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Dips - Chest Exercise Guide


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Muscles Targeted: The basic dip is the "upper body squat" working many muscles in the chest, shoulders, back, and triceps. You can even work your abs and hip flexors with some variations. It's a fantastic way to work the primary pushing muscles in a balanced way without placing too much emphasis or neglect on a select area. This is also a great way to work the deltoid muscles along the sagittal plane by moving the upper arm back to front. This is an often neglected range of motion for this muscle group and can help add size and definition to your shoulders.

Exercise Advice: Begin by standing on your feet and grabbing the dip handles at around the height of your hips. Next, pick your feet up and bend your knees while bringing your legs together underneath you. Slowly lower yourself down by bending your elbows and lowering your entire body between the bars. Stop when you have your upper arms parallel to the ground, pause and press back up until your arms are straight, but not completely locked.

Things To Avoid: Do your best to keep your shoulders neutral through the range of motion. Try not to let your shoulders rise up towards your ears, or fall back as if you're squeezing your shoulder blades. Since this is an uncommon range of motion for the shoulders, try not to bounce at the bottom position as this can place undue stress on the shoulder joint.

Reps and Sets: The dip works well with set and rep routines that you may use for a bench press or overhead press. 3 sets of 10 reps or 5 sets of 5 reps are classic workout routines to use with dips. Rest times between sets range between 45-90 seconds depending on your rate of recovery.

Other Exercises To Use: Try doing dips along with push ups, triceps cable pushdowns or chest flys to add some extra intensity to various pushing muscles. Also try mixing in bent leg or knee raises in between reps or sets for some extra abdominal work.

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