Dips are one of the toughest yet effective compound exercises for fitness enthusiasts of any level.
No matter if you are a novice or a professional calisthenics master, there are sufficient variations of tips that can fulfill your requirement of muscle growth.
Nevertheless like every other strength training exercises, the dips exercise with some precautions to follow and some common mistakes that can easily be left unnoticed.
That in this article we will be discussing the common mistakes and important precautions that should be followed while performing dips.
Learn these mistakes to avoid them in your next dips session.
Common mistakes while performing dips
1. Hopping onto dips bar on the first day of your gym
Although dips look simple and unique, there are certain standards to be met before executing them.
By standard, I mean there are admittedly different exercises and strength level that you have to work on to make your way upto the parallel bars.
One simple exercise that you must be able to do before dips is push up. Push ups will enhance your muscular strength and improve your stability.
Once you are able to hit 12-20 reps of proper pushups, you are well off to go right into dip bars.
2. Performing Dips without Shoulder Warmup
There are 100s of people on the internet asking about their shoulder pain while performing dips.
Although The research indicates that the warm up does not influence the performance in resistance training exercise, It is our common sense and experience that tells us how crucial a warm up can be to prevent any sort of injuries.
Dips are great for strength and muscles development but are rough on shoulders. If you don’t perform proper warm-up before doing dips, you may fall victim for horrible shoulder pains like hundreds others.
Actually, they are not big of a problem and can be easily dealt with. Infact, it all boils down to having proper shoulder extension and internal rotation. WIthout the correct shoulder extension, your shoulder comes forward and you will put yourself into a weak and vulnerable position, which can lead to shoulder pain and, most unwanted, shoulder injuries.
Thus, prior to performing dips, make sure you perform some shoulder mobility exercises and stretching exercises.
If your fitness goal is not worth putting your shoulder joint on risk, especially when you’ve got these awesome alternative exercises to perform, don’t compromise your shoulder health.
3. Pressurizing your wrist joint due to improper hand placement.
In most exercises like dips, pushups, and other pressing movements, discomfort on your wrist is not a new thing. The simple reason for this is the lack of wrist flexibility. The stiffness and limited range of motion of your wrist joint are mostly the reason for those wrist pain and discomfort.
The perfect way to perform dips is by keeping your hands under your shoulders and your arms close to your body. The grip width may vary according to the width of your shoulders. However, it is mostly restricted due to fixed grip bars width of equipment.
In order to minimize the stress on your joint, hold the bars low hand, close to your wrist. Grab the bars using a full grip and squeeze the bars tight. Ensure your forearms remain vertical at all times, both on the way up and on the way down.
That’s how you can keep your wrist joints safe and pain-free.
4. Not differentiating chest dips and triceps dips
The position and orientation of your body play a significant role to alter the muscles your are targeting.
For instance, in almost all of the compound movements, be it squats, deadlifts, dips, etc.., the positioning of your body determines which muscles you’re targeting.
Similarly in dips, the orientation of your upper body(torso) and movement of your arms determines whether you’re targeting chest or triceps.
To put it straight, keeping your torso upright throughout the movement targets your triceps whereas leaning slightly forward (without shoulder hunch) is going to put tension in your pectoral muscles, aka chest.
If you didn’t know this, just try out when training your chest or triceps and from now on, make sure to not confuse the two variations of dips.
5. Thinking Fast Reps Make you look cool and strong
Dips are a hell a lot of hard exercise that you may ever imagine.
What you need to do is find a comfortable range of motion and get a good muscle stretch by taking your time.
Hustling through the reps will only make your arms and joints prone to injuries.
Thus, try to hit slow and controlled reps by focusing on muscles that you’re targeting.
6. Flaring out your elbows and putting shoulders under risk
The next foolproof way to screw up your shoulders is to flare the elbows out to the sides while dipping down.
Although you can find some bodybuilders recommending flaring out the elbows to hit the chest, the risk that it puts on your shoulders doesn’t make the idea worth it.
Thus, for regular and safe dips, do not flare out your elbows rather keep them glued to your sides.
Best idea is to strive for the gunslinger position as explained in the video here.
Apart from that, there are some variations like bulgarian dips which demand your elbows to flare out. In that movement also, if you’re not careful, you’re at a serious risk of impingement.
7. Doing half reps without complete elbows lockout
When performing the dips exercises, a full range of motion will give you the ultimate benefits of doing it.
Just performing half reps without proper contraction or stretch on the muscles is comparatively ineffective.
While doing triceps dips, go all the way down, keeping your body upright, until your triceps are parallel to the floor. On the way up, press until your elbows lock out completely and triceps muscles get proper squeeze.
While doing chest dips, focus on the stretch on your pectoral muscles while also keeping the movement safe and sound for your shoulders.
8. Keeping body unstable, loose, and fragile
It is really