Fitness 101: How To Do A Tricep Dip


Michelle October |

Dip it low, bring it up slow…this do-anywhere tricep move will build serious arm muscle!

Here’s something you may not know about your arms: to get that sculpted, toned look that’s so hot in tank tops – even when you’re not flexing – you need to work your triceps. Enter the dip. Another reason it’s the bomb-diggidy: it banishes flabby under-arms! “Due to the multi-joint nature of this exercise, your shoulder and back muscles are also activated,” says Angie Lander, a biokineticist at . Other parts that get love include your chest and lower back, and because it’s a slow, controlled move, “the muscles are contracted throughout, making it one of the most effective triceps exercises,” says Lander. What’s more, you can do it off the couch or even the side of the bed. So why aren’t you doing it? One possible reason is that you associate arm exercises with weights. “It’s a bodyweight exercise, so the total load you need to lift is limited by your body weight,” says Lander. Make it harder by using the upgrades (see: Pimp Your Move).

Signs You’re Doing It Wrong

You’re not going low enough.
Here’s your marker: as soon as your elbows form a 90° angle, that’s a full dip. Don’t go any lower either, or you’ll put too much pressure on your shoulders.

You’re rounding your chest.
Keep your chest up and open. Rounding your shoulders and chest means you’re leaning too far forward – bad news for injuries.

You’re going too fast.
This one’s a slow burn, like the plank: go too fast and you’re preventing your muscles from being activated. “Feel the movement through your chest and triceps,” says Lander.

Avoid if…

You have a shoulder or wrist injury.

Looking for more moves to master? Here’s how you can ace the stability-ball pike, the bicep curl and the sit-up like a pro.

Watch ON: Fitness Fitness Advice