Dips are a very effective exercise, however, they are also one of the most subtly butchered exercises. One of the reasons being that there is not as much discussion surrounding them as there is with movements such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts. There is not a lot of information out there about dips and if there is, it is quite limited; no in depth explanation of the mechanics needed to properly perform this exercise. Dr. Joel Seedman gives the insight and information needed to perform dips correctly and efficiently.
A common mistake people make when performing dips deals with their shoulders. Individuals will go too deep, causing their shoulders to roll over, giving them internal rotation. For some reason, this has been accepted when it comes to dips although it breaches proper form.
How to perform a proper dip
- Assume the same position as you would when doing a bent over row; keeping your elbows close to your body rather than jutting them out.
- Hinge over at the hips (again, just as you would with a bent over row). To do that, you must hollow out the core and get tall.
- Drive your legs slightly in front of you with your toes dorsal flexed, compressing and retracting the scapula.
- Ensure you are over the handles and not sagging. Keeping your elbows tucked and your core tight, dip down and fire back up. Keep your form throughout the entire motion. If you feel your shoulders roll over and your lats are no longer firing, you are dipping too far.
Dips are typically performed on parallel bars, but can be performed on rings as well. There are a lot of assumptions that ring dips should feel unique in comparison to parallel bar dips, but if performed properly, they should feel identical.
Another thing to keep in mind when perfecting your dip technique is to compare them to your standard push up. The mechanics for the movements are almost the same, the only different being, you are bent over when performing dips.
Just with every exercise, practice makes perfect. Once you get your form down pat, your triceps will be firing away in no time!