The Chair Dip Triceps Exercise

Tricep dips
Ben Goldstein

The chair dip triceps exercise is a great body weight exercise that builds arm and shoulder strength. This simple exercise can be done almost anywhere with nothing more than two study benches or chairs.

How to Do the Chair Dip Triceps Exercise

It's not a complicated exercise, but many people get sloppy and shrug their shoulders during the dips. To do it right, keep your chin up, look straight ahead and keep your shoulders down and away from your ears throughout the movement.

The exercise can stress the elbows and shoulders, so if you have any joint pain, you may want to use the push up exercise to build strength in the triceps and shoulder. If you have shoulder problems, you may want to avoid this exercise.

You need two study benches or chairs for this exercise.

  1. Place the chairs facing each other, about 3 feet apart.
  2. Sit on the edge of one chair and grip the edge of the chair with your hands.
  3. Place your heels on the edge of the other chair and hold yourself up using your triceps.
  4. Slide forward just far enough that your behind clears the edge of the chair, then lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears.
  5. Slowly push yourself back up to the start position and repeat. Control the movement throughout the range of motion.
  6. Begin with 10 repetitions and work up to 25 repetitions over several weeks.

Modified Triceps Chair Dip

If you can't do 10 repetitions of the exercise, you can modify the chair dip to decrease the intensity. Here's how:

  • Use only one chair and keep your feet on the floor as you complete the movement.
  • You can also limit how far you lower your hips to decrease the amount of effort used during the exercise.
  • As you get stronger, increase the range of motion and number of repetitions.

Over time, as you build strength, you will be able to do the full chair dip. For a complete upper body workout, add the basic push up.

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