How To Get Your First Dip
18/11/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
The dip is a fundamental pushing movement that allows you to build the muscles of your chest, triceps and shoulders with just your bodyweight.
If you’ve already cracked the press-up, the dip is the logical next step to keep the gains train moving, but you may be finding those first few reps difficult to crack.
Follow the regressions below, ensuring you nail each before you move on and you’ll be well on your way to unlocking a treasure chest of upper body gains.
BOX/ BENCH TRICEP DIPS
Position yourself on the edge of a box or bench with your hands pressing downwards, close to your hips. Shift your weight off of the box and bend at the elbows, slowly lowering yourself towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your chest, press back up explosively and repeat.
To progress this movement, walk your feet further away from the box, use a lower box or elevate your feet onto another bench or box.
BAND ASSISTED DIPS
Loop a resistance band around a set of parallettes or dip handles. Lift yourself up above the handles with straight arms and position your knees on top of the band. Flex at the elbows, slowly lowering your body until you feel a stretch in your chest, press back up explosively allowing the band to assist you and repeat.
To advance this movement, use a progressively thinner band.
ECCENTRIC ONLY DIPS
Hop on your parallettes or handles with straight arms, bending your legs to lift your feet from the floor. Unlock your elbows and lean forward, slowly lower your body under control until you feel a stretch in your chest. Once you reach the bottom of the rep, put your feet onto the ground and use them to assist you back to the top, before lifting them again and repeating.
To progress this movement, use less leg drive to assist you back to the top, or even attempt one or two reps with no legs before regressing back to eccentric only reps to keep working.
Now you’re ready for the real deal- grab your handles with straight arms, lift your feet from the floor. Bend your elbows, slowly lower you body until you feel a stretch in your chest before explosively pressing back to locked out, straight arms.
To progress this movement perform with your legs out in front of your body in and ‘L-sit’ position, or add weight with a weighted vest, or dip belt.
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