You are currently viewing How to properly reverse dips (work form and muscles)

How to properly reverse dips (work form and muscles)

Many people choose to practice reverse dips when doing bodyweight exercises to train the triceps, which is a popular and traditional bodybuilding and upper body strengthening exercise that has been performed in gyms for many years.

Reverse dips involve using the triceps brachii muscle and a variety of upper body muscles to complete the exercise.

These dip exercises are also referred to as triceps dips, back dips, chair dips, chest dips and bench dips, which depends on how you do them.

Reverse dips are bodyweight exercises, or calisthenics exercises that involve raising and lowering yourself from something like the edge of a bench, sofa, or chair. They are compound exercises that engage multiple muscles and joints at the same time. However, if proper technique and form are not used, permanent shoulder damage can occur.

Muscle groups worked in reverse dips

Reverse dips are a great exercise for targeting multiple muscle groups at once. The main goal is to strengthen the triceps, which will become more defined and toned with regular use of just your body weight. In addition to your triceps, these dips also target your upper back, core, and shoulders.

Furthermore, they can be beneficial for increasing chest size by breaking down the anterior deltoid fibers and stimulating the muscle building process, which leads to increased muscle mass and a stronger, larger chest.

  1. Triceps brachii: Located at the back of the upper arm, the triceps muscle facilitates extension of the elbow joint and aids in shoulder extensions.

  2. Trapezoidal: The trapezius muscle, commonly referred to as the “traps,” is a large muscle located in the neck and upper back. It originates in the lower part of the neck, extends across the shoulders and down the middle of the back, allowing for proper posture support and the ability to move the head, neck, and torso.

  3. shoulder muscles: These muscles are responsible for the stability and health of the shoulder, and they also facilitate the movement of the arm.

  4. pectoralis major: The pectoral muscles are the muscles of the chest and their primary function is to bring the arm closer across the body and to press the arms away from the body during pushing movements.

  5. Latissimus Dorsey: The glutes are located in the middle of the back where their primary function is to extend the shoulder and arm and bring the arm toward the body.

  6. Anterior deltoid: It is located in the front of the shoulder, with the function of flexing and rotating the shoulder joint in the middle.

  7. aids: It is located in the middle of the back where its function is to pull the shoulder bones.

  8. Abdominal muscles: The abdominal muscles are located in your abdomen and have many important functions, including keeping your organs in place and supporting nearly every movement you make.

Benefits of reverse dips

Reverse dips are incredibly useful Strengthen the triceps, chest, core, and upper backwhich may lead to improved physical performance. Fitness experts agree that having strong arms, chest and core is essential for optimal performance as explained below.

Improve athletic performance

The triceps and chest muscles play a role in almost any sport that requires pushing, such as basketball or volleyball. The same can be said of rugby and football, which involve pushing the ball during strikes and throwing the ball. Doing reverse dips also strengthens your core, which helps give other muscles, like your arms and legs, more power. So, by working your core with reverse dips, you can become a better athlete in various activities, including running, dance, volleyball, soccer, and CrossFit.

Volleyball - Image from Shutterstock

increased stability

Stability is vital to success in any situation, from hauling groceries to walking, throwing a ball, or driving a car.

Reduce the risk of injury

Having triceps and chest muscles in general can help protect the elbow and shoulder joints from harm. If you are strong enough in other areas of the body, such as your core, this can help you stay balanced in the event of an unexpected bump. Exercises like reverse dips are helpful in developing a solid core.


Although reverse dips can be done on a dip machine or with parallel bars, there are more convenient options available. Reverse dips are a great way to get a full-body workout without having to leave the house, as they can be done without any equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, or water bells, making them a relaxing and accessible exercise for anyone!

Metabolism booster

Metabolism refers to the rate at which the body expends energy or calories. Normally, the more muscular you are, the higher your metabolic rate. Doing reverse dips can help build your muscles, which in turn can help increase your metabolism. In some cases, this can lead to more Weight loss.

Improve general exercise performance

Reverse dips can also improve performance for other gym activities. They can help strengthen muscles used in other lifting activities such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press. They can also help improve posture and balance, which is essential for many other gym activities. Plus, reverse dips can help build core strength and stability, which is important for any calisthenics workout.

