Dips are one of the best bodyweight exercises one can do. They have been around for a while, and are an essential part of many workouts.
Regardless of whether you go to the gym or do calisthenics, dips are one of the top exercises.
Dips can essentially work your chest and triceps muscles, but they are also effective for abs and your shoulders. What they target also depends massively on how we perform them.
But after a while, they can get boring, and we’ll need a progression or an alternative to dips. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best alternatives for dips, and how to do them.
Alternative To Dips
First of all, we’d like to mention that dips themselves can be a varied exercise. As we can change the position we perform them in, they will target different muscles.
Just a small, simple adjustment can massively affect the outcome of a dip. If we place our arms next to bodies and keep our torso straight, the exercise targets triceps.
If we lean our torso forwards slightly, the exercise transforms into a chest-building exercise.
So it’s better to look at alternatives for both versions – the chest and the triceps version.
Note that we’ll focus more on bodyweight exercises as dips are a bodyweight exercise, and many don’t have access to gym equipment.
Alternative To Triceps Dips
First, let’s take a look at the best alternatives for triceps dips.
One of the best exercises for the triceps, diamond push-ups can be a great alternative to dips.
Firstly, because they work your tricep muscles and arms. Secondly, because they are challenging and a worthy alternative to regular push-ups.
We can say that diamond push-ups are an upgrade. But they might also be challenging for beginners.
First, place yourself in the same position as for regular push-ups. The difference is that you keep your arms close this time; between your hands, you should see the shape of a diamond.
Then, descend slowly while keeping your back straight. If you can’t do a diamond push-up, then you can consider keeping your knees on the ground while you do the exercise.
Bench dips are a worthy alternative for the regular dips. The difference here is that bench dips work your triceps a bit more than the rest of the muscles.
All you will need is a bench or something that’s elevated from the ground. Ideally, this platform should be at the level of your knees or lower.
But you’ll have to do the exercise properly to avoid stressing your shoulders too much while doing the movement.
Bench dips are a great alternative for beginners who can’t do the regular dips just yet. Performing bench dips is also relatively simple.
First, sit on the bench or on the elevated platform. Then, put your feet away from the bench and place your hands on the bench. The hands should be next to your body.
Then, start dipping your body and towards the ground. As you come close to touching your ground, raise yourself back up.
Make sure you don’t keep your elbows too square, keep them close to your body, which will ease the stress on the elbows and shoulders.
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions
This is one of our favorite exercises for triceps, and you can use them as an alternative for tricep dips.
You won’t require equipment at all for this movement; all you’ll need is an elevated platform, or you can do it on the ground. This exercise can be done in two ways.
The first way is to do it on the ground. In its essence, the exercise is somewhat similar to the regular push-ups.
But, the focus here is to start the movement from your elbows on the ground and extend your arms. Here is how this variation looks like.
The other variation is to do this exercise from an elevated position.
First, place your hands on the elevated platform, and extend your body.
Then, move your body closer to the platform and keep your head down. Make sure you focus on the triceps and not on the chest.
Alternatives To Chest Dips
The dips are one of the most effective exercises for the lower chest, as this study shows. It isolates the lower chest but it also works the upper chest.
So the exercise is really one of the best chest exercises overall. The advantage is also that you can add weights to your body to make it more challenging.
But what are the best alternatives for chest dips?
The incline push-ups are a great alternative to dips. They focus on your chest, especially the pectoralis major and minor. Plus, the focus on your arms and shoulders.
The great thing about incline push-ups is that we can easily vary how challenging they are. They are done with hands on an elevated position, and the more elevated it is, the more challenging it can be.
Start off by placing your hands on an elevated platform, such as a bench, or a couch, or even a bed.
Then, you can start performing the exercise. It’s works similarly to a regular push-up.
You can use bands to your advantage and add a bit more challenge to the regular push-ups.
Performing this exercise is fairly simple, as it’s practically the same as the standard push-ups.
If you don’t have a band, you can still do this exercise without a band. For the chest, you simply can’t go wrong with push-ups.
To do banded push-ups, wrap the band around your shoulders. Make sure the band is as tight as possible so that it doesn’t move too much while you do the movement.
The harder the band is, the more challenging you can expect the exercise to be. And with the band around your body, start performing you push-ups.
If you do have access to the gym equipment, then the best alternative for dips is the bench press.
It is hands-down possibly the best exercise for your chest, as shown by several studies.
Plus, it gives you the chance to build bigger chest as you can load the exercise up with plates.
Performing the bench press correctly requires proper form when you do the exercise. Here’s a good checklist to keep your bench press professional.
Hopefully, you enjoyed the list and now know the best alternative to dips. If you’re looking for some more variety in your workouts, then you can apply some of these exercises to them.
Dips are a very effective exercise for both your chest and triceps. They can ben done differently, and the variations can dictate what muscles we activate the most.
So knowing the alternatives for tricep dips and chest dips is beneficial.