6 Top Benefits Of The Dip Exercise

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Tricep dips are one of the exercises you can add to your workout routine. Find out what their benefits are to see if they would be good for you.

Do keep in mind that you want to do the dip exercise with good technique to avoid downsides.

That means keeping your shoulder blades pulled back and down and not lowering yourself too much.

1. Dips can help you build muscle

As a resistance training exercise, dips have the potential to help you grow and strengthen muscles and improve endurance in them.

This is because they make it easy to pressure muscle sufficiently for these goals.

That aside, here are the main muscles you work with dips:

  • Triceps (back upper arm)
  • Pectoral muscles (chest)
  • Front deltoids (shoulder)
  • To some extent trapezius

Keep in mind that you also need to approach your dip workouts right to see results.

How many dips you should do depends on your training goals. For example, to build muscle you would do 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 15 assisted or weighted dips with a resistance that makes these ranges challenging.

Something else that is worth noting is that dips can focus on the muscles above in different ratios depending on how you do them.

The more you tilt your upper body forward, the more you will engage your chest and front deltoid muscles. In theory, you could also keep your body vertical to make dips a tricep isolation exercise.

2. You can do the dips exercise at home

Some workouts and exercises require you to go to the gym or a specific sports field. This requires extra transport time which really adds up in the long term.

Additionally, the prospect of these extra trips could make it easier to skip a workout.

That being said, one of the benefits of dips is that they are relatively easy to do at home.

You do preferably have horizontal dip bars but you could theoretically do chair dips where you lean with your feet on the ground.

Even if this chair version is suboptimal, it does allow you to get in a quick workout when you have some spare minutes at home.

3. Dips offer more resistance than pushups without equipment

There are many calisthenic exercises to choose from. Pushups are a popular dip exercise alternative since they don’t require any equipment at all.

That being said, dips stand out in that they allow you to work your chest, tricep, and front deltoid muscle with your entire body weight.

For people who are more experienced with resistance training workouts, this may be necessary to see their desired results. The dips exercise could at least offer a faster way to these goals.

This would not be that much of an extra benefit with workout equipment but there is not always a budget or storage space for this.

One thing to note again is that you still preferably have horizontal dip bars. These can require a decent investment anyway.

Additionally, some people may want to consider doing weighted dips with extra exercise equipment anyway.

4. Tricep dips can help you lose weight

While it is not the primary goal of this movement, the dips exercise can help you lose more weight too.

To achieve this, you want to get in a situation where your body needs more energy than is coming in from what you eat.

On paper, dips may not seem that good for weight loss since you don’t burn that many extra calories during the actual workout.

That being said, because the chest muscles are relatively big, dips can help you build a nice amount of muscle mass.

In turn, this extra muscle mass can help you burn more calories throughout the day. You can definitely say this is good for weight loss.

Do keep in mind that habits like what you eat will influence whether the extra calorie burning from dips comes from body fat or not.

Additionally, if you like this benefit, you want to focus on the dip variation where you really work your chest. Tricep muscle mass helps too but this muscle group has less room for growth.

5. Dips can improve your bone density

Not everyone is aware of it but your bones are made up of dynamic tissue. In simpler words, your lifestyle habits can influence the health and strength of your bones.

One way to make your bones stronger is by putting safe amounts of pressure on them with an exercise like dips (1, 2, 3).

More specifically, the dips exercise will likely improve bone density in your arms and shoulders.

You may not be in the stage of life where you have to worry about this. However, the older you get, the harder it tends to be to get positive changes in bone density.

So by doing dips today, you could save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.

If you really like this benefit, you could consider getting to a point where you can do weighted dips with something like a good weighted vest, dip belt, or heavy backpack.

More pressure tends to result in thicker bones as long as you don’t overdo it.

6. Tricep dip workouts do not require a lot of time

Many people say no to working out because they think it always requires many hours of their week.

While more is often better, it is fair to say that you can already get very healthy with relatively short workouts.

This is especially the case for the dips exercise. The few sets and reps for growing and strengthening your muscles (and bones) do not require that much time.

To make full use of this benefit you want to do the chest-focused dip exercise variation.

This compound movement allows you to work more muscles in more or less the same time spent working out.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.