Dip (exercise)

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Dip exercise using a dip bar

A dip is an upper-body strength exercise. Narrow, shoulder-width dips mainly trains the triceps, with major synergists being the anterior deltoid, the pectoralis muscles, and the rhomboid muscles of the back.[1] Wide arm training places additional emphasis on the pectoral muscles, similar in respect to the way a wide grip bench press would focus more on the pectorals and less on the triceps.[2]

Modern meaning[edit]

To perform a dip, the exerciser supports themselves on a dip bar with their arms straight down and shoulders over their hands, then lowers their body until their arms are bent to a 90 degree angle at the elbows, and then lifts their body up, returning to the starting position.


Combined dip and pull-up machine with weights

Usually dips are done on a dip bar, with the exerciser's hands supporting their entire body weight. For added resistance, weights can be added by use of a dip belt, weighted vest, or by wearing a backpack with weights in it. A dumbbell may also be held between the knees or ankles. For less resistance, an assisted dip/pull-up machine can be used which reduces the force necessary for the exerciser to elevate their body by use of a counterweight. One may also use resistance bands hooked under their feet to help if they lack the strength to properly perform a dip.[3]

Another variation of the dip is done on gymnastic rings. Similar to a bar dip, the exerciser hand's grasps the rings, supporting their entire body weight. The unsteady nature of the rings adds additional challenge, although there are variations to make the exercise easier.[4]

In the absence of equipment, a lighter variation of the dip can be performed called the "Bench Dip". The hands are placed on one bench directly underneath the shoulders or on two parallel benches.[5] The legs are straightened and positioned horizontally; the feet rest on another bench in front of the exerciser. This variation trains the upper body muscles in a similar though not exact manner as the normal dip, whilst reducing the total weight lifted by a significant amount. This exercise can be done also off of the edge of a sofa, a kitchen counter, or any surface that supports the lifter. It should be done under control.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Triceps Dip". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Chest Dip". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  3. ^ "20 Dip Variations | 4 Assisted Dips & 16 Advanced Dip Variations". www.kingofthegym.com. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  4. ^ Daniel, DeMoss (2022-01-26). "Ring Dips: For Beginners to Advanced (Plus 7 Great Variations)". dumbbellsreview.com. Retrieved 2022-02-23.
  5. ^ "Chest Dip (between benches)". exrx.net. Retrieved 3 September 2013.