Strength Training Tips: 5 Dip Variations for a Strong Upper Body

Dip Variations Strength Training Tips TC-3515

Trying to take your upper body workouts to the next level? Dip variations are a powerful strength training approach to building muscle in the chest, shoulders and arms simultaneously. These compound bodyweight exercises can require minimal additional equipment and will chisel your upper half when performed correctly. After feeling the powerful dip, your strength training routine will never be the same. Here are five dip variations for a strong upper body:

  1. The Dip

This is the classic dip variation. You should master this movement before moving onto the other dip exercises below. The only equipment required for this variation is a dip station, which can be found on many rack and cage systems. Here’s how you do it:

  • Grasp both bars of the dip station and lift yourself up until your arms are fully extended
  • Rotate your knees to a 90 degree angle so that your hands are supporting your entire body weight
  • Lower yourself down slowly until your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle
  • Hold for a moment and then push yourself back upwards to the starting position

 

  1. The Bench Dip

This dip variation is great for those who don’t have access to a dip station but still want to work the same muscle groups. The only equipment required for this variation is a sturdy bench. Here’s how you do it:

  • With your back facing the bench, place the palms of your hands on the edge of the bench with your fingers hanging off the side
  • Move your heels out in front of your body and extend so you are supporting yourself with just your arm strength. This is your starting position.
  • Slowly lower yourself until your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle
  • Hold for a moment and then push yourself back upwards to the starting position

 

  1. The Weighted Dip

Once you have mastered the classic dip movement you may not beginning as many gains out of each repetition as you’d like. This is where the weighted dip comes in. The weighted dip is a simple variation that follows the exact same movement as the standard dip depicted in variation 1 in this blog except you are working against both your own bodyweight as well as some additional weight. There are multiple ways to fascine extra weight to yourself for this exercise so whichever method works best for you should work just fine. We recommend either holding a dumbbell between your ankles during the movement or filling a backpack with as much weight in weight plates as you can handle. Remember to start with a low amount of weight and work your way up to ensure safety and proper form.

  1. The Band-Resistant Dip

Similar to the weighted dip, the band-resistant dip allows you to challenge yourself even more while performing the same movement as the classic dip depicted in variation 1 of this blog. Before you begin performing the dip movement you will need to affix two resistance bands of equal resistance level to your body. To do this, attach one end of each band to opposite sides of the dip station and loop each band over the opposite side of your neck so that the bands cross in front of your body. Once the bands are in place, you are ready to begin the exercise. If you don’t own resistance bands of your own, check out the Bionic Body Super Bands by Kim Lyons, which are designed specifically for home gym fitness.

  1. The Dip to Leg Raise

This is a great variation to engage not only your shoulders, chest and arms but your core and abs as well. This variation should be performed on a dip station. Here’s how to do it:

  • Grasp both bars of the dip station and lift yourself up until your arms are fully extended
  • Rotate your knees to a 90 degree angle so that your hands are supporting your entire body weight
  • Bring your legs up as you begin to lower yourself down until your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle
  • Hold for a moment and then push yourself back upwards to the starting position

Overall the dip is a powerful move that offers a variety of benefits including strengthening and toning major upper body muscles. Check out marcypro.com for a variety of power racks, cages and towers with dips stations that will allow you to perform these variations in the comfort of your own home.

Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]

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