How To Do Tricep Dips: Variations, Proper Form, Techniques, Chair, Bench

A tricep dip is an upper body exercise that uses bodyweight to build arm and shoulder strength. There are a few benefits to doing a tricep dip, but the most noticeable benefit is how much it strengthens your triceps, pecs, and core by an immense amount. 

By performing tricep dips regularly, you will see external improvements, like progress in your sports performance, an increase in your stability, and a reduced risk of injury. You will also see internal improvements, like a boost in your metabolism. If you are athletic, tricep dips are a great exercise to work into your daily regimen.

The proper form of a tricep dip is relatively simple. You will want to ensure that you are sitting on the edge of a stable chair, bench, or a step, and then you will want to grip the edge that is next to your hips. With your fingers pointed to your feet, your legs extended, and your feet about hip-width apart ensuring that the heels are touching the ground, you are going to look straight and ensure that your chin is up.

How to perform Tricep Dips with proper form? 

Tricep Dips are an effective exercise and one of the best tricep workouts to include in a routine. Here’s a guide to making sure you do your Tricep Dips correctly.

  1. Sit on the edge of a firm chair, weight bench, or step
  2. Put your fingers pointing downwards. 
  3. Stretch out your legs.
  4. Heels on the ground.
  5. Lift your body with your palms
  6. Slide forward enough to clear the chair’s edge.
  7. Reduce your body
  8. Bend your elbows between 45 and 90° angles.
  9. Maintain control of the movement throughout its range of motion.
  10. Lift your arms back up until they are practically straight.

By ensuring that you’re using proper form prominence and function, you will have no problems and will be all set “To dominate Triceps Dips.” 

What are the benefits of Tricep Dips? 

It is imperative to understand the benefits of tricep dips as they can significantly positively impact your workout. The benefits of tricep dips are as follows.

  1. Allows you to use additional weight
  2. Tricep dips are better than push-ups
  3. Tricep dips are more of a compound exercise
  4. The triceps exercise is highly customizable depending on your liking.
  5. Tricep dips can significantly increase your flexibility over time.
  6. Tricep dips can reduce the chances of you getting injuries.

What are the mistakes for Tricep Dips?

With Triceps Dips becoming one of the best upper body exercises, there are a few common tripcep dips mistakes that people tend to make in the beginning while trying to learn how to do a Tricep Dip.

  1. Hunching shoulders: you always want to ensure that your shoulders are down and away from your ears while you are performing tricep dips by maintaining a long net throughout the movement, which will significantly reduce the possibility of this mistake.
  2. Locking elbows: you should always try to avoid locking your elbows at the top of the movement by keeping your elbows slightly soft, which will maintain the tension on the triceps.
  3. Dipping too low: if you are starting to feel a strain on your shoulders during the span of this exercise, then you are dipping too low. You do not want to drop any lower if you are experiencing this pain because it can lead to a possible shoulder injury.
  4. Leaning Forward: if you are leaning forward, you will not be exercising your triceps. You’ll be more so exercising your chest. You will want to maintain a straight line in your body while performing the tricep dips without any forward lean.
  5. Not holding the pose long enough: when you are in a dip, you want to make sure that you have good tricep dips formed by holding the post for at least a second or two.
  6. Adding too much weight: Some people prefer additional weights to their legs while performing tricep dips. However, if you are going to do that, you will need to ensure that you can move with them. By reassuring yourself that you can properly transfer with the weights on your legs, you will be well on your way to a good tricep dip.
  7. Keeping your elbows too far apart from your elbows should consistently be shoulder-width apart, whereas anything closer or broader than that can lead to possible injury.
  8. You are doing the exercise too fast: by doing the tricep dip exercise too fast, many people assume that their muscles will increase if they do the exercise fast enough. However, that is a common misconception. When doing the tricep dips, you will want to be sure to do them slowly. Doing the exercise too fast will not give your muscles adequate time to contract and relax. It would be best to keep in mind that moving slow and steady will constantly win the race.
  9. You are not breathing correctly: When people perform compound exercises, it is common not to realize that you are solely focusing on the activity and getting the movement perfect. However, you will need to make sure that you remember to breathe. You will want to Exhale while coming up and inhale while going down.
  10. You are not getting enough repetitions in: Sometimes, you are unaware of the number of repetitions you need to get your desired results. Sometimes you may be doing less than what is the norm. The average repetition will be doing 20 reps and five sets, which will be the most basic requirement to achieve results. Anything less than that, you will not see results.

How To Determine Proper Weight For Tricep Dips? 

Before determining the proper weight for tri dips, you will first want to ensure that you are ready. You will need to be in great upper body shape before adding weight. Because everyone is different, the proper body weight will vary from person to person. A good rule of thumb is that you start at a lower weight and increase, but you should never feel as though you are overextending yourself or feel too much of a stretch in your chest.

