What Muscles Do Dips Work

Most people think that dips are an isolation movement, that only stimulates your triceps. However, dips, are one of the most effective compound movements that works your triceps in addition to other muscles groups such as your chest, biceps and back, all with your own bodyweight. We’re going to talk more about what muscles dips work, the benefits of triceps dips and how to do them.

What Are Triceps Dips 

Triceps dips are a compound body weight movement. Most resistance training or strength training revolves around training implements such as dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells. Only very few strength movements are as effective to build muscle and strength as the dip, that only use your bodyweight, like the push up or squat.

What Muscles Do Dips Work

Dips are a compound strength training movement. Compound movements recruit multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time. They provide a myriad of additional benefits as compared to isolation exercises, which put a specific emphasis on only one muscle group. 

Dips use your body weight and work the muscles in your arms, such as your shoulders, triceps and biceps, the lower chest muscles, as well as your back.

First and foremost, the triceps dips, work your triceps. Your triceps are composed of three muscles the long head, the lateral head, and the medial head. These muscles control the extension of your arm and the stabilization of your shoulder joint.

The secondary muscle, that dips work, is your pectoralis, or chest. Comprised of the pectoralis major and minor, the pecs are responsible for flexing, and rotating the arms. Depending on how you position yourself when you dip you can place more or less emphasis on your chest.

Dips also work your deltoids, or shoulders. Your delts are made up of the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid, which is responsible for flexion and extension of your arm, as well stabilization and rotation of the shoulder. 

Dips also work muscles in your back, specifically the rhomboid, which is responsible for retraction of the scapulae.

Benefits Of Triceps Dips

1. Strength

Compound movements work multiple muscle groups, therefore, improving functional strength. More muscle recruitment will in turn help increase muscle mass and strength. The dip is one of the best strength training movements, to help build more muscle in your upper body, as well as your increase chest and arm definition.

2. Improves Shoulder and Wrist Mobility 

Mobility is an often-overlooked aspect of training and functionality. Mobility is crucial, especially as we age. If you incorporate functional movements into your training, you’ll strengthen your body as a collective unit, which will improve stability, posture, and balance. Dips place emphasis on wrist mobility as well as shoulder mobility and will put your body into a position that utilizes your joints, stabilizing muscles, and core muscles, and improve total functionality.

3. Increases Muscle Mass

Another benefit of dips is that they work opposing muscle groups at once. This is because dips are a closed kinetic chain exercise.

With kinetic chain exercises, the hands or feet are pressed against an immovable surface — in this case, parallel bars or a bench. These exercises are beneficial because they work multiple opposing muscle groups at the same time and isolate the muscles you are trying to work, namely your triceps and lower chest. With a focus on your upper body, you’ll build more mass in your arms, shoulders, and chest.

How To Do Dips 

  • Facing away from a bench or parallel bars, grab it with both hands with a neutral grip shoulder width apart.
  • Your legs can be extended slightly in front of you, or your ankles bent behind you
  • Lean slightly forward with your arms, wrists, and shoulders aligned.
  • Pull your shoulders back, bend your arms, keeping your elbows tucked close to your sides and pointing straight back and slowly lower yourself until your shoulders are below your elbows.
  • Push through your hands, and straighten your arms, and return to starting position.

What Muscles Do Dips Work: Takeaway

Dips can be a great addition to your training program, to build more muscle, strength, and improve mobility. As a compound bodyweight strength training movement that works multiple muscle groups and joints, dips can provide a profound number of benefits that will improve overall athletic performance. 

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