How to Do Weighted Bench Dips Properly

If you are looking for an ideal exercise to develop your chest, shoulders, and triceps, weighted bench dips might just be the answer!

It is a popular workout among fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. Weighted bench dips are performed using weights but can also be executed with bodyweight alone.

You can level up this movement by gradually adding weight as you perfect your technique and your body starts to adapt.

When performed with the correct technique, this exercise will effectively target the muscle mentioned above groups.

Targeted Muscles: Triceps

Secondary Muscles: Shoulders, Chest

Required Equipment: Weight Plates

Exercise Type: Strength

Exercise Mechanics: Compound

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Force: Push

STEPS:

  • For the weighted bench dip, set two flat benches parallel to each other 5 feet apart. You can adjust the weight to suit your preference.
  • Stand between the benches and place your hands on the edge of the bench behind you. Place your heels on the edge of the front bench at around shoulder width.
  • Have an assisting partner set the weight plates on your thighs. This will be your starting position.
  • While keeping your body as close to the bench as possible, dip down slowly such that your elbows are parallel to your shoulders.
  • Push back up gently by contracting your triceps.
  • That’s one complete rep; keep going until you achieve the recommended reps.

TIPS:

  • Set up for this workout by yourself. Adjust the benches to best suit your height.
  • Have someone help you. It is easier that way.
  • Avoid dipping your shoulders below your elbows to avoid unnecessary tension in your rotator cuff.
  • Ensure your body is aligned well for more manageable and safe dipping. The shoulders, hands, and back should be in a straight line when executed correctly.
  • Lower your body in a slow and controlled fashion to avoid tearing the shoulder, tricep, and chest muscles.
  • If you’re new to this workout, begin by performing weighted bench dips twice a week with a day of rest in between the workouts. This will allow your body to adapt to the workout.
  • Avoid overtraining.

MUSCLES WORKED BY WEIGHTED BENCH DIPS

Like other dip variations, this exercise trains all the triceps’ three heads– long head, medial head, and lateral head. This exercise guarantees the big, sculpted, and strong triceps you desire. Likewise, weighted bench dips will add inches to your arm girth.

  • Primary Muscles: Triceps, lower pectoralis major, and the front delts.
  • Secondary muscles: Pectoralis minor, Serratus anterior, subscapularis, coracobrachialis.
  • Synergists: rear deltoids, biceps, latissimus dorsi.

BENEFITS OF WEIGHTED BENCH DIPS

There are many fitness benefits of weighted bench dips, including:

STRENGTHENS THE CHEST MUSCLES

Weighted bench dips allow you to concentrate on muscle tension instead of body weight. This means you can develop better muscle definition and train your muscular balance. It is hard to work the chest muscles without developing tricep and shoulder strength.

Weighted bench dips also target the fast-twitch muscle fibers- which have hypertrophy benefits to the body.

BETTER BALANCE

Weighted bench dips train weightlifters to keep their heads high when performing chest exercises. This improves body mechanics and position since you are less likely to fall and sustain injuries with the correct body alignment.

Likewise, you can execute this exercise from varying angles to stimulate muscle growth and improve symmetry and posture.

STRENGTH GAINS

The main advantage of weighted bench dips is the increased tricep mass that results from the movement. Unlike many tricep workouts, this exercise activates all three tricep heads that grow stronger with consistent performance.

If you’re looking to perform better in sports, improve your upper body strength or simply grow bigger arms, weighted bench dips are ideal.

ALTERNATIVES TO WEIGHTED BENCH DIPS

CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS

The close grip bench press mainly targets the tricep muscles and has the same benefits, making it a good substitute for weighted bench dips.

STEPS:

  • Lie under the bar and ensure your shoulders are slightly in front of the bar. This will help reduce the travel distance after you unrack the bar.
  • Grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Move the base of your palm through the bar and wrap your thumb around your palm.
  • Drive your shoulders back towards the bench using the weight of the bar.
  • Push your chest upwards to add the tension.
  • Unrack the bar and move it forward such that it is parallel to your upper abdomen.
  • When you reach the bottom of the rep, raise the bar from your torso until your elbows are fully extended.

MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN PERFORMING WEIGHTED BENCH DIPS

FLARING YOUR ELBOWS OUT

For all tricep workout variations, it is essential to keep your elbows tucked to your sides. Elbows flaring outwards is a sign that you could use very heavyweight plates and, therefore, recruit your shoulder muscles to assist with the lift.

Doing this puts your shoulders at a high risk of injury, and you will also not work your muscles to their full potential since you will have shifted the tension to other muscles. Correct this by using the appropriate weights to perform the exercise.

PARTIAL RANGE OF MOTION

Performing with a partial range of motion equals partial muscle activation. You don’t want to perform in a small range of motion and lower yourself before working your triceps until they are locked out at the top of the rep. You will not be engaging your triceps fully, thereby negating some beneficial parts of the drill.

Be sure to lower your body such that your upper arm is aligned to the floor and you form a 90-degree angle at your elbow. Focus on performing the workout with the correct technique to achieve maximum benefits.

CONCLUSION

Weighted bench dips are a great tricep, chest, and shoulder workout that can stimulate the posterior chain muscles in varying methods like lowering your body. It is perpendicular to the floor.

Your shoulder health and strength will influence your level of dipping. If you experience persistent pain when executing this workout, consult a certified fitness trainer or skip this workout altogether.

Be careful not to bounce at the bottom of the rep since this can cause massive shoulder stress.

Consistency is a critical factor for this exercise. For better results, be consistent with weighted bench dips. You can also opt for alternative variations depending on your convenience.