Which muscles are involved while performing Tricep Dips? 

When first learning how to tricep dip, you will want to know which muscles are being affected during the exercise. By knowing so, it will help you perform the exercise in a better form so that you can maximize your results. The muscles that are involved while performing triceps are the following.

  1. triceps 
  2. pectoralis major
  3. Trapezius
  4. Serratus anterior 

Tricep dips benefit these sections as a whole because tricep dips strengthen the muscles as well as the core.

What are the Tricep Dip Challenges? 

A tricep dip challenge is something that pushes you to your fullest potential when it comes to exertion and having a proper form to dip triceps. Tricep dip challenges have become more and more popular on mainstream social media outlets such as YouTube, as well as Instagram. Many tricep dip challenges have surfaced, recently such as the following.

What are the Tricep Dip Challenges
What are the Tricep Dip Challenges? 
  1. 30 days tricep dips challenge
  2. 50 tricep dips challenge 

There are variations to these challenges that can make the exercise a little bit more difficult. These variations are listed below.

  1. Bench dip with knees bent
  2. Bench dip with legs straight
  3. Bench dip with legs raised
  4. Parallel bars dip with weights
  5. Parallel bars dips
  6. Band assisted dip
  7. Dip with leg raise 

What are the Tricep Dips Variations?

While there are many variations of tricep dips, these are some of the most common that can be seen within the gym.

What are the Tricep Dips Variations
What are the Tricep Dips Variations?
  1. Bench dip with knees bent
  2. Bench dip with legs straight
  3. Bench dip with legs raised
  4. Parallel bars dip
  5. Parallel bars dip with weights
  6. Band-assisted dip
  7. Dip with leg raise

What is the necessary equipment for Tricep Dips? 

As tricep dips are primarily a bodyweight exercise that focuses on dips for arms, there is not much equipment that is needed. At the base level, the equipment needed is going to be either a chair or a bench, and if you are choosing to use weights for your legs, then like beads. However, if you do not have a chair or bench, you can easily do this exercise on the floor as, again, it is a bodyweight exercise.

What is the necessary equipment for Tricep Dips
What is the necessary equipment for Tricep Dips? 

What is the origin of Tricep Dips?

Tricep dips were implemented as a pure bodyweight exercise. Many began tricep dips by chair dipping, and over the years, tricep dips and their variations have changed. People have moved from using a chair to a bench to even weight machines for specifically exercising the triceps.

While focusing on how to do dips for triceps, it is important to focus on a few related facts about triceps.

  1. Tricep dips our bodyweight exercises; they do not need additional weight; however, if you want to add additional weight, that is completely fine as well.
  2. Tricep dips come in a wide range of variations.
  3. Tricep dips must be performed properly to avoid injury.

Do Tricep Dips affect the hormones? 

If you are doing a dip workout at home, you may find yourself wondering if tricep dips affect hormones at all. In short, tricep dips do indeed affect hormones. The particular hormone that it does affect is the growth hormone. By doing this compound exercise, the growth hormones are released and capable of boosting your metabolism for impeccable results. If you want to grow your triceps, being consistent with this exercise over time will lead to your desired outcome.

Are tricep dips a military movement? 

No, tricep dips are not solely a military movement. Although they are great overall exercises that many professionals use, they are not directly correlated with being a military exercises.

Are Tricep Dips essential? 

Yes, tricep dips are one of the most essential exercises as they are the most effective for activating the triceps brachii muscle. Adding this exercise into your daily regimen reaps amazing benefits.

Are Tricep Dips Dangerous? 

Yes, tricep dips are dangerous and one of the most common ways of injuring the shoulder tendons as well as the bursa. If you are performing the tricep dip incorrectly, it can force or jam the ball up and forward into the socket which can pinch the bursa, thus, in turn, contributing to overall wear and tear on the rotator cuff tendons. So, you must perform this exercise with attention to detail as every motion is important.

Are Tricep Dips a compound exercise? 

Yes, tricep dips are compound exercise movements which are those that tax many different muscle groups all in one movement. As we have discussed, the tricep dip is capable of working not only the shoulders, and the triceps but also the core. 

What can replace tricep dips? 

The close grip bench press can easily replace tricep dips as long as you maintain a proper tricep dip form. Although tricep dips are significant, there may be circumstances in which you cannot perform a direct tricep dip.

Under those circumstances, you will need to be flexible and work with different variations of the types such as a close-grip bench press. You can ensure that you are still getting adequate exercise and still utilizing the muscles you want to improve on, such as the triceps, the shoulders, the pectoralis major, as well as the core.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.