Anything that involves dips and is tied to physical activities can even for workout enthusiasts. Just as the name suggests, assisted dips are an exercise that uses your targeted weight to intensively engage a number of muscles.
This is done by performing dipping movements literally when you lower your body in between parallel bars at a 90-degree flexed elbow angle.
However, it is pretty important to note from the jump that the exercise is in fact as hard as it sounds. This is especially so if you are still developing muscle strength in areas such as your upper body.
Hence there is need for the inception of an exercise like assisted dips. Assisted dips involve weights and cables that lighten your workload by giving you control over the strain you put on yourself.
This is tailored down to specific weights i.e., if you select a 50-pound plate it lightens your workload by 50 pounds
WHAT TO DO
- Stand or kneel on the levered platform, grasping the handles of the machine with straight elbows. Start with no assistance.
- Lower yourself without assistance and without arching your back, keep arching until you get to your limit.
- If you’re able to bend your arms 90 degrees and push yourself back to a straight arm position, see how many more you can do. This is your baseline.
- Move the pin to the weight plate you think you need, and try again. If you select the right weight, you should be able to lower yourself smoothly and return to the starting position with moderate effort.
WHAT MUSCLES DO ASSISTED DIPS WORK
Dips are the opposite of an isolation exercise – they are a compound exercise.
This means that unlike isolation exercises which target a single area at a time, compound exercises engage a plethora of areas at the same time.
Some of the worked areas include:
The triceps are the most engaged muscle while doing an assisted dip. This is because it is what you primarily use to thrust yourself up after doing a dip.
The sheer weight that the tricep has to handle during the exercise is therefore what builds its strength.
2. CHEST AND SHOULDERS
The upward movement while doing an assisted dip engages the chest.
This is because as you push away from the bar in a bid to hoist yourself up, you distribute part of your bodyweight to the chest muscles.
This triggers consistent engagement of the chest muscles. The shoulders on the other hand are used to balance and hold yourself up during up dips.
As such, it is worked throughout the exercise.
Levitating mid-air is no walk in the park. We’ve mentioned how you hoist yourself, now let’s look at how you balance.
This is where the abs come in. First, they prevent your torso from arching excessively and keep your lower back neutral.
As such, they are engaged to ensure that you maintain the right positions without toppling over thus getting worked consistently.
ASSISTED DIPS BENEFITS
IMPROVES BODILY STRENGTH
The muscles such as the triceps that are worked while performing the assisted dip exercise play a huge role in day-to-day activities.
For instance, engaging the shoulders and the chest ensures you are able to handle more physical taxing tasks with less struggle.
Case in mind, we use areas such as the triceps for pushing. This could enable you to do a task such as vacuuming a huge area for a longer period of time.
ALTERNATIVES TO DOING ASSISTED DIPS BENCH DIPS
Bench Dips are a largely mechanically differing form of standard dips that is done between two flat benches.
To do this:
- Put your hands on the bench behind your back. Your feet should go on the bench in front of you.
- Raise your butt off the floor by straightening your arms.
- Bend your legs slightly to avoid pressure on your knee joints.
- Then dip by bending your arms until you break parallel. Rise up and repeat.
- To increase the intensity level, you can add weight by putting a plate on your thighs, in your lap, while you do Bench Dips.
It has to be mentioned that the biggest difference between assisted dips and bench dips is how strenuous bench dips can be on the shoulders.
This is due to the unnatural position imposed upon the shoulders which could lead to injuries.
It is therefore recommended to do this exercise sparingly and when forced to i.e., if you can’t access equipment but you want to stay consistent.
This exercise entirely changes the dynamic of doing dips by introducing a gymnastic ring. To do the exercise:
- Grab the two rings and jump up to raise your legs off the floor.
- Bend your arms and dip while keeping your hands close to your body, don’t let them drift away.
- Break parallel, come back up and repeat.
This is one way to move up to something with more intensity as doing this on a ring is bounder to be harder than on a bar.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE DOING ASSISTED DIPS
1. BODY POSITIONING
In a bid to pull everything out an exercise, it is possible that you might end up overextending yourself. This applies to dips when it comes to body positioning.
When you do the actual dip, it doesn’t have to be to the point where you’re too low. A good indicator of this is often if you’re elbows are parallel to the floor.
2. NON-SATISFACTORY STRETCHING
Stretching is important before and after you do any exercise. However, the extent of tension that runs through your body requires you to have adequately stretched.
This protects you from muscular injuries and ensures you get the best out of your workout routine.
3. INADEQUATE MUSCULAR TENSION
Ensure tha throughout the exercises important areas linked to the exercise are tense enough. For instance, exert tension on the triceps and hamstring.
4. IMPROPER FORM
All forms of dips, assisted dips included, always run the risk of causing injuries. The most vulnerable areas being the shoulders and chest.
In order to avoid this, it is crucial that you keep certain things in mind. For instance, your shoulders should remain back and down and avoid anything other than parallel bars unless its short term.
When done wrong, the assisted dips can be an ineffective and injury-inducing exercise. However, put the extra effort and time in and its extremely effective.
The exercise is a bit too high impact for all levels. However, the assisted dips should give you exclusive control and how much work you actually do. Thus putting the ball squarely in your court.