How to do Tricep Dips

What are Tricep Dips?

The tricep is the muscle on the back of your upper arm. It has three heads and is your bicep’s antagonist; when your bicep flexes your tricep relaxes, and when your tricep flexes your bicep relaxes. You use your triceps for a lot of your routine movements; getting out of bed in the morning, using your arms to get out of your office chair, playing with your kids by throwing them up in the air and catching them, and even brushing your teeth. Thus, the tricep is an important muscle to strengthen. 

There are a few ways to perform this movement, but in these instructions we will focus on the bench variation. Tricep Dips are performed by utilizing some type of elevated platform. An office chair, a bench or even a kitchen table will do. By using this elevated surface you are able to isolate your tricep as the primary mover, which allows you to strengthen your triceps. 

The following muscle group is engaged by Tricep Dips:

  • Triceps

How to Do Tricep Dips (Instructions):

Start by standing in front of a bench. With your arms at your side, put your hands on the bench, squat down until your knees are around 90 degrees, and then bend your arms and lower your body towards the ground. Extend your arms back to starting position. Repeat.

Trainer Tips for Tricep Dips: 

  • Progression (make harder)
    • Perform the movement slowly. Count to 4 as you lower yourself and count to 2 as you raise yourself.
    • Perform the movement with one leg on the ground. 
    • Perform the movement with both legs on an elevated surface.
    • Perform the movement on dip bars.
  • Regression (make easier)
    • Perform the movement with your hands on the ground, legs out in front of you with your knees bent. Dip down until your bottom grazes the floor, and then raise your body up again.
  • Application:
    • Do 3 sets of AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of Tricep Dips until failure. Ensure to take a 1-3 minute break between sets. 
    • This is a great mini workout to do in your office while on a break. Use your office chair for the movement.
Tricep Dips are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here.