Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypePush (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Shoulders, Triceps
Target Muscle Group


Chest Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Chest Dip Overview

The chest dip is a great exercise to use to target the muscles of the chest. It will also indirectly work the muscles of the triceps and shoulders as well.

Chest dips effectively hit the lower region of the pec, similarly to the decline bench press. However, it follows a vertical pressing movement pattern, which provides a unique stimulus for the muscles of the chest.

It is best to master the bodyweight variation of this exercise prior to adding weight via weighted vests, belts, or chains.

The dip can be performed as part of your chest workouts, push workouts, upper body workouts, or full body workouts.

Chest Dip Instructions

  1. Step up on the dip station (if possible) and position your hands with a neutral grip.
  2. Initiate the dip by unlocking the elbows and slowly lowering the body until the forearms are almost parallel with the floor.
  3. Control the descent to parallel and then drive back to the starting position by pushing through the palms.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Chest Dip Tips

  1. Technically there are two ways to perform dips - neither is wrong, just different movement with different purposes:
    • Staying upright and keeping the elbows in close to increase tricep recruitment.
    • Leaning forward with elbows wider to increase chest recruitment.
  2. If possible, keep the legs straight down while bracing the glutes and abs to limit excessive spinal movement.
  3. If no dip station with steps is available, position a box underneath the handles to boost yourself up to the bars.
  4. If no box is available, then jump into position.
  5. Don’t allow the head to jut forward during the descent.
  6. Ensure the elbows stay just short of lockout to keep tension on the triceps.
  7. Experiment with a false grip by wrapping the thumb over the bar as this may be more comfortable for some.
Posted on: Sat, 11/20/2021 - 10:10

What to do if I can do dips

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/22/2021 - 18:53

Hi, Abiyan. My guess is you meant to write "can't do dips." If that is the case, do decline bench press.

Posted on: Sun, 10/13/2019 - 11:19

Instruction #2 doesn’t make sense as it says lower your forearms until almost parallel. When you look at the video, the forearms are nowhere close to parallel.

Posted on: Sat, 02/02/2019 - 03:39

This exercise attacks triceps. If you want to work on the chest, you need to change the direction of your body straigthening your legs and bringing them towards the front of your body and not behind like on the video. This exercise as shown in the video is perfect for triceps.
other than this mistake, the site is very helpful.

Posted on: Tue, 11/20/2018 - 15:09

i really really love this web, is the best around www, but i recommend to put alternative exercises to all type of exercise. Im fat xD. so i cant do this type, i need to search an alternative in other webs.

Posted on: Fri, 07/10/2015 - 02:16

Just a question on which way to perform the dips on the bar (not parallel bar).

The bar is usually shaped like a V, do i have my chest facing towards the inside (bars are closer together) or the outside (bars are further apart) of the V?

Posted on: Sun, 09/21/2014 - 15:46

An alternative to the chest dip is either the Decline Barbell or Dumbbell Bench Press. Also, Incline Barbell or Dumbbell Press, Pushups, Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip and Dumbbell Flyes. Hope these help you out guys and good luck on all you do! ;-)

Posted on: Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:21

I am just recovering from a serious lower back injury. I love chest dips and was using a dip belt with 70lbs. on it. this was close to 300 lbs resistance for 6 to 8 reps. I used great form but I think it may have been the way the dip belt put unnatural weight on my lower back. I am back at the gym now and working twice as hard. I am trying to get some good opinions on whether I should go back to dips but with no weight ? Throw your opinions at me, that is why I am on here.

Ralph Blumenthal
Posted on: Fri, 11/08/2013 - 14:42

Would it be ok to do dips every day. I am presently doing about 26dips, 3 sets every day. Do I need to rest every other day?

Posted on: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 06:12

i know this is hard for most of guys out there! but this is my fav Exercise,,, i can do it 130 continuously in one set(i know its hard to believe but it's true-- i thought i cd do more than tht),...
The reason why i typed this post is i m doing it with maximum leaning to down wards ,, and at above instruction there is written its already puts unnecessary weight to shoulders, but i think as far u lean down below ur elbow lvl its far intresting of shoulders exercise Or is it wrong any suggestion from experienced person wd be appreciated !! thanks.

Posted on: Sun, 10/06/2013 - 06:32

I am a beginner, how much time should be taken between sets???

Posted on: Sun, 04/14/2013 - 19:11

I use two folding work horses ($30.00 at Lowes) to do dips. They fold away when I done with them and they can easily support my 220+ body frame.

Rajesh Kumar ( ...
Posted on: Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:41

I think it is good for to increase shoulder power.

Posted on: Tue, 10/16/2012 - 17:50

Will seated chest dips work the same?

Posted on: Fri, 10/12/2012 - 21:11

Would doing seated chest dips provide the same benefits?

Posted on: Sat, 10/06/2012 - 00:48

I am a beginner is there an alternate exercise that will give me the same results of the chest dip

Posted on: Wed, 09/19/2012 - 12:44

I started doing this routine a month ago and I have moved from a max of 7 to a max of 12! This full routine is awesome. I cant believe the changes that have come in only a months time!!

Posted on: Sun, 09/16/2012 - 09:15

if i can't Do chest Dip what Else i do

Posted on: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 20:41

Is there a subsitute for using the dip equipment? I do not have access to a gym and do not have this type of equipment.

esy e
Posted on: Thu, 05/03/2012 - 06:21

yeah use your couch and another seat

Posted on: Sat, 05/05/2012 - 14:00

I do exatly the same as you. Is doing it that way just as effective as using those rigs at the gym?

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2012 - 05:42

I do not have that equipment to do chest dips. Any other options to do chest dips without that equipment

Posted on: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 00:37

Get a workout buddy and have them cradle you lower legs in their hands to give you the little extra to get you over the top. Works good while building up strength on the pull up bar as well.

Posted on: Mon, 05/06/2013 - 17:11

Use two sturdy dining table chairs.

Posted on: Sun, 08/04/2013 - 08:12

Chair dips

Posted on: Thu, 09/11/2014 - 18:42

You can use two high-back chairs. You want the back of the chair to be as straight as possible to prevent the chairs from tipping towards you when you dip down.

Posted on: Tue, 04/17/2012 - 16:28

If I am a true beginner and have no real strength in my shoulders or arms, can I just try to hold myself up for a period of time?

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2012 - 20:24

There are machines that are made to assist pull-ups and dips. Try those instead of the traditional dip bar.

Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 04:00

how to use dips