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The Ultimate Guide to Building Chest and Triceps

By LA Muscle on 26.05.2024 10:09 am


Dips are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for building a powerful chest and sculpted triceps. This versatile exercise can be modified to target either muscle group specifically, making it a must-have in your workout arsenal. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about dips, including proper form, variations, and a full exercise regimen to maximise your gains.

Why Dips?

Dips are a compound movement, meaning they engage multiple muscle groups and joints simultaneously. This not only makes them highly efficient but also ensures balanced muscle development. Depending on your body positioning and hand placement, dips can heavily target the chest, triceps, or both.

The Basics of Dips

Proper Form

  1. Starting Position: Begin by grasping the parallel bars or the edges of a sturdy bench. Your arms should be fully extended, supporting your body weight.
  2. Body Alignment: Keep your torso upright for triceps dips and lean slightly forward to target the chest. Engage your core to maintain stability.
  3. Lowering Phase: Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows tucked close to your body for triceps dips. For chest dips, allow your elbows to flare out slightly.
  4. Depth: Lower until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Going deeper can increase the stretch on your muscles but also increases the risk of shoulder injury.
  5. Ascending Phase: Push through your palms to extend your elbows, returning to the starting position.

Targeting the Chest

Hand Positioning

  • Wider Grip: A wider grip will place more emphasis on your chest.
  • Forward Lean: Leaning your torso forward during the dip will also help engage the chest muscles more effectively.

Chest Dip Routine

  1. Warm-Up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretches.
  2. Dips: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. Incline Push-Ups: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  4. Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  5. Chest Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  6. Cool Down: 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on the chest and shoulders.


  • 3 times per week: Allow at least one day of rest between sessions to ensure adequate recovery and muscle growth.

Expected Results

  • 4-6 weeks: Noticeable increases in chest strength and muscle definition, improved upper body endurance, and a more pronounced chest muscle separation.

Targeting the Triceps

Hand Positioning

  • Narrow Grip: A narrower grip will shift more emphasis onto the triceps.
  • Upright Torso: Keeping your torso upright will isolate the triceps more effectively.

Triceps Dip Routine

  1. Warm-Up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretches.
  2. Dips: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  4. Overhead Tricep Extensions: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  5. Tricep Kickbacks: 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  6. Cool Down: 5-10 minutes of stretching, focusing on the triceps and shoulders.


  • 3 times per week: As with chest-focused dips, ensure at least one day of rest between sessions for recovery and growth.

Expected Results

  • 4-6 weeks: Significant improvements in tricep size and definition, increased arm strength, and better overall arm aesthetics.
Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Flared Elbows: This can place undue stress on the shoulders, increasing the risk of injury. Keep elbows close for triceps and moderately flared for chest dips.
  2. Partial Range of Motion: Not going deep enough reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Ensure your upper arms go parallel to the floor.
  3. Improper Leaning: Leaning too far forward or backward can shift the focus away from the targeted muscle group and lead to imbalances or injury.

Dips are a powerful exercise for building both your chest and triceps. By mastering proper form and incorporating the right variations into your routine, you can achieve significant gains in strength and muscle mass. Remember to start with a proper warm-up, focus on correct technique, and allow adequate recovery time between sessions. With consistency and dedication, you'll see impressive results in just a few weeks.

Stay disciplined, keep pushing, and watch your upper body transform!



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