The tricep dip is one of THE best exercises for building great mass and shape in the triceps and building better arms in general.
By using your bodyweight as the load and moving your body through space, you're going to hit more muscle fibers than with most free weight exercises.
A good example of the power of the dip (and bodyweight training) is the arms and chest of a gymnast...LOTS of quality muscle and most guys would kill to have an upper body like that a good gymnast.
And that's what the dip is all about. So getting right to it, THIS version of the dip is going to give you an even STRONGER effect on the triceps than the classic version of the dip.
All you need is a power rack and a couple of Olympic Bars.
The main trick here is you're going to set the two bars on a SLOPE. You'll set the safety rails of the rack to just about just height, with one side being a notch or two higher than the other side to create that slope.
Here are a couple of views of what it looks like in the rack...
You can see in this picture, I've got the higher ends of the bars together and the lower ends apart to create a V shape. This is easier on the shoulders and works the triceps more effectively.
The blue things I have stuck on the bar are called Fat Gripz...they're basically molded rubber pieces that snap onto the bar to make it thicker. Gripping on a thicker surface increases muscle activation in the hands and forearms (I find it helps the target muscles as well). I also find them useful for weighted dips as the thicker pushing surface is more comfortable on the hands.
Now that you've got the bars set up at an angle, it's time for the exercise itself. It's performed basically exactly like a regular dip...the difference happens automatically.
Because the bars are set at an angle, you'll be putting more pressure on the heels of the hands. When you put more pressure on the heels of the hands, I find it automatically increases tension and activation of the triceps muscles.
More pressure towards the back of the hand means more tension down the back of the arm. You don't need a sharp angle on the bars...just a notch or two to get a slight angle is enough.
You can also turn around and do chest-focused dips on the upward slope.
Here's what it looks like...I'm doing these weighted with 90 extra pounds.
As you come up to the top, really focus on sitting back on the heels of the hands and contracting the triceps hard.
Keep your body as vertical as possible as you do these and keep your elbows in close to your body...that'll keep the focus more on the triceps. When you lean forward and put your elbows wide, that hits the chest more.
Do these under control and DO NOT bounce out of the bottom. The bottom position does put a fair bit of stress and tension on the shoulder joints and pec insertions so bouncing is a very bad idea.
This is a "normal" dip exercise made better with a very simple adjustment to the apparatus you're using.
I also find the power rack setup to be very convenient for getting into and out of position on a dip. And if you don't have dip handles in your gym, now you've got no excuse not to do dips.
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