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Work those Triceps

Posted Jan 13 2010 5:50am
The bench dip primarily strengthens and shapes your triceps. Most tricep exercises only work your triceps, but the bench dip is a unique tricep exercise because it also works other muscles in your body, including your shoulders and upper back.

The bench dip is an arm exercise, so your arms should be raising and lowering your body weight as you bend and straighten your arms. Make sure you do not simply move your hips up and down as you perform the bench dip.

When performing a bench dip, only lower your body so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Lowering your body too far down can strain your shoulders. You can also strain your shoulders if you perform this exercise with your upper body too far away from the bench or chair.


1. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your legs straight and together and your toes pointing up.

2. Place your hands beside your hips on the edge of the bench or chair.

3. Straighten your arms and lift your buttocks off the bench or chair and move your body forward slightly, supporting your weight on your arms.

4. Keeping your hips and back close to the bench or chair, slowly bend your arms and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Keep your elbows close to your sides.

5. Slowly straighten your arms and push yourself back up to the starting position.

Q. What can I do if I find the bench dip too difficult? - Sarah

A. You can perform a modified version of the bench dip to make the exercise easier. Perform the same movement as described above, except start with your knees bent at 90-degree angles and your feet flat on the floor. In this position, you will appear as if you are sitting on a chair as you perform the dips.

Q. How can I make the bench dip more challenging? - Brook

A. To make th bench dip more challenging, perform the same movement as described above, except start with your feet up on another bench, chair or stability ball. You should tighten your abdominal muscles to help stabilize your body and make sure you do not lock your knees. To make the exercise even more difficult, you can place a weight plate on your thights as you perform the dips.
  • Just move your hips up and down. Make sure you bend and straighten your arms.
  • Lower your body too far down. Your upper arms should never be lower than parallel with the floor.
  • Lock your elbows or move your body too far away from the bench or chair.
  • Allow your elbows to flare out to the sides.

Targeted muscles:
1. Triceps

Additional Muscles:
2. shoulders (deltoids)
3. upper back (upper trapezius)




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