Upgrade your workout with these four dips

May 23, 2015

It’s important to know how to upgrade exercises to increase the intensity as you get stronger and become capable of more difficult workouts. To continue making progress, there's no better way than working through these four types of dips for tricep strength and development. Give them a try in the order that they appear and build a better body one step at a time.

Bench dips feet down

If you’re a beginner and you are still developing enough strength to do dips properly, bench dips with your feet down are an excellent way to start. They allow you to work your triceps - back of the arms - while supporting your body with your legs. As you push up, apply only enough leg drive to complete the desired amount of reps. As you get better, rely less on your legs and more on your triceps.

Bench dips on heels

Once you can do 15 or more dips with your feet on the ground, switch to bench dips on your heels for a better workout. This technique is more difficult and will challenge your arms more. Your legs give you leverage, but most of the pushing comes from the triceps. It's important to place your heels far enough away from your body to isolate the triceps but close enough that your back is straight and brushing against the bench with every repetition. Keep a slight bend in the knees for optimum results.

Bench dips feet up

Once you have mastered the above exercises, it's time to turn up the intensity and try bench dips with your feet up. This exercise will be more difficult because you are completely isolating the triceps and lifting your body with your arms with no help from your legs. Be sure to keep your elbows in tight to your body and place your heels on the bench far enough from your legs so that your back is still touching the bench during the entire movement. Descend to about 90 degrees and push back up for the desired number if reps and feel the burn that this awesome exercise creates. Once you have mastered this exercise, add a medicine ball to your lap to take it to the next level.

Body weight dips

A great goal for anyone who wants to take their workouts to the next level is to be able to complete full body weight dips without the help of your legs. This takes a whole new level of balance and strength, but it is the logical next step for anyone who has been able to work through the progression of dip exercises above. To complete this type of dip, you will need to find a dip station at your local gym with two parallel bars that are shoulders' width apart. Position your body so you are suspended above the ground with your arms extended and your knees bent. Lower your body by bending at the arms and leaning slightly forward until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Then use your arms to push your body back up to the starting position. Complete this for the desired amount of reps or until you feel you are starting to lose your form.

Remember, as you get in better shape you have to come up with new ways to challenge yourself to get your body to continue making progress. The four types of dips above are an excellent example of how to upgrade your routine to accomplish this goal.

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