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Chest Workout (12) – Chest Dips

September 14th, 2012 · No Comments ·

Chest dip is a good workout for chest muscles.  I used to think that it is meant for triceps, until I found the real trick behind how dips can be used for chest muscles too.


  1. Hold the parallel bar dip.  Now, the trick is on the way you hold the bar.  Forget about your glove.  Hold the bar with your bare hand.  Put your thumbs around the bars and squeeze them hard.  The more force you apply to the bars, the stronger support you have.
  2. Rule of thumb is that, the wider the bar, the more emphasis you have on your chest muscles.  Narrower grip targets more on the triceps.  Having said that, these parallel bars should not be much wider than shoulder width.  If they are too wide, your may risk hurting your shoulder joints.
  3. Your elbows are flared out slightly.
  4. Bend your knees allow you to lean forward.  Bending your knees places the weight of your feet further behind your body and get you to lean forward to balance.  Leaning forward help targeting your chest muscles, and not your triceps.  The more your chest is angled forward, the more the chest muscle fibers are activated.  You can cross your legs to squeeze your butt for more power.
  5. Keep your head in a straight line.  Do not look up or down.
  6. Lower yourself slowly with your torso leaning forward, at about 20 to 30 degree.  Lower your body until your chest is level with the parallel bars.  Should be close to 90 degree.  You will feel the stretch at your chest.  Never go below 90 degree.
  7. Do not pause at the bottom.  Once you are at the bottom position, immediately start moving up.  Stopping at the bottom will drain your strength and may put your shoulders a high risk for injury.
  8. Bring your body back up.  Pause for a second before going down again.
  9. Do 3 sets, 8 to 12 repetitions each set.



  • For beginner, you can use dip assist machine.  Alternatively, get a spotter to hold your legs.  Women normally are weak upper body and therefore may find this workout to be very difficult.  People who have shoulder problems should use dip machine first.
  • Advanced gym goers can add weight by using a weight belt that allows addition of weighted plates.  Some prefer to hold a dumbbell between your legs.  Until you are able to do non-weighted dips for at least 12 repetitions with flawless dips, otherwise, you should just rely your body weight.


  • Do the decline move real slow, if possible.  As for the upward part, push up fast.
  • Between triceps dip and chest dip, I recommend to go for chest dip.  They are pretty similar.  Chest dips still allow you to work on triceps.
  • Your chest muscles are working hard when you are at the bottom portion of the movement.  So, you must ensure you do full range of motion.  Too often I have seen people stop halfway and move up again.
  • Between push up and chest dip, chest dip is has its own advantage, even though both are body weight workout.  When you do push up, your feet are planted and therefore supporting portion of your body weight.  Dips move your whole body through space.  Moreover, you need to balance your body.



Category: Chest

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