Dips are an advanced, compound, bodyweight exercise that strengthens the arms, shoulders, and chest. Performed on a set of parallel bars or handles, they will test your upper body strength to the max.
Start with both hands gripping either side of the dip bars. Raise yourself above the ground with your arms so your elbows are now straightened.
Inhale, and in a controlled manner, bend your elbows to lower your body down until your shoulders are level with your elbows. Keep your arms tight and close to your sides.
Lift your legs up and behind you for better equilibrium as you perform the movement. Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor and your upper body leaning slightly forward. The inside of your elbows should be forming a 90-degree angle at this point.
Pause for a second, and then exhale while raising yourself back up again to an extended arm position. This counts as one complete Dip.
It’s important to not let your shoulders drop beneath the level of your elbows while descending during this exercise, nor let your chest lean too far forward. This can cause pain in your collarbone. Again, make sure you have the requisite upper body strength before attempting a free-bodyweight dip.
Correct form is important while doing dips. Your chest must be upright and your shoulders back to avoid feeling discomfort or pain in your chest area. If Dips are still too challenging for you, try doing Bench Dips or use the Dip assisted machine at the gym.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.