How to do reverse dips

Bench press is a very popular exercise in the gym and can be easily done at home on the couch or chair. However, it is often performed incorrectly, which can lead to shoulder damage. In this article, we will discuss how to perform reverse dips with correct form, to ensure that you are able to build muscle without the risk of injury.

starting position

  • Start by sitting on a bench with your arms outstretched and your hands on the seating surface.

  • If you are a beginner, place your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees. If you are experienced, walk your feet wide apart so your heels are resting on the floor.

  • You should be in a position that encourages external rotation of the shoulders rather than internal rotation, which is caused by stooping. So, instead of the usual bench setup with knuckles facing forward, you should place your palms on the bench with your fingers pointing away from your hips. This will keep the shoulders in an externally rotated position, avoiding stress on the rotator cuffs.

Heres how to do it

  1. Lift your butt to the edge of the platform.

  2. Slide your shoulder blades down, creating scapular depression and tension.

  3. Inhale as you slowly lower to the ground using your body weight.

  4. Stay in control and only go to a comfortable depth — don’t lose tension in the middle of your back.

  5. Keep the midline tight and exhale as you extend your elbows and squeeze your triceps to lift again.

Start with 3 sets of 8 to 10 controlled reps.

For those who are just starting out, it is essential that their feet remain close to their bodies and flat on the ground to ensure that they perform the exercise correctly. As they become more experienced, they can gradually increase the challenge by increasing the distance between their feet and eventually performing this on their heels.

Adding weights such as placing weight plates on your lap can intensify your workout if you are at the right level of fitness. However, it is much more beneficial to master the form first and then increase the difficulty rather than trying to force a more difficult version.

Proper form is crucial

the Top issues With the reverse dip it originates from the position of the shoulders during the exercise. Making sure you don’t allow them to slide forward or up while you’re doing the movement is key to preventing the rotator cuff tendons and bursa from impinging.

Shoulder Anatomy - Image from Shutterstock

During a bench dip, the shoulders often move forward due to the way the hands are placed on the bench. If the thumbs are facing the body, the shoulder is internally rotated, making it difficult to perform the exercise safely. To correct this, rotate the hands outward, with the thumbs pointing forward.

When beginning the exercise, be sure to keep your chest and shoulders open, rather than letting them slide forward.

You can make this easier by avoiding shrugs or moving your shoulders toward your body as you lower yourself. Make a conscious effort to retract your shoulder blades down and keep your shoulders in the correct position during a bench dip.

When you make the necessary adjustments correctly, you should be able to discover two results.

  1. Any pinching or grinding in your shoulders should be relieved.
  2. You should feel your triceps working harder than before. By making these changes, you can target the working muscles more effectively, resulting in a more efficient workout.

Shoulder strain can also be avoided If you make sure your back and buttocks are pressed firmly into the bench as you perform the full motion of the exercise, from the top of the rep to the bottom.

Exhaustion at the bottom is another risk factor. Exceeding a 90-degree angle in a bench dip is a common mistake that will not bring any real benefit to the triceps, but can increase the risk of shoulder injury. It may be best to reduce the range of motion a bit and focus on contracting the triceps at the top rather than tensing them at the bottom.

Take extra care when adding weights for reversing dips. As you begin to add weights to your lap during bench dips, any mistakes in technique will increase your risk of injury. This is not a weight-bearing exercise, so it’s best to use a moderate weight (or just your own body weight) and maintain proper form.

Elbow movement Also important. Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body while diving to avoid transferring tension from your triceps to your shoulders, which can lead to injury.

Do not rush! If you speed up the movements, you may find yourself using momentum to run the reps. Doing so will prevent you from reaching the exercise’s full potential. To reap the most rewards, move deliberately and with controlled intent.

This video will show the ins and outs of proper form and technique for reverse dips.

Safety and precautions

It is important to keep in mind any pain in the elbow and shoulder joints when performing reverse dips. If you feel pain or exercise worsens any existing pain, you should stop immediately.

If you suffer from joint pain, your personal trainer may suggest this Various options For exercise routines, such as using pushups as an alternative triceps training to build strength in the triceps and shoulders. If you have shoulder problems, you should avoid this exercise completely. The best option is always to consult a doctor to make sure it is safe to exercise.

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