Dips are one of the most popular exercises out there that you should try. However, it has its difficulty which is why people don’t try to do it often.
It requires a tremendous amount of focus and endurance to balance yourself. Balancing is not only the problem, but you’ll also need to keep a good pace to see its effects.
Still, dips is a very versatile exercise that you should always consider in your routine. It targets a lot of body parts which we will further explain later. Moreover, it’s one of those practical exercises that you can do at home and not spend a dollar on.
That’s why we believe that learning how to do dips at home can be beneficial for you. This is true especially if you don’t have enough time to hit the gym every week or so!
What Are Dips?
Dips are exercises that allow your body to “dip” at a certain point. Afterward, you exert force upon your body to lift it up. This is where the contraction happens and where you gain muscles.
Traditionally, it requires you to lift your feet above the ground. Hence, it suspends your torso in mid-air while your legs, hands, and shoulders maintain you off the ground. This is why it’s a good exercise for your arms and shoulders.
However, it’s important for you to understand that there are now different variations of dips. It all uses the same fundamentals, but it changes in form.
Benefits Of Dips
Any fitness instructor or training expert would recommend dips. This is because it’s a useful yet effective exercise. After all, dips use one of the simplest motions, yet it’s one of the most difficult ones to do.
If you’re a beginner and have tried dips, you’ll know how hard it is to reach ten counts.With that said, the fundamental principle of training remains the same: the harder it is, the more gains you’ll have. Thus, the tougher your dips, the better the progress. Also, doing it frequently and adding it to your routine gives your muscles more pressure.
Speaking of muscles, it’s important that you know what muscles are being worked here. For every exercise that you do, be sure to understand which muscle is being worked. That’s because if you’re not aware, you could potentially strain it and harm yourself.
For dips, the triceps, chest, and shoulders are the main muscles worked. The triceps are the first to receive pressure upon lifting your body. Afterward, when you’re about to dip your upper body, your shoulders and chest are at work.
What You’ll Need
Dips are exercises that are easy to do at home. The main player for this workout is your arms and shoulders. Moreover, unlike other exercises, you don’t need any weights for this one.
That’s because your upper body is the very source of weight that will be used to exert pressure on your muscles.That’s why you don’t need any fancy equipment for doing dips.
You’ll only need two items at most:
- An exercise bench or any regular bench - This is where you’ll be supporting your body by gripping the base. Your hands will need a firm base that’s both wide and slightly elevated to make your dips effective.
Avoid any wobbly furniture when finding a base. An exercise bench is ideal since it’s also a good investment if you’re planning to do more workouts in the future.
- Footrest - The footrest will be used to add difficulty to your dips. It elevates your feet making your entire body lifted from the ground. Hence, more gravity acting against you!
How To Do Dips At Home
Doing dips was made famous by a machine dip or a bench dip. These are heavy duty types of equipment that you’ll often see at a large gym. It’s not an everyday gym equipment such as the treadmill, so even gyms have a hard time getting one.
After all, dips aren’t exercises that are considered as primary workouts. Instead, it’s a complimentary workout to supply your other routines.
With that said, you would want to save money and just get yourself an alternative.
Step 1: Find Yourself A Sturdy Base
The first thing you should do is find yourself a good bench. Dips need a stable base to lift yourself off the ground, so the first factor that’s important is its sturdiness and stability.
One of the easiest things that you can find as a base in your house is your couch. If you want to look further, a strong chair is also good. However, the best thing to use here is a regular exercise bench.
Unlike a dip bench or dip machine, exercise benches are a great investment. You can use it for a lot of other exercises, and it’s one of the must-buy items if you’re planning to workout long-term.
The other factors that you should note are the width and height. Whatever you’re using as your base, be sure that it meets these following requirements.
- The bench must be at least as wide as your shoulders. When doing dips, you’re going to spread both of your arms apart so be sure it’s wide enough. Having a base longer than your shoulders is preferable.
- Your bench must be at least a few feet off the ground. The reason here is simple. You want as much lift as you can to see improvement in your workout. A low bench would not let you dip your body properly.
Step 2: Gripping Is Key
Your grip is the first important motion for this exercise. This will determine your endurance and the power of your upper body in lifting and dipping. Hence, grip your base firmly.
When gripping, make sure to grip the edge of the bench and not the surface. Do all of this while you’re still seated on your bench.
Step 3: Get Into Position
For this step, you’ll need to leave the bench and start sitting on “air.” That’s right; this will be the start of your form. To do this, just square your feet approximately shoulder-width apart.
After that, lift your butt off the bench and pretend that you’re sitting on a bench right in front of the actual one. Do this while your arms are firmly gripped and your shoulders squared.
Step 4: Dip Yourself
Now it’s time to learn how to do this exercise. For this step, slowly dip yourself by lowering your body. When lowering your body, make sure your elbows are strictly pointing to your back.
Doing dips with elbows pointing sideways from your body is wrong. This is because it reduces the pressure that it exerts on your triceps
To add, make sure to keep your shoulders straight and your chin up when doing so. Also, keep your legs and knees straight. It is recommended that your feet should be crossed together while doing this.
For beginners, note that you should still feel and check how far you can dip your body. Try doing short dips first to warm up your joints. No need to rush. Remember, like any workout, the technique is what gets you results.
Step 5: Lifting And Getting Back In Position
As you finish a dip, the next important step is to know how to properly lift your body. To effectively do this, straighten your arms and lift yourself up slowly. There’s no need to increase speeds for dips. Everything is all about bringing the pressure on your body slowly.
Take note that your shoulders are heavily at work during this stage. Make sure the shoulders are straight and firm. Avoid moving the shoulders at any angle or motion because it can lead to shoulder injuries. Always keep it aligned with your arms as you push. Also, if you feel any onset of forearm tendonitis, please consult your physician.
Step 6: Add Difficulty
Now that you’ve done a few dips, it might be a little too easy for you to do it while your feet is on the floor. To increase the weight that your triceps are lifting, you can add a footrest that increases the height of your feet.
Similar to the base you’re using to lift yourself, the footrest must be stable and secure as well. Any sturdy box or chair that won’t topple is good.
To do the exercise, just cross your feet again and lay it on the footrest. Since your entire body is now elevated from the ground, more gravity will work on you. Hence, it increases the difficulty making your dips more effective.
Step 7: Doing It In Sets
Although one bench dip might be easy for you, repetition and uniform exercise are essential to achieving great results for your body. With that said, 10 to 15 reps for two sets is enough to give your workout a boost.
If you’re already experienced, and your body has handled a lot of pain and pressure in workouts, you can take it a little further and do 15-20 reps for three sets. This gives you maximum pain and soreness that would mean stronger and bigger muscles!
In A Nutshell
Dips are one of the most convenient exercises out there. Since you only need a base and good form, you can perform dips either outside or even at the comforts of your home.
The only thing you’ll need to do is master its form and do it correctly while also finding a sturdy base to use.
Just remember, to see results in your body, you must have the discipline to do so. Now that you know that dips are easily done at home, it’s now up to you to keep up the pace and mix it in your routine.
Even if you don’t have much time, don’t worry, there’s always a bench somewhere!