There are certain exercises that force us to take a step back and seem too hard to even attempt, let alone master. For each of us, these exercises may differ according to our own preferences, comfort-zone, interest or simply, our strength to endure. Most of the times, it is these challenges that push us to our best abilities and give us amazing results. Anyone who is at their physical best, today, would not have been able to achieve it without giving in to their fears and struggling to attempt and ace their most *dreaded* exercises.
I know, I know. Easier said than done, right? But you’ve got to admit, everything that we’ve achieved so far - be it school boards, college-level examinations, entrances, job interviews, meetings or presentations - we have all dreaded it at some point, haven’t we? And yet, when we worked extremely hard, we were able to accomplish them. Well, that’s pretty much the same with certain exercises too. All you’ve got to do is maintain consistency and remain determined enough to become a pro at something where you were once a beginner. Talking about fears, if there’s one exercise that leaves me shaken till date - that’s a dip exercise. And slowly and steadily, I plan on becoming a pro at it, too. Curious to know what it is?
Ever seen someone push themselves off the ground and lift their body in the air by holding on to parallel bars or rings? Well, this exciting exercise is known as a dip. Dips are compound, body-weight exercises that are known to deliver excellent upper body mass and strength through their unique techniques and movements. They are considered as one of the most versatile yet challenging forms of exercise and a staple one in the workout regime for almost all athletes. But how to do dip exercises?
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If there is no struggle, there is no progress.💪🏽 Dips or the upper body squats are essential if you want to tone your upper body and engage your core muscles! This was my first time doing weighted dips, I did 5 sets of 3 and I tried to hold for few seconds after each set( the Dip hold helps to build strength in upper body). 10 pounds + my bodyweight= struggle🙆🏻♀️
Well, to perform a dip, you need to support yourself on dip bars or on a set of rings with your arms straight down and shoulders over your hands. Then, you lower your body until your arms are bent to a 90-degree angle at the elbows. Slowly, you lift your body up as high as you can and stay there for a while until you begin feeling the pressure on your arms. Then, you return to your starting position and begin and repeat this routine again for as many times as you want. And as easy as it sounds in theory, I can assure you that it’s absolutely NOT in reality. However, the results are absolutely worth it. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
Dips exercise helps to gain upper body mass and strengthens the gains because of the unique mechanics of the movement. Here are more such dips exercise benefits that you should know.
1. It helps you build your overall, bodily strength in not just one but several layers of your upper-body muscle groups. So, with time, the pain that you may have endured while doing dips or any other form of exercises will be reduced to a large extent.
2. It majorly targets and strengthens your triceps which happen to be the major muscle located at the back of your arm. Compared to other forms of exercise, dips are proven to give the fastest results in improving your tricep flexibility and mobility.
3. In just a few days, it would help in building your upper chest’s strength more quickly and powerfully than any of the kettlebells, barbells or dumbbells would in weeks.
4. Since it provides more energy expenditure with just one exercise, every muscle including the most overlooked ones such as levator scapulae (back and side of the neck), rhomboids (upper back) and latissimus dorsi (the largest muscle in your upper body) ends up becoming 10 times firmer and stronger than before.
5. By just simply engaging in dips, you can be in a position to tone several muscle groups of your body, all at the same time without giving separate attention or isolating each one to work independently through specific exercises.
6. While doing dips, you recruit more muscle fibres and stimulate the release of many muscle-building hormones (the most important ones being human growth hormones) which enable you to lift heavier weights in the future without much difficulty and pain.
7. By improving your strength, coordination and immunity - dips also help you carry out your daily physical tasks more comfortably without making you feel too exhausted or weak quickly.
8. By doing dips regularly and correctly (according to the technique that works best for you), the risk of injuries to all the upper-body joints in your body will effectively reduce by ensuring that your triceps, shoulder and scapular muscles are effectively developed.
9. Dips are far more superior and effective than push-ups. While in the latter, you lift only a fraction of your body weight, in dips, you gain the strength to lift your *entire* bodyweight by coordinating all the parts of your body and maintaining a balanced mental strength as well.
10. Without locking your elbows, you won’t be able to repeat a dip properly. And sometimes, these final few inches are the toughest parts of the routine. By doing dips regularly, this lockout strength is likely to improve significantly and will even become easier with time.
