Chest or triceps when you do dips?

Dips for the chest is an excellent exercise, but the first thing we have to say is that it is possible to do dips in two different ways. One that mainly focuses on the triceps, or the other that mainly focuses on the chest. On the other hand, both will train the chest and triceps, but through a couple of changes, the main focus is shifted to only one muscle. This page is about how we maximize dips for the chest.

Details for Dips

  • Primary Muscle
    Pec, Front Delt, Triceps
  • Secondary Muscle
    Middle Delt, Inner Abs
  • Equipment
  • Level


Jump up and grab the stand with one hand on each side. The shoulders easily come in and take over in this exercise, which is very stressful for them and can cause injury. Therefore, we must disconnect the shoulders as much as possible. By pushing the chest “through” and in front of the shoulders and pinching the shoulder blades together, we stretch the chest. The muscle thus comes to the front and takes the greatest load. Also, lean your body slightly forward and have your feet and legs behind you. Maintain this forward-leaning position throughout the movement, both on the way up and down. If you stretch your body to a completely vertical position when you are at the top, the shoulders are connected again, and we do not want that.


When you have a good top position, lower your body to the floor by bending your arms. Maintain the forward-leaning posture and keep your elbows close to your body throughout the movement. Exactly how far down you should go depends on how mobile your shoulders are. You must listen to them; it should not hurt. When you are in your bottom position, push up your body by squeezing out and stretching your arms. Again, keep the tilt forward throughout the movement.
Remember to not only press upwards but press obliquely inwards at the same time to really squeeze your chest muscles; you feel it if you do the right thing. When you reach your top position with straight arms, make sure that your shoulder blades are also stretched (pulled down the body so that you do not get a position with high shoulders drawn towards the ears). When you feel that you have stretched your arms and shoulder blades, gently turn the movement down again by bending your arms. Feel free to take your time on the way down and be more explosive on the way up.

Guide for Dips

  • It is easy to cheat when doing dips because of its difficult nature. Thus if you are not strong enough, use a resistance band instead of cheating 
  • Pull back the shoulders, pinch your shoulder blades together and push the chest forward
  • Lean your upper body forward to exercise your chest more than your triceps
  • Let the angle between the upper arms and body be a little bigger if you want to exercise chest more than the triceps
  • Keep your shoulders down
  • Press inwards and upwards on the way up to maximize the chest load
  • Warm up your shoulders properly before you start, this is important
  • Perform the exercise slowly
  • Feel free to use a weight strapped to your waist if becomes too easy using just your body weight

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