Are Dips Effective For Building Triceps? Answers Here
If you spend much time in the gym, then chances are you’ve seen many people performing dips with their body weight or using a dip machine. It might have got you thinking “are dips effective for building triceps”. It’s a valid question as it can be difficult to find a definitive answer when wadding through all the information out there, so let’s get to it…
Do they really offer any benefits or should you stick to doing other triceps exercises?
In this post, we will explore whether or not dips can help strengthen and build your triceps so that you can make an informed decision on whether they should be part of your workout routine. So if you’re looking to pack on some serious muscle onto your arms, keep reading!
Are Dips Effective For Building Triceps?
The short answer is yes, dips are an effective exercise for building your triceps! When performed correctly, they can target all three heads of the muscle group and offer great muscle activation. You can also alter the angle of your body to engage different parts of the triceps or increase the amount of chest activation allowing you to build size, strength and power. Additionally, performing dips can help improve your pressing strength as they are a great exercise for the chest and shoulders. There are various types of dips you can do and they all offer benefits, no matter your fitness level.
Let’s now look more in-depth at the reasons why dips are effective for building your triceps…
1. Triceps basics
The triceps muscles run along the backside of your arm and are responsible for straightening (extending) your elbow. The triceps are also used in all ‘pushing” or “pressing” exercises, such as the overhead press and bench press. They also help to keep your elbows locked in position during pressing or pushing activities and double up as stabiliser muscles when you are completing bodyweight exercises and various compound movements.
The main muscle group is composed of three heads; the long head, medial head and lateral head. All three are involved in any triceps exercise, although each individual head can be targeted more specifically by altering the angle of your body and/or your hand positioning.
Although dips are great for building your triceps strength, some of the other benefits of doing them include:
Increased shoulder and chest strength – as we mentioned earlier, dips are great for targeting the chest and shoulders. Because of this, doing a few sets of dips can help to strengthen these areas which will in turn help you with other pressing exercises such as bench presses, overhead presses, etc.
Improved muscle coordination & stability – dips also require a certain level of coordination and balance as you are suspended in the air with just your arms keeping you up. This can help to improve neural pathways, which is essential for increased muscle activation and improved stability throughout your body.
Enhanced range of motion in the arms, shoulders & chest – by doing dips, you can increase the range of motion in your arms, shoulders and chest which will help to improve your pressing strength.
Developed triceps size and definition – dips are a great way to build size and definition in your triceps. You can perform various types of dips (weighted, incline/decline etc.) which will all target different areas of the muscle group.
Greater overall arm strength – as with any exercise, the more you do dips, the stronger your triceps will become. This increased strength can help to boost your performance in other exercises that target the arms and shoulders such as rows, pull-ups and lat pulldowns.
3. Target all three heads
As we mentioned earlier, dips are great for targeting all three heads of the triceps muscle. Here is an overview of how each head is targeted:
Long head: This is the outermost head and can be targeted more specifically by performing incline or decline dips with a wider grip. The long head is responsible for elbow extension as well as shoulder abduction.
Medial head: This is the middle head and can be targeted more specifically by performing flat or decline dips with a narrow grip. The medial head is responsible for elbow flexion and extension as well as shoulder flexion.
Lateral head: This is the innermost head and can be targeted more specifically by performing flat or incline dips with a narrow grip. The lateral head is responsible for elbow flexion and shoulder abduction.
As you can see, dips are an effective exercise for building your triceps as they provide great muscle activation, require coordination and balance and help to target all three heads of the muscle group.
4. Change angle for greater engagement
To increase the amount of muscle activation and target different areas of your triceps, you can alter the angle of your body when performing dips. For example with a wide grip, you will be targeting more of the long head while if you perform flat dips with a narrow grip, you will be targeting more of the medial and lateral heads. If you perform dips horizontally, you will be shifting more weight onto your triceps
This is a great way to ensure that you are targeting all of the muscles in your triceps and getting the most out of each dip exercise. Furthermore, you can gain extra chest activation by leaning forward and shifting your legs further behind while executing dips with a wide grip – this technique is excellent for increasing strength and power in the targeted areas.
Related: Why Are My Forearms Wider Than My Biceps?
5. Build size, strength and power
Not only can dips help you to target all three heads of the triceps, but they can also be used to build size, strength and power. By increasing the resistance (either through adding weight or adjusting your body position) you can increase the intensity of the exercise and get more out of each set. Additionally, performing dips regularly will help to strengthen your muscles over time and improve your overall pressing strength.
As we’ve already discussed, altering your body angle when performing dips can help to increase muscle activation in specific areas. This extra activation will lead to increased muscle size which will in turn result in increased strength and power.
Furthermore, with the right technique, you can use dips as a great exercise for developing your chest and shoulders as well. By leaning forward slightly while in the bottom position of your dip, you can shift more weight onto your chest which will increase its activation. This extra focus on the chest can help to improve pressing strength and build size in your chest, shoulders and triceps.
6. Help pressing strength also
As we’ve already discussed, dips are a great exercise for targeting the triceps and chest which can help to improve your overall pressing strength. Performing dips regularly will help to strengthen your muscles over time and allow you to lift heavier weights in other exercises that use these same muscles.
Furthermore, if you perform dips correctly, they will also help to improve your shoulder stability and posture. This will in turn make other pressing exercises easier as you are able to stay in the correct position for longer periods of time when carrying out these movements.
So, if you are looking for an effective exercise that can help to build size, strength and power and improve your overall pressing strength then dips are definitely a great option.
