5 Powerful Benefits of Dips You Don’t Want to Miss Out On

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By Alex
Last updated on

No one should overlook the benefits of dips. Bar dips deliver excellent upper body mass and strength gains, largely because of the unique mechanics of the movement.

If you include bar dips in your routine, be sure to review my tutorial: How to do dips (Note: this tutorial is on triceps dips. For chest dips, just lean forward – otherwise the technique is the same).

Benefits of Dips

Benefits of Dips: Me doing dips on the Force USA G9
Me doing dips on the Force USA G9 All-In-One Trainer

Dips have the following advantages:

1. It’s a Closed Kinetic Chain (CKC) Exercise

A CKC exercise involves moving your body while your hands (or feet) are in a fixed position. Dips are one of the few upper body CKC exercises. As a CKC exercise, dips simultaneously work opposing muscle groups while lifting and lowering.

Related: Pull ups are another great upper body CKC exercise, which emphasizes the back.

2. Add Unlimited Weight

Add unlimited weight to dips with a dip belt

Dips are a challenging exercise by themselves. But you will outgrow bodyweight dips in no time, which brings me to my point: It’s so simple to add weight to your body. I recommend buying a dip belt. Alternatively, you can hold a dumbbell between your legs or wear a backpack with weights in it.

3. Build Upper Body Mass

One of the benefits of dips is building a more muscular upper body
My upper body gains, some of which came from dips

Since you are able to continually add pounds to your dip strength, you’re able to continually overload your muscles. And if you are progressively overloading your muscles with more weight and eating a sound bodybuilding diet, you are guaranteed to build muscle mass.

4. Superior to Push Ups

The push up is a great bodyweight exercise. And it is the most similar CKC exercise to dips. However, you are able to lift your entire bodyweight with dips (and then some, if you add weight). You only lift a fraction of your bodyweight with push ups. And while it’s possible to do weighted push ups, it’s not always practical.

5. Improve Your Lockout Strength

Seated Overhead Press
Locking out at the top of the rep on seated overhead press

A dip repetition isn’t complete until your elbows lockout. Sometimes those final few inches are the most difficult part of the range of motion. You improve lockout strength significantly by doing dips. This strength transfers directly to the lockout phase of related exercises like the overhead press and the bench press.

Note that the above benefits of dips are still possible if you’re only able to do assisted dips.

Alex from King of the Gym
Hey! My name is Alex and I'm the founder and author of King of the Gym. I've been lifting weights seriously since 2005 in high school when I started a home gym in my parents' basement. I started writing about fitness in 2009. Then, in 2014, I got into writing home gym equipment reviews and I haven't looked back. My current home gym is in my own house and it's constantly growing and evolving. My goal is to help you build the home gym of your dreams! Read more about me here.

6 thoughts on “5 Powerful Benefits of Dips You Don’t Want to Miss Out On”

  1. I’m 95kg I add 15kg of weight to my bodyweight I do 10reps ×4sets I do the same for pull ups i have an extremely wide shoulders and my question is how could I get a bulk big triceps and biceps just like gymnastic plz send me the schedules of the gymnasium training,,,,god bless

  2. Let’s say that I do dips and pull-ups/chin-ups, 3x a week, as my sole minimalistic home workout for the upper body, will I need to add any exercise for my shoulders?
    Is it possible to build an aesthetic upper body just with dips and chins without hitting directly the shoulders and upper chest?

    • You can build a decent amount of upper body mass that way. Of course, not as much as with weights, and certainly not as fast/efficiently as with weights.

      To answer your question about your shoulders/upper chest, I would definitely recommend hitting them more directly to get a more balanced physique.

      Specifically, I’d suggest:

      • Decline push ups (feet elevated) to target the upper chest and front delts. Over time, you can eventually get progress to handstand push ups if you’re serious about it. NOTE: There are also plenty of other push up variations you can play around with as well.
      • Inverted rows to target the rear delts and mid-back (rhomboids, mid/lower traps).

      Both of these exercises will make your upper body significantly more proportional in terms of aesthetics — the inverted rows in particular will go a long way in preventing muscular imbalances in your shoulders, which would likely lead to postural issues and injuries over time. Plus, you should be able to find a way to do both exercises without buying any specialty equipment.

      Lastly, you may find some of these pull up variations useful as you progress with your chin ups.


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