Now, if these aren’t enough important reasons to begin adding dips in your workout regime, I don’t know what will be! When it comes to dips, you can choose to either perform them at a gym or at home. Read below to find out how to apply the same techniques correctly.
Doing exercise in the gym requires proper guidance, here are the different ways to do dips workout properly. Have a look!
Stand between a pair of parallel bars and hold them tightly. Then, by putting your entire body’s weight on your hands, lift yourself up, slowly and steadily, until your hands are completely straight. And finally, lower your body till your arms form 90 degrees.
This is slightly tougher than parallel bar dips but is much more effective as well. Place your hands on the bar which should be relatively above your chest and raise yourself up, carefully until your hands are completely stretched and straightened.
These dips take place between two flat benches. You place your hands on the bench that’s facing your back while your feet go on the bench that’s right in front of you. Now, raise your butt off the floor by using the strength of your arms. Then, bend your arms until you break parallel. You can also add some weight by putting a plate on your thighs or in your lap while you do this.
The ring dip is an advanced variation of the standard dip as it’s basically performed on gymnastic rings. This dip requires a great amount of muscle coordination, bodily strength and joint stabilisation. Just grab two rings firmly and jump up to raise your body off the floor. Then, bend your arms while keeping them close to your body and break parallel.
This is carried out in exactly the same way as bench dips except that a dumbbell weighing 10 - 15 kgs, is held between the feet while doing it. This is for those who have crossed the beginner stage and are looking for more ways to challenge their daily dips workout.
This is another variation of weighted dips where you perform a bench, parallel or a straight bar dip while wearing a rucksack filled with plates. This puts more pressure on your shoulders and triceps and hence, strengthens those parts of the body quicker.
In this, you perform dips while wearing a dipping belt and attach plates through the chain that hangs down from the belt. Then, you lift yourself up in exactly the same way as you do in parallel bar dips, except that this addition adds more weight on your chest and abdomen and makes those parts stronger, simultaneously.
This form of dip is similar to a parallel bar dip except that in this, you have the freedom to adjust the width of your grip and change hand positions by facing them inwards or outwards.
Doing a dip exercise is not restricted to the four walls of a gym. You can easily do dips exercise at home or wherever you want by using these four simple ways:
If you have enough space in your room and seem motivated enough to do dips at home, you could easily purchase a dip station. It’s a piece of vertical equipment which looks almost similar to the parallel bars of a gym. Not only does it let you do chest dips but pull ups, chin ups, leg raises and hanging knee raises as well. In short, your full chest, abs and back workout can be done with the help of just one exercise equipment.
If you have a few chairs or stools at home of the same height, you can easily do your bench dips on them. You may need some time and abdominal strength to get used to it but the efforts are totally worth it. Don’t you think?
Most of the time, playgrounds will definitely have a set of parallel bars or monkey bars for you to exercise your dips on. So, when you don’t feel like hitting the gym, head to your nearest park and practice some dips. Practising dips exercise benefits you in two ways. First, you can enjoy some fresh air or sunshine and second, you wouldn’t be bothered by trainers trying to meddle with your dips.
As a last resort, if you are confused about how to do dips at home, you can try to do a planche progression. Ever seen someone do a push-up but with both legs in the air? Well, that’s called a planche. More than an exercise, it’s actually a progression because you need to be able to hold a lot of different positions before you can even think of doing a planche progression. If you want to learn how to do it, you should definitely watch this video.
Dips are unarguably one of the toughest exercises in the world and if not done correctly, they can even end up being the most painful ones. Hence, there are certain precautions that one should keep in mind before doing dips.
While performing a dip, most of the people tend to lean too far forward which brings a curve in their back. This puts your shoulders in a very vulnerable position and opens the possibility of severe shoulder pain. Therefore, you must maintain a 45-degree angle with your upper body and try to pull your shoulders down so that your back is straight.
A lot of people tend to flare their elbows every time they perform a dip which ends up aggravating their shoulder pain even more. Considering the amount of pressure on your chest, your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle with your body, thereby putting your shoulders in a much more stable position.
While doing a dip, there is a high chance that you might end up having severe wrist pain. This is because of your poor grip that limits muscle activation throughout the rest of the body. So, while doing dips, it’s essential that you hold the dip bars firmly and maintain strong wrists.
So, now that we’ve figured what the exercise is all about, how about you go and try it out - and sweep yourself off the ground? (pun intended)
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