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Best Chest Exercise Dips

author image Michelle Dawn
Michelle Dawn has written professionally since 2005, covering a variety of topics over that time, the majority of that work focused on health and well-being. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Yoga Instructor, she enjoys teaching others how to live their healthiest, happiest life.
Best Chest Exercise Dips
A man lifting dumbbells in a gym. Photo Credit Ibrakovic/iStock/Getty Images

The chest is made up of two pairs of muscles, or four muscles in total. The pectoralis major muscles are the larger, fan-shaped muscles that make up the majority of the chest area. Deep under the pectoralis major muscles lie the smaller pectoralis minor muscles. There are actually a few different ways to perform chest dips, all of which are extremely effective if you're trying to build your chest muscles.

Use Some Cables

The cable chest dip utilizes cables for resistance, helping you build the pectoral muscles in your chest. Position yourself between two wide dip bars, one hand grasped on each, one foot crossed over the other behind you. Mount yourself, lifting yourself off the floor, keeping your hands aligned with your shoulders and your back straight. Flex your elbows, lowering yourself down until your chest is next to your hands. Return to your starting position for one rep.

Get Some Assistance

With the assisted chest dip, you work the pectoralis major and minor muscles, making it one of the most effective to include in your workout. Mount a wide dip bar, your arms extended so they're fully straight with your shoulders aligned above your hands. Position your feet flat on the assistance lever, your legs straight with your knees just slightly bent. Flex your arms, bending your elbows out to the sides, lowering yourself down until you feel a light stretch in your chest. Return to your original position, then repeat.

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Bodyweight as Resistance

The bodyweight chest dips use your own bodyweight as resistance to get results. To execute this chest dip, start by grasping onto the handles of the dip bar at your sides, and raise your body off the ground, keeping your legs and feet together during the movement. Lower yourself down, bending your arms on a 90-degree angle so your upper arms are about parallel to the floor. Raise yourself back up to complete one rep.

Help Yourself Out

The self-assisted chest dip exercise is one of the best because it is suitable for all fitness levels, but still gets you great results. Mount yourself on a wide dip bar holding onto the handles at your sides, with a bench or step underneath your feet for support. Stand straight with your arms fully extended. Bend your arms and knees, lowering yourself vertically and bending slightly at the hips, so your chest is at the same level as the bars. Stand back up for one rep.

Important Safety Tips

Keeping safety in mind is always important when you're getting started with any new exercise routine, especially when it's strength-training exercises you're focusing on. Don't overexert yourself, as this will only hinder your progress and could potentially result in injury. Instead, ensure you maintain proper form throughout each exercise from start to finish, and gradually increase the number of sets and reps in your workout when you no longer feel challenged.

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