body muscles, and contract your abs and exhale explosively to push yourself back up to the top position.
Top 5 Tips That Helped Me The Most;
1) Don’t swing your body when performing the dip.
2) Lockout your elbows fully, when reaching the top position of the dip.
3) Keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides. Imagine you are squeezing a tennis ball between your armpits. I found this kept my lats engaged and protected my shoulders. I also felt a lot stronger when doing this.
4) Keep a compact upper body by squeezing the bars and contracting the upper body muscles tightly.
5) Keep your head neutral and looking straight forward.
If you’re finding it difficult to perform parallel dips try these techniques. I used to find them difficult but after using these techniques I now can do multiple sets of them with added weight and enjoy having them in my workouts.
Even if you can only do a couple that’s fine, keep at it and try to increase the amount you do every time you try. If you keep on practicing them no doubt you will soon be able to perform them with ease and they will be of great benefit to you.
Do you use a different method when doing parallel dips in your workouts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!