7. Progressive overload
Dips are a compound exercise and involve multiple joint movements, so they put your triceps through a large range of motion which is key for muscular development. You can easily adjust the weight and intensity level of dips by adding extra plates or even body weight to make the exercise more challenging, allowing you to continually progress and add an element of progressive overload.
By increasing the intensity level of your dip exercises, you can ensure that your triceps are being worked to their fullest potential and as a result, they will be able to grow bigger over time.
8. No matter your fitness level
Dips are a great exercise for all fitness levels. Whether you are just starting out or a seasoned athlete, dips can be used to build strength and muscle size. Beginners can start by performing bodyweight dips on benches or parallel bars (assisted dips) to get used to the movement and build a strong foundation before moving on to weighted dips.
More experienced athletes can use free weights, resistance bands or even suspension trainers to increase the intensity level of their dips and continue progressing.
For more advanced athletes, dips can be used to really push their bodies and help them reach their goals faster. Heavy weight plates, bands or chains can be added to increase the intensity of the dip exercise, allowing them to build strength quickly.
Related: Forearm Sore After Hammer Curls?
9. Dips Are a Functional Exercise
Dips require you to use your own body weight to lift yourself up and down (unlike machines which can do this for you). This makes them a functional exercise as it requires coordination, stability and balance to ensure that you are able to move efficiently during the exercise whilst keeping your body in the correct position.
The functional aspect of dips also helps to improve core strength and stability as you must engage your muscles throughout the movement. This is incredibly beneficial for sports performance and everyday life as it will help to keep you injury free and allow you to move more freely.
10. Other exercises to work triceps
OK, so we know that dips are super effective for building your triceps, but in the event you don’t want to do them or simply prefer other exercises there are other options you can use.
You could try tricep pushdowns which work the outer head of the triceps, close grip bench press which works all three heads of the muscle and kickbacks which help to target the long head. All of these exercises can be done using free weights, resistance bands or suspension trainers.
The reverse plank can also be used to work the triceps and is great for those who don’t have access to any equipment. This exercise involves you lifting your body up off the floor using your arms, engaging all three heads of the muscle group.
So, as you can see there are plenty of options available when it comes to building your triceps and dips are just one exercise amongst many. Whichever you choose to do, make sure that you focus on form and keep good posture throughout the movement in order to get the most out of your workout.
How many dips does it take to build triceps?
How often you should do dips to build triceps depends on your individual fitness level and goals. Generally, it is recommended that you aim for 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps per session, with 1-2 minutes rest between sets. If you’re just starting out, start with 2 or 3 sets and gradually increase the number of sets as your triceps become stronger. Additionally, it is important to ensure you are using correct form when doing dips so the exercise is effective in targeting and strengthening the triceps. Doing dips with incorrect form can put unnecessary strain on other body parts, like the shoulders or back. Lastly, progress gradually when adding weight to your dips and focus on controlled movements for maximum benefit.
Are dips better than push-ups for triceps?
This is a question that many people ask when looking to build muscle in their arms. The short answer is yes, dips are better for targeting the triceps than push-ups. Dips put a greater emphasis on the triceps, while push-ups focus more on the chest muscles. Additionally, dips involve more range of motion than push-ups, allowing for a deeper contraction and more muscle activation in the triceps.
However, it’s important to note that both exercises can be beneficial for building arm strength – just in different ways. Push-ups help develop functional upper body strength and are great for overall muscular development. Dips focus on the triceps specifically, so they are ideal for increasing triceps size and strength. Ultimately, both exercises should be included in a training routine to get the best results.
Are dips good for building arms?
Yes, dips are an excellent exercise for building arm strength and increasing triceps size. Dips work all three heads of the triceps muscle and can be used to increase total body strength as well as improve overall fitness levels. Additionally, due to their functional nature, dips can help improve core stability and coordination whilst keeping your body in the correct posture. Therefore, dips can be a great addition to any arm workout routine and help you reach your fitness goals.
Do dips work all 3 heads?
Yes, dips do work all 3 heads of the triceps muscle. When doing dips, you are using your triceps to press your body upwards as you ascend out of the dip. This motion works all three heads or sections of the muscle: medial (inner), lateral (outer), and long head. To further target the different heads, you can adjust your hand placement on the parallel bars and vary how wide or narrow you make your grip. You can also add in extra pauses and holds at the bottom of each rep to better target the muscle group. When doing dips, focus on good form and a full range of motion to maximize your results. Do not rush through reps as it reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and could lead to injury.
Are dips worth doing?
Absolutely! Dips are one of the best exercises for strengthening your chest, triceps and core. They can be done with your own body weight or with extra resistance such as dumbbells or a dip belt. In addition to building strength, dips can also help improve posture, balance and coordination. Furthermore, they provide an intense workout in a short amount of time, making them a great addition to any fitness routine. Whether you’re looking for strength training or functional fitness, dips are definitely worth doing!
In conclusion, dips are a great exercise for building your triceps and can help to improve your overall pressing strength. You can progress the intensity of this exercise by adding extra weight or adjusting your angle in order to target different parts of the muscle group. Dips can be done at any fitness level, making them an accessible option for everyone.
There are also other exercises that can be used to work the triceps such as pushdowns, kickbacks and reverse planks. So, if dips aren’t your thing you can easily find an alternative exercise that will get the job done. All in all, dips are a great tool for building strong and toned triceps!
Do you think dips are effective for building your triceps and have these tips helped? Let me know in the comments below!