Chest Dip Exercises

The chest dip is a great exercise to use to target the muscles of the chest. It will also indirectly work the muscles of the triceps and shoulders as well.

Chest dips effectively hit the lower region of the pec, similarly to the decline bench press. However, it follows a vertical pressing movement pattern, which provides a unique stimulus for the muscles of the chest.

It is best to master the bodyweight variation of this exercise prior to adding weight via weighted vests, belts, or chains.

The dip can be performed as part of your chest workouts, push workouts, upper body workouts, or full body workouts.

Exercise Profile

  • Target Muscle Group – Chest
  • Exercise Type – Strength
  • Equipment Required – Bodyweight
  • Mechanics – Compound
  • Force Type – Push (Bilateral)
  • Experience Level – Intermediate
  • Secondary Muscles – Abs, Shoulders, Triceps

Chest Dip Instructions

  1. Step up on the dip station (if possible) and position your hands with a neutral grip.
  2. Initiate the dip by unlocking the elbows and slowly lowering the body until the forearms are almost parallel with the floor.
  3. Control the descent to parallel and then drive back to the starting position by pushing through the palms.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Chest Dip Tips

  1. Technically there are two ways to perform dips – neither is wrong, just different movement with different purposes:
    • Staying upright and keeping the elbows in close to increase tricep recruitment.
    • Leaning forward with elbows wider to increase chest recruitment.
  2. If possible, keep the legs straight down while bracing the glutes and abs to limit excessive spinal movement.
  3. If no dip station with steps is available, position a box underneath the handles to boost yourself up to the bars.
  4. If no box is available, then jump into position.
  5. Don’t allow the head to jut forward during the descent.
  6. Ensure the elbows stay just short of lockout to keep tension on the triceps.
  7. Experiment with a false grip by wrapping the thumb over the bar as this may be more comfortable for some.