Although not an ideal exercise for those with shoulder or wrist complications, the seated dip is an effective bodyweight exercise that directly targets the triceps, or the muscles located at the back of your arm between your shoulder and elbow.
It’s especially easy for beginners to execute this exercise improperly, so be sure you understand how to do it correctly before adding it to your workout routine. Good form is essential not only because it makes the exercise more effective, but because it will help you to avoid injury, too.
For proper form when performing a seated triceps dip, follow these steps.
-How to Do a Seated Triceps Dip-
1. Begin seated on the edge of a sturdy bench, chair or gym box with your hands placed next to your hips. Your fingers should face forward and latch over the edge of the surface so that your palm is planted firmly.
2. Inch forward with your feet so that your hips come off of the bench. Your knees should form 90-degree angles and your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and down. Avoid shrugging them up towards your ears.
3. Keep your core engaged as you slowly lower yourself towards the floor by bending your elbows. Keep in mind that the movement should not come from your hips, only your arms. Concentrate on keeping your hips still and avoid dropping them towards the floor. (You should feel most of the tension in your triceps.) Also focus on keeping your elbows in so they shoot straight back. Avoid letting them flare out.
4. Slowly push yourself back up to the starting position, squeezing your tricep muscles at the top of the movement.
5. Repeat the motion for as many reps as you can without compromising your form. (Just like with any other exercise, five perfect dips are much better and way more effective than 10 performed poorly.)
Add this exercise to your regular workout routine to build upper body strength. If you were able to do five the first time, aim for six or more during your next workout and continue progressing from there.
Thanks to Body Space Fitness in New York City for sharing their exercise space with us.