Tricep bench dips are one of the simplest and most effective bodyweight exercises you can do.
The movement is relatively simple to learn, you can do it at home, and it offers plenty of benefits.
So, if you’ve been wondering if you should do tricep bench dips, how to go about them, and how to fit them into your training, read on. We’ll break it down for you.
What Makes Tricep Bench Dips So Great?
Tricep dips on a bench are one of the best exercises you can do to work your three-headed tricep muscle (the back of your upper arms). The movement genuinely isolates your triceps and forces them to work hard to extend your elbows. (1)
Plus, this dip variation is fantastic because you can do it almost anywhere at any time. So long as you have a solid bench, you’re good to go. You can also add tricep bench dips as part of your home workouts.
For example, you can do a tricep exercise at home with dumbbells first, then follow up with tricep bench dips without resting in-between. Doing so would be a superset, and doing dips after another tricep exercise will thoroughly exhaust the muscle group and force growth.
Performing Tricep Bench Dips
Performing Tricep Bench Dips:
- Position your palms on a bench or low table as shown above.
- You can have your feet elevated on another bench or object (as shown), or on the ground. Both ways yield a great workout, but the higher your feet the more resistance.
- Slowly lower your body to the down position. Lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Push up to return to the start position. This is one rep.
- Perform 5-20 reps depending on your strength and fit level.
What Muscles Do Tricep Bench Dips Work?
The movement is fantastic because of many reasons. Perhaps the best one is that it trains a range of muscle groups and builds whole-body stability and athleticism.
Specifically, bench dips train all three heads of your triceps – the long, lateral, and medial heads.
Bench dips also work your shoulders (particularly the front deltoid head), chest (pectorals), and serratus anterior. But tricep dips also involve your core because all of the muscles in your midsection work hard to keep you stable and in position. (2)
In essence, the tricep bench dip is a whole-body exercise you can do at home.
Safety And Important Considerations
Tricep bench dips are fantastic and offer many benefits. But we also need to go over some safety tips and considerations for the movement.
First, always make sure that the bench or object you are using can support your body weight. The last thing you want is to get into a bench dip position, only for the supporting object to collapse or fall back, leaving you to fall on the floor. Plus, that can lead to a serious shoulder injury.
It’s best to have your chair against a wall. That way, you prevent the risk of it sliding away from you. (3)
On that note, it’s also essential to have a good grip on the chair or other object. The chair might be stable, but it won’t do you any good if your hands slip and you end up hitting your back and head on it.
And finally, always make sure to warm up well before training. You can start with some light cardio to get your blood flowing, then move to joint-specific warm-up.
Specifically, you’ll want to spend extra time on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. This small investment will optimize your performance and drastically reduce your risk of injuries.
Tricep bench dips will put strain on your shoulders an wrists, so make sure to do arm and wrist rotations to fully warm up.
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1. Davis, N. (2020). How to do bench dips – and why you should. Healthline. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/bench-dips.
2. Maloney, L. (n.d.). Bench dip exercises. LIVESTRONG.COM. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/406850-bench-dip-exercises/.
3. Follow-up q and a: Dangerous dips. ACE Fitness. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/1657/follow-up-q-and-a-dangerous-dips/.