- Chest: Large pectoral muscle
(Musculus pectoralis major)
- Shoulder: Anterior deltoid muscle
(Musculus deltoideus, Pars clavicularis)
- Triceps: Three-headed arm muscle
(Musculus triceps brachii)
Bench Dip is a suitable substitute for similar exercises in Triceps training or as a supplement to various training plans.
Bench Dip: Basics and alternatives
Involved main muscle groups:
Bench dips, also known as Arnold dips, are a chest and triceps exercise that use a flat bench. In this exercise, you’ll lean back against the bench with your hands and push your upper body up and down. Although Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t invent bench dips, he had a significant impact on the exercise, which explains the name.
Bench dips are a modified version of regular dips. The targeted muscles are similar, but the focus shifts more to the triceps because of the different posture. The lower chest and front shoulders also get a workout with bench dips.
It’s best to do bench dips with a standard flat bench. But since you only need a flat surface to hold onto, you can easily do this exercise at home without any special equipment.
First and foremost, make sure your support (like a sturdy table) is stable and secure on the floor, as you’ll be distributing your weight along one edge. A sofa could be a good alternative to a flat bench, but make sure it’s not too soft, so you don’t sink in too deeply, which could affect your body tension and form.
Sit sideways on the flat bench and place your palms on the edges to your left and right.
Stretch your feet out so your butt clears the seat, with your hands supporting your body.
There should be about 15 to 20 centimeters between your butt or lower back and the flat bench, but this can vary depending on your body size.
Rest your feet on your heels with your legs slightly bent at the knees. Straightening your legs completely makes the exercise more challenging, which is better for advanced users.
Lower your butt by bending your arms at the elbows, keeping your feet in the same place on the floor.
At a 90-degree angle between your forearms and upper arms, you’ve completed the movement.
Lift your butt back up by straightening your arms, keeping the elbows slightly bent to protect the joints.
Alternative execution with additional weight
You can also perform bench dips with extra weight. Just place a weight plate on your lap and do the exercise as described above. Make sure the plate lies securely on you and doesn’t slip.
When doing the exercise, avoid fully extending your arms. Keep a slight bend in the elbows to prevent putting stress on your joints.