In the gym, everybody has their favorite exercises when it comes to getting in shape.
For a lot of people, it’s the barbell bench press.
For others, it’s the deadlift.
For the truly sadistic individuals, it could be squats!
When it comes to the benefits of dips, though, a lot of people tend to overlook this fantastic exercise, and that’s a real shame.
Dips are a hugely under-appreciated exercise when it comes to working out, and we’re looking to change that.
If done correctly, dips provide a whole variety of benefits for the physique, mind, body, and soul.
But precisely what are the benefits, and are they really as awesome as some fitness experts believe?
Well, let’s see, shall we?
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One of the biggest benefits for people that like to work out regularly is the fact that there are so many different variations of dips to choose from.
Dips are ideal because you can perform different variations to target different muscle groups.
Some dips will hit the triceps, whereas other variants will target the chest.
You can perform dips on a machine, you can use dipping bars, you can use a bench, you can perform weighted dips.
Heck, you can even use a chair or two if you’ve nothing else to hand.
Whereas some people love working out at the gym, others are not so keen.
On top of that, not everybody is blessed with plenty of free time, which means that there are some people that just don’t have a spare 90 plus minutes to head to a gym and work out several times per week.
This, however, does not mean that they shouldn’t exercise.
Just because they can’t get to the gym, doesn’t mean that they can’t work out.
Dips are ideal for working out because you can do them virtually anywhere, with no real equipment at all.
You can, therefore, do them in the comfort of your own home, and still build yourself a fantastic physique in the process.
Some exercises that we perform cannot be tweaked or adjusted.
You simply do the exercise, and that is that.
With dips, however, things are different.
Another awesome benefit that we’re going to look at today is based upon how customizable dips can be.
When you perform dips, you can scale the number of reps you perform up or down.
You can use chains and plates to perform weighted dips, you can use all manner of gym equipment, and you can really switch things up to keep them fresh.
Being able to customize your workouts means that you get to keep things fresh and exciting when training.
You can also try the Power Tower workout for better results.
One of the most vastly under-appreciated exercises for the triceps muscle is none other than the humble triceps dip.
The triceps are a notoriously difficult muscle group to target, due largely to the fact that people tend to do the same triceps exercises week in and week out.
Yes, we know that triceps rope pushdowns are great, but seriously, there are other exercises for the tris that you can do.
Triceps dips hit all three heads of the triceps muscle, making them very effective for people looking to increase the size and definition of their arms.
If you want to really make those triceps pop, triceps dips are ideal.
Best performed either on benches or a specially designed dipping machine, your tris will thank you for doing more dips.
When talking about the benefits, we’ve already mentioned how awesome dips are for the triceps.
So then, how can they also be equally as effective for the chest?
Well, because, by altering your position and leaning forwards slightly, you can take the triceps out of the equation and can isolate the chest instead.
Dips are fantastic for people that are looking to add muscle mass to the upper, middle, and even the lower chest.
In fact, when it comes to overall chest development, many consider dips to be one of the ultimate mass builders.
Some exercises are very difficult to master because you need to align your spine perfectly, get your posture just right, grip the bar in a certain way, breathe at a specific time, and so on.
When it comes to dips, though, you’ll be pleased to hear that dips are actually much easier to master than some other types of exercise out there.
Learning how to master the technique of dips is much easier than with other exercises, and so the quicker it is to learn, the sooner you’ll be making those all-important chests and triceps gains.
Dips aren’t just a popular exercise for people that are trying to build muscle and tone up.
It turns out that people that are trying to lose weight can also benefit from doing dips on a regular basis.
You see, dips are a compound exercise that is very physically demanding.
They might be a free weight exercise (most of the time at least) but don’t let that fool you, because they’re extremely taxing on the body and are very physically demanding.
If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, why not try incorporating more dips into your training regime?
Dips are fantastic for people looking to burn fat as they burn heaps of calories.
You can include dips as part of your circuit training, or you can throw them in at the end of a chest, triceps, or even a cardio session.
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to look at today is the fact that dips are such an effective finisher exercise.
When you’ve pre-exhausted your pecs and/or triceps but you’re looking for a way to really fatigue them and finish them off once and for all, dips make the perfect finisher exercise.
