Dips are one of the foundational bodyweight exercises that focus on triceps strength and endurance. They are used by all types of athletes in many different ways to increase arm strength.
Make sure you read this entire article because you’re about to learn how to do dips at home, the muscles worked, and why you don’t need any fancy equipment to build the size of your arms.
Table of Contents
What Dips Are and How to Do Them
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Dips are a bodyweight exercise made of a compound movement. They are made to isolate the triceps in order to strengthen and grow the muscle. There are many ways to perform a dip including unweighted, weighted, and with a machine.
Here’s how to perform a simple bodyweight dip.
1. Place your arms shoulder-width apart and grab a sturdy surface.
This can be either a dip bar, a coffee table, a bench, or almost any other sturdy surface. You can change your grip wider or narrower depending on what is comfortable for your shoulders and elbows.
Dips can easily torque different joints, so please be mindful of how you place your hands for the duration of your dips.
Depending on where you are performing your dips, you may also have to rotate your wrists differently. If you are holding a dip bar, your grip should be neutral. If you are using an edged surface to perform your dips, then your wrists will need to rotate slightly in order to perform the exercise properly.
2. Lower your body
Begin by bending your elbows and leaning your chest slightly forward as balance for your dips. Your wrists should be barely behind your shoulders at the depth of this exercise.
Your shoulders should also come all the way below the level of your elbows. Use your abs to brace your spine and stabilize you during the exercise. This will also help you focus on your mind to muscle connection and get better results from each and every rep.
3. Extend your arms
Next, you’ll extend your elbows, pushing your body back up. Then, completely straighten your elbows for the height of the exercise.
You’ve just done a dip! Be sure to control the exercise the whole way through. Jerking your way through a dip can cause injury very easily.
Dips are an incredible exercise and it’s partly because of how many muscles they work. Here’s the list:
- Triceps and Forearms: While dips are primarily focused on strengthening the triceps, this compound movement helps more than just your triceps. You’ll also notice your forearms flexing in order to keep you stable throughout the lift.
- Chest and Shoulders: You’ll notice at the bottom of each dip, your chest will stretch out. You’ll then use your chest muscles to help your triceps push you back to the height of the exercise. You may also notice your shoulders helping you out as well!
- Abs: Lastly, you’ll want to ensure your abs are tight and helping to stabilize you throughout the entirety of this lift. This will also help ensure you don’t have back pain or injure your back while completing each of these lifts.
3 Ways to Do Dips at Home
You may want to perform dips in the comfort of your own home, and there are many ways to do this. So here are a few options:
1. Home Dip Bars
You can purchase home dip bars that attach to a doorway and allow you to perform regular dips in the comfort of your own home. You can also purchase dip bars that simply stand on the ground.
Home dip bars can cost anywhere from $30 to $200. This typically depends on the versatility of the product.
So, you can decide how much to pay and what type of dip bar product is best suited for your needs. With a home dip bar, you can add resistance using a weight belt that has a chain attachment.
Wrap the belt around your waist, thread the chain through the hole of your weight plate, and attach the chain to the other side of the belt.
This is a great way to make dips harder if they’ve become easy from training them so often. Be sure to continue to add weight and challenge yourself to continue getting stronger!
If you have a bench-like structure in your home, you can put your back to it and grip it behind you. You can perform dips this way, but you won’t be using your total body weight as your legs will be on the floor.
Pull another piece of equipment underneath your feet and elevate them off the floor to make the exercise harder. You can also add weight by putting weights in your lap. This will further increase resistance as well as the difficulty of the exercise.
3. Edge Surfaces
You can also perform dips on almost any surface with an edge. Kitchen counters, coffee tables, and the ends of chairs can all be used for dips.
Performing dips at home sometimes requires a little bit of creativity and ingenuity. But, if you can figure it out, you’ll have massive arm gains in no time!
How to Do Dips at Home
As you can see, dips are a great way to work the upper body. They are simple to perform, and they can be done just about anywhere! You just have to get a little creative. This compound movement is a great way to grow your triceps while increasing chest, shoulder, forearm, and ab strength.
They’re also easy to perform for all levels of lifters. Whether you’re just starting out or adding weight to your dips, you can continue to use them to get stronger and stronger.
Be sure to focus while performing each dip to ensure you are maintaining proper form and using mind to muscle connection to complete the exercise. Lastly, pay attention to any pain dips may cause. The grip can be awkward for some people, so be sure to adjust your grip width and wrist rotation to customize your dips for your body.
And if you’re looking for a complete bodyweight program to build a visually-impressive and incredibly strong body, check out our review of Convict Conditioning. We reveal the nitty gritty on this extremely popular and infamous workout.