How To Do A Triceps Dip To Seriously Tone Your Arms


TBH, doing a triceps dip can be pretty tricky. But I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about the upper-body exercise — the benefits, form tips, variations, and more!

The basic triceps dip is a bodyweight exercise. Translation: it’s a move that uses your own mass as a tool to build muscle, increase strength, and challenge your overall fitness. Eventually, you can add a load to your upper quads or hip (like resting a weight plate on your lap) in order to make them harder.

Either way, the great thing about a triceps dip is that once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to master and incorporate in to your regular workouts. Plus, there are plenty of variations you can do to increase the move’s intensity and keep things exciting. (More on that later.)

But if you haven’t done a triceps dip before that’s okay, after going over why you’d want to do them in the first place, I’ll break down how to do triceps dips with step-by-step instructions below.

Benefits Of The Triceps Dip

The triceps dip is a heavy hitter for anyone looking to create tone and definition in their upper arms. The move will primarily target your triceps (duh). But you can also expect to see some gains in your shoulder and chest area. This includes your anterior deltoids — these are the muscles on the front of your shoulders. Working them will boost your ability to lift — weights, kids, that recently delivered Amazon package waiting at your front door!

But the triceps dip is not only focused on your arms and shoulders. You’ll also be targeting your core as you lift your hips up and down too.

READ MORE: 8 Triceps Exercises That Will Help You FINALLY Tone The Back Of Your Arms

How To Do A Triceps Dip

The biggest mistake people make is assuming that the tricep dip is too simple. “It’s basically a squat with a chair, right?” Wrong! Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to do the triceps dip the right way:

  1. Grip the front edges of a chair or bench with your hand.
  2. Hover your butt just off and in front of the seat, feet flat, and legs bent so thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Straighten your arms. This is your start position.
  4. Lower your body toward the floor until your arms form 90-degree angles.
  5. Then, engage your triceps to press back to start.
  6. That’s one rep!

Form tip: Your butt should be grazing the front of the chair or bench that you’re working with, and your shoulders should be rolled down your back and away from your ears to keep the work out of your neck.

Sets/reps for results: Aim for three sets of 10–15 reps, and try adding them into your workouts 2–3 times a week to add muscle definition to your arms and build strength.

READ MORE: How To Do Triceps Extensions Like A Total Pro

Variations On The Triceps Dip

  • Reverse Plank Triceps Dip: To increase the intensity of this move, extend your legs until you form a straight line from your head to your heels (reverse plank position).
  • Elevated Triceps Dip: Raise your feet onto another surface (bench or chair) the same height of the surface where your hands are resting. This will increase the intensity of the move and force you to engage your core even more.
  • Weighted Triceps Dip: Place weight plates or a barbell on your upper quads/hip crease to make things really spicy! This will help you build up strength in your lower body too.

How To Work The Triceps Dip In To Your Routine

  1. Do it as a warm-up: The triceps dip is a great exercise to prep for the bench press or other push movements like pushups. But due to the demands on your shoulder, make sure those are warmed up too by doing arm circles and stretches.
  2. Do them as a superset: Because, triceps dips are an upper body focussed exercise, it could be a nice active recovery between sets of lower-body moves like squats, allowing you to give your legs a break and fully recover while still working.

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