Dip (exercise)

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Dip exercise using a dip bar

A dip is an upper-body strength exercise. Narrow, shoulder-width dips only train the triceps, with major synergists being the anterior deltoid, the pectoralis muscles (sternal, clavicular, and minor), and the rhomboid muscles of the back (in that order).[1] Wide arm training places additional emphasis on the pectoral muscles, similar in respect to the way a wide grip bench press would focus more on the pectorals and less on the triceps.[2]

Modern meaning[edit]

To perform a dip, the exerciser supports themselves on a dip bar or from a set of rings with their arms straight down and shoulders over their hands, then lowers their body until their arms are bent to a 90 degree angle at the elbows, and then lifts their body up, returning to the starting position.


Combined dip and pull-up machine with weights

Usually dips are done on a dip bar, with the exerciser's hands supporting their entire body weight. For added resistance, weights can be added by use of a dip belt, weighted vest, or by wearing a backpack with weights in it. A dumbbell may also be held between the knees or ankles. For less resistance, an assisted dip/pull-up machine can be used which reduces the force necessary for the exerciser to elevate their body by use of a counterweight. One may also use resistance bands hooked under their feet to help if they lack the strength to properly perform a dip.

In the absence of this equipment, a lighter variation of the dip can be performed called the "Bench Dip". The hands are placed on one bench directly underneath the shoulders or on two parallel benches.[3] The legs are straightened and positioned horizontally; the feet rest on another bench in front of the exerciser. This variation trains the upper body muscles in a similar though not exact manner as the normal dip, whilst reducing the total weight lifted by a significant amount. This exercise can be done also off of the edge of a sofa, a kitchen counter, or any surface that supports the lifter. It should be done holding the equilibrium under control.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Triceps Dip". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Chest Dip". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Chest Dip (between benches)". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.