Fitness and bodybuilding are filled with “go-to” movements. These movements seem to do so much in targeting a muscle for strength and growth. These movements also hit more than one muscle group at once which is great for time.
A movement that has made a name for itself in bodybuilding and for good reason is the dip. This movement has been around for quite some time and is one of the more popular movements in the gym. It has a focus and emphasis on targeting the triceps, but is also used for hitting and targeting the chest as well.
The dip requires decent core strength as well to perform when using just the bodyweight. The wrists, elbows, and shoulders are the mover joints throughout the up and down rep. Many people have struggle with the dip because it truly exposes weakness in the triceps and shoulders. Also, if a person has weak joints or pain of any sort, the dip will pose as a huge challenge. Dips however can be modified for virtually anyone to perform them. Bench dips are great for people with a weaker upper body or issues with joints. The bench dip engages the triceps but allows the person to control resistance with their legs. Another modification of a dip is the dip machine or an assisted dip machine. Both target the chest and triceps while allowing the user to have full control over the resistance used.
The raw and natural dip however reigns supreme for numerous reasons. As stated earlier the natural dip engages the core and gets so many muscles firing in the upper body do to the person having to have complete control of their body throughout the rep. Simple tricks to the dip are modifying the angle of the body as well. By putting the body more upright throughout the rep, the triceps will be targeted much more, engaging a lot of elbow work to help the shoulders out. On the other hand, by slightly leaning forward in the dip, the emphasis shifts away from just the triceps and now goes into the chest, especially the lower pectorals. By focusing on getting deep in the rep (be careful of the shoulders), a great stretch takes place in the chest making for a great squeeze when bringing the body back up.
The dip comes in numerous variations and modifications. Whichever way you choose to do it, just do it. Your chest and triceps will thank you.