Beginner’s Guide: Dip Bench & Bench Dips

Woman performing triceps dips on dip bench

You might be wondering how dip benches and bench dips work?

In this guide, we take a look at dip benches as an effective way of building upper body strength. We’ll also look at its benefits and disadvantages.

If working out is not part of your daily routine, we’ll give you some tips on how to change that. And, we’ll introduce some ways you can incorporate dip bench exercises into your day-to day-life.

What is a dip bench?

A dip bench is a weight bench or “bench” that you perform bench dips on. Bench dips are famously known as ‘triceps dips’.

Triceps dips tackle the upper-body major muscle group. Follow these steps to perform triceps dips:

  • Sit down on a weight bench or elevated surface.
  • Place your hands on the bench.
  • Walk your feet out away from the bench. Aim for straight legs, heels on the floor.
  • Raise your glutes off the bench and hover just in front of the bench.
  • Hinge at the elbows and lower your body down as far as is comfortable. You can aim for a 90-degree bend. Act as if you are about to sit on the floor with straight legs
  • Push yourself back up so you are raised again. You will feel the burn in your triceps.

Be aware of your positioning to avoid any injury risks to your upper arms.

Man and woman using a dip bench

Advantages and disadvantages of bench dips

Bench dips are a great start to any workout routine and the results are excellent. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages below.

Dip bench advantages

Bench dips target the upper body, including triceps, chest, and shoulders. You can also add more reps to your routine to increase the difficulty.

More reps add more tension to your thighs and legs. As a secondary benefit, you get the lower body working too.

If weight loss is a goal, bench dips, as part of an exercise regime, are a great way to increase your metabolism. This is because they work and strengthen several muscle groups. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.

You may believe that you need a personal trainer to achieve a great physique. It’s not true as bench dips and most exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home.

Disadvantages of dip benches

Without the precise form and position, injuries can happen. Especially in the elbows, knees, and/or shoulders.

Youtube workout videos are great guides to help you get the perfect form. Bear in mind, like other exercises, it’ll take time to see the fruits of your work.

Muscle growth isn’t easy and may vary from body to body. It’s all about consistency, good form, and creativity. By creativity, we mean adding weights to your reps or using a chair, for instance, instead of a bench.

The great news is that you don’t need an actual dip bench to work out and get the desired results. You can use any household elevated surface like a bathtub ledge or coffee table.

Lady with dumbbells

Dip bench workout routines for excellent results

As mentioned, bench dips are not limited to benches only. And, it can go way beyond a bodyweight exercise. 

You can use gym equipment such as weights, chairs, or stability balls. This keeps your workout interesting while challenging different fitness areas like mobility and flexibility.

You can also incorporate it as part of an upper-body workout. Add some cardio between sets or add a weight belt to increase difficulty.

How do you know you are doing it right?

Ask yourself these questions.

  • Are your feet grounded correctly?
  • Are you able to slowly and mindfully lower your glutes while dipping?
  • Is your starting position correct?
  • Do you experience any pain while performing the movement? If so, stop immediately.

These are all the questions you need to be asking yourself. Compare your form against videos if you’re a visual person.

You can consider the starting position to be the holy grail of any exercise. It sets the tone for either a good workout or a bad one.

Starting routine for beginners

Here are some ideas and inspiration for your routine.

At home:

Use a chair, tabletop, or any other elevated surface. You can even achieve greater results by adding more weight. As mentioned, a weight belt is a good choice. 

If you’re new to fitness, start with eight to 10 reps per set. And, keep the number of sets smaller. Start with two to three sets.

When it gets easy, you can increase the reps and sets.

Beginner’s tip: Inhale as you move down and exhale as you move up. This helps with your breathing. Try it and see how it works for you.

At the gym:

The gym offers a large range of equipment that can be used for this exercise. A bench, parallettes, boxes, and/or bars.

Create a circuit of your own based on your strength level and aims. Remember to target different muscle groups.

If you’re doing a split session, focus on the upper body. If you’re engaging in a full-body session, use different machines to hit the right groups.

The new and latest workout gear is not important. You want clothes that breathe and allow you to move freely. This makes the whole experience more enjoyable.

Tip: Add beat music to your workout to get pumped up. This adds rhythm and fun to your session. Nothing more motivating than hearing your favorite tunes while you graft!

Man working out with dumbbells

History behind the dip bench & bench dips

Seemingly, Ancient Greece is where it all started. An era of great physical pride.

Bodily development ranged from arms, legs, and shoulders to core and chest. This ancient culture’s physical pride may have formed the foundation of the lifting culture we see today.

Upper arm and chest basics, like the floor press, evolved and led to the upper-body exercises we see today, like the bench dip.

Who needs a dip bench?

Dip benches are meant for anyone who is of an appropriate age and is not injured. Consult a personal trainer or doctor if you’re unsure of your capability to perform this movement.

The bench dip is doable as long as you’re willing to put in the work. You’ll be able to hit your upper arms and increase overall body strength.

Strive for the right form and you’re sure to get the results you want. Invest in the right equipment to increase the difficulty and/or safety of the exercise.

Find yourself a good weight bench to make this exercise tougher. Always be open to pushing yourself and your limits to do more, it will pay off.

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