Because most of the time they use your body weight for resistance, you can squeeze a few sets out at the end of your workouts, for relatively high reps.
This means that you can really fatigue the muscles and get a fantastic high rep burn that works incredibly well as a finisher.
We’ve already mentioned how dips hit certain muscle groups, but what we haven’t really considered is what a difference this can make to your physique.
You see, by performing dips, you can burn fat and build muscle, whilst increasing tone and definition.
When you combine all of these benefits into one, you have the ultimate recipe for an aesthetic and symmetrical physique.
In terms of the benefits, another huge benefit of dips, and indeed of exercise in general, is the fact that they help you to improve your mental health.
When you exercise, you produce and secrete happy chemicals known as endorphins.
These awesome little chemicals help you to feel happier, they motivate you, they give you energy, they help you to relax, and they give you a great sense of accomplishment.
This is why exercise is considered to be one of the most effective natural treatments for depression, stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
If you’re looking to improve your mental health and feel better about life in general, dips are a type of exercise that works wonders.
If you want to build a set of sleeve-busting arms, everybody knows that you need to do plenty of biceps curls, right?
Biceps curls are indeed important for building the biceps, but if it is huge arms you seek, you’d be far better suited with triceps dips.
Because the triceps are a much larger muscle than the biceps, and they’re responsible for giving the arms much of their size.
The triceps have three heads, whereas biceps-only have two.
A person that performs a lot of bicep curls will have big biceps.
A person that performs bicep curls along with plenty of triceps exercises including triceps dips, however, will have huge arms.
So, if you’re sick of having spaghetti arms, stop curling until your arms feel like falling off and start doing more triceps dips as well.
This is perhaps one of the most important benefits that we’re going to be listing today, so pay close attention.
You see, dips are extremely functional.
In fact, some would argue that dips are one of the most functional exercises in existence.
But precisely what is a functional exercise?
Well, a functional exercise is basically one that will provide functional benefits outside of the gym.
Dips are functional because, when you think about it, we do some form of dip every single day.
When you climb out of the bath, for example, your hand positioning is very similar to what it would be when dipping.
When you lower yourself into a seat or get up and out of a seat, again, you’re doing very similar movements with your arms.
Another reason to consider doing more dips on a regular basis is due to the fact that dips have been found to help improve flexibility.
Being flexible will help you in life in a whole variety of different ways.
Flexibility will help you to avoid injury, it will make you a better athlete, it will make everyday tasks much easier, it will improve your posture, it will ease aches and pains, and much more besides.
Dips gently help to stretch out the muscle tissues and fibers and improve muscle elasticity.
This, in turn, means that dips are a great exercise when it comes to flexibility and mobility.
It may be hard to believe, but if you’re looking to improve your bench press or your overhead military press, dips are an exercise that you should be doing more of.
You see, dips help to target the triceps and other muscles responsible for pushing and pressing.
When you dip down, to get back up to the starting position you push and power yourself up with your triceps.
Dipping helps to improve your pressing in a variety of different ways, which in turn will help you to press more weight whilst in the gym training.
Not bad, huh?
When it comes to the benefits, people often fail to realize that the deltoids also can be improved upon as a result of regular dipping.
When you perform a conventional dip, your anterior deltoids factor into the equation and are therefore recruited for a portion of the lift.
The front deltoids are notoriously difficult to add mass to, yet with dips, you can hit your front delts without even trying.
Dips are very challenging bodyweight and calisthenics exercises, to begin with, but after a while, you will find them a little too easy.
Once you’re capable of easily dipping your own body weight, the time will come to add more weight.
Here, you can buy a dipping belt and attach weight plates to it, or if you really want to look hardcore, you could wrap chains around your neck and perform dips with added resistance that way.
On benches, people carefully rest weight plates on their thighs as they perform dips, so that is also an option, though you will need a spotter to place the plates on and off your legs and to help keep you safe.
Now is probably a good time to bring this look at the benefits of dips to a close.
If your training has so far included very little in terms of dips, hopefully now you’ll switch things up and start dipping a whole lot more?
If so, you’ll be reaping the rewards soon in no time at all.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.