Q: Someone told me that I should be doing dips in my triceps and chest program, and I want to start including them, but I have a few questions… Should I lean forward to hit the chest and lean back to hit the triceps, or what? And if I separate chest and triceps, should I do dips for each on the two separate body parts-twice weekly-or just do it once and hope it benefits both without exhausting one?
A: I’ll address the first part of your question and then move on from there. Dips are a great enhancement to any triceps or chest workout. And, depending upon how you do them, they benefit one more than another at any given moment. Still, looking at them in this manner can make you crazy if you try to coordinate doing dips specifically for one or the other, and determine how that would work if you split those body parts up into completely separate workouts. Best to just focus on doing straight dips, with slight variation toward one or the other in alternate workouts. As for specific mechanics questions, I find it’s best to just work upper 2/3 of movement with good lockout for both, but I also lean forward (chest) and back (tris) slightly to reach slightly different angles. Even just staying straight is a good way to affect the tris. So here’s what I’d do: Do dips with a good range of motion for two workouts in a row, non-weighted, and then do a weighted session, leaning forward as much as possible. In general, it’s an excellent compound movement that hits chest, triceps, and front deltoids. You can also target specific triceps heads by being aware of grip spacing. Keep arms closer to the body for inner triceps heads, and further apart for front delts and outer triceps heads.
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