The chair dip is a fantastic exercise that is, unfortunately, often overlooked by people trying to achieve a range of fitness objectives.
Chair dips primarily work the triceps muscles but also work the upper back, the rear of the shoulder and through the forearm.
Because dips depend solely on body weight, you are not likely to injure yourself when performing them and you are building functional strength.
There are two main safety tips to keep in mind when performing chair dips:
– perform within a safe range of motion (see below)
– ensure your technique and positioning is correct, otherwise you jeopardise your wrist, elbow and shoulder joints
Here is how to perform a chair dip.
Get a sturdy chair that will not rock. It needs to have a flat sitting area (curved is no good).
Position the chair opposite an item of approximately equal height (eg a couch, table, desk) that you are happy to rest your feet on.
Place your hands on the edge of the chair, a little wider than shoulder width, with your fingers pointing toward the object on which you will rest your feet.
Put your heels together on the resting object.
Bending at the elbows, lower yourself until the top part of your arms is just above 45 degrees. Do not go below 45 degrees or you risk injury.
Return slowly to the starting position. Repeat.
Beginners should look to do three sets of five, whereas those with more experience can aim for three sets of fifteen.