Great exercises you might not be doing: Dips

When’s the last time you went for a dip?
No, I’m not talking about a plunge in the pool or lake.
I’m talking about one of the most underrated, nowadays often forgotten exercises: good, old-fashioned exercises known as dips.
To build powerful, defined lower pectorals, triceps and frontal deltoids, dips are among the top exercises you can do.
They can also be one of the hardest exercises because you have to be able to support your own body weight.

How to:
To do a dip correctly, hoist yourself up on the dip bar, with your hands anchored on the handles.
Lower yourself until the upper arms are parallel to the floor, or some people go all the way down. Really, either one is Ok.
Then power yourself back up to the top position and lock out for a one-count.
Repeat for sets of 5-10 or more at a time, take a break and then power out more sets.
The parallel dip is used to isolate the triceps muscles more, while going all the way down will work more of your upper body muscles.
Many trainers recommend to perform dips after you bench press and before you do isolation work on the triceps.

Bonus tip:
On some home trainer machines or gym apparatus there are attachments that allow you to do assisted dips, which can also be highly beneficial. These machines give you a boost as you go up and you can control how much help you get.
Ideally, these assisted dips will help you eventually be able to perform them on your own.
For advanced fitness gurus, make dips harder by placing added weight on your body. There are weight holders made that you can strap to your back or waist.
Dips are a great exercise that should really be a part of your exercise routine.
So what are you waiting for? Take a dip today.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at

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