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What are Dips?

A great strength and mass builder for the upper body, dips are a compound push-type exercise, working a variety of different muscles, including your chest, shoulders and triceps, and are a fantastic exercise to have in your arsenal. Like a pull-up, they can be performed with just your body weight or by adding additional weight using a chain belt. 

Let’s talk Parallel Dips

Which exercise comes to mind when you think of building chest muscles? Most people will think Bench Press first, but if you do them perfectly – Parallel Dips can give you much more benefits

Parallel Dips are performed by using a specifically designed parallel bar machine or objects that are sturdy and of equal heights.

Muscles worked with Parallel Dips

  • Targeted: Pectoralis Major
  • Synergists: Anterior Deltoid Tricels Brachii Pectoralis Minor Rhomboids Levator Scapulae Latissimus Dorsi Teres Major
  • Stabilizers: Trapezius (lower)

How to perform Parallel Dips:

  1. Stand between a set of parallel bars. Place a hand on each bar, and then take a small jump to help you get into the starting position with your arms locked out.
  2. Begin by flexing the elbow, lowering your body until your arms break 90 degrees. Avoid swinging, and maintain good posture throughout the descent.
  3. Reverse the motion by extending the elbow, pushing yourself back up into the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

>How to ensure the effectiveness of Parallel Dips

Any type of exercise requires a good form to be performed correctly, and in order to ensure the effectiveness of this exercise as a chest builder, it is necessary to remember these following points:

  1. Keep your head down during the course of the movement and lean your body forward
  2. Move your elbows out a bit, away from your body. This will ensure you are using more chest than triceps
Tip: Always concentrate on squeezing your entire chest area at the top of the movement. 

So what’s all the fuss about Parallel Dips?

Just as the Deadlift, Squats and Military Press, the dips is an exercise many people have trouble with. A lot of people experience pain while doing dips and consider them dangerous. Of course, it is not one of those core exercises that everyone learns to do easily, that’s why most people fumble their way through it. 

To be honest, our arms are not designed to go backwards to that extreme, so as you lower yourself down, under full body weight, you put your shoulder capsule under huge amounts of strain. Because you are stretching all your ligaments and the soft tissue of the shoulder joint, it is possible to suffer a shoulder impingement. That is exactly why this exercise is all about quality of the movement pattern.  

While some people swear by them, considering them the best exercise for the upper body, others claim that they are counterproductive due to the strain they place on the joints and connective tissue. But suggesting that dips are bad simply because a lot of people feel inflammation from them is like saying squats are bad for your joints. 

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author: JC Fitness

Jogee Chauhan is an expert online fitness coach with a vast experience of 12 years in fitness and training. Being in the fitness profession has not always been an easy path for everyone and so is with Jogee Chauhan. Despite irregular job timings, Jogee Chauhan has always been enthusiastic about his fitness and has been regular with his training. His passion for fitness made him choose the path of Personal Fitness trainer for many aspiring fitness enthusiasts. He is a certified personal trainer from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). Through the years he has transformed many individuals and has helped many to achieve their fitness goals. It is his determination towards fitness and regular queries from many of his clients that has resulted in a very informative and useful blog section. All his fitness blogs and write-ups make sure to cover every aspect of many interesting topics that come to your mind when talking about fitness, health, weight loss or nutrition. So go through all his blogs and you will get all your worries answered! Happy reading!


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