We have already told you everything we know about basic exercises, such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats and lunges, so now it's time to share our knowled about advanced (but still basic!) exercises! All this week will be dedicated to this topic, and today we will talk about:
This is one of the key (along with pull-ups, regular push-ups from floor and crunches) exercise in WorkOut, which involves a large number of muscles and joints in our body and aims to develop the strength and size of chest muscles, arms and shoulders.
- The wider the range of motion the bigger the number of muscles used in exercises
- During the exercise keep the muscles of arms, back, abdomen and legs under tension
- For maximum result you should lower yourself slowly and rise quickly
- You should do dips only using your chest and arm muscles (no swinging or kipping!)
- Breath in when you go down, breath out when go up
Dips can be very dangerous and traumatic exercise for the unprepared person (if improperly performed it is elbows, shoulders, scapulas, clavicles and wrists most often suffer), therefore you should follow these recommendations for the correct technique:
- You should keep natural trajectory of movement
- Your muscles have to be under tension in whole range of motion
- No abrupt movements, dashes, jerks, only smooth, controlled movements
- Do not lift your head up, but don’t put it down low too, look just ahead of you or slightly down in front
- If you suffer pain or discomfort while making pull-up, try different grips or other variations of exercise. If this won’t help, stop doing exercise and visit medic
The exercise itself could be divided into 4 parts:
1) Starting position with straight arms (it is better to choose parallel bars with a width slightly more than shoulder width)
2) Lowering the body down due to the arm bending in the elbows (negative phase)
3) Holding in lowest point position (end position)
4) Returning back from the lowest point to the starting position (positive phase)
Alternations (easier variants)
If you’re not able to perform dips on parallel bars,then we recommend you to do more usual push-ups from floor, preferably with increased amplitude (utilizing the push-ups stops, or doing them putting both your legs and arms on the parallel bars).
Starting position. It is always better to start with straight arms on the bars, that is from the upper point, not from the lower one. Especially if you’re the beginner. Because upper position is more safe than lower one.
Bars width. This is not very adjustable parameter (especially, when you don’t have a wide choice of the training spots), which affects on the strain, pumped muscles and injury level. Despite the common rule that wider bars are more suitable for training the chest muscles, and narrower - for triceps, it’s better to remember that bars must be comfortable to you. Unfortunately, I saw many street playgrounds, where bars were too wide (rarely - too narrow),and therefore you could not push-up there normally, and all attempts to do push-ups even with a half of amplitude could lead to shoulder joint injuries.
For that reason I want you to pay attention that you must feel comfortable to push-up on bars throughout all movement amplitude. Otherwise you will consciously or unconsciously try to change your technique to find this most comfort, reducing the exercise efficiency and increasing the possibility of getting the injury.
Gravity. Dips is much more complex exercise than floor push-ups , because the gravity force pulls your body down and you have to hold only on hands, which can lead to injuries of shoulder, elbow, wrist joints in absence of proper training experience, or to sprains and muscles injuries.
а) Pay attention to the study of this exercise technique, begin with simple lead exercises (simple push-up position on straight arms on bars, push-ups on bars with partial amplitude and so on).
b) ALWAYS control your movement. You must lower down due to the muscle strength, and go up with the same strength. If you feel that you’re not able to make another repetition with ideal technique, it’s better to jump off the bars and finish the set with push-ups from floor. Believe me, fall from the bars due to the lack of strength is not the most pleasant thing in the world.
Different muscles. Dips allow you to load either your chest muscles or arms depending on two factors: body incline position and elbows placement relatively to the body location during bending. If you want your chest muscles to get more work, then you should incline your body forward and bend your elbows aside. If you want to get more work for your triceps then you should keep your body as straight as possible, and elbows when bend should “watch” backwards not aside.
Amplitude. Some people say that maximum amplitude is needed for maximum efficiency, other people doen’t agree and do dips in partly amplitude. Well, I tell you that all of this is individual, and you ought to try various options and choose whatever gives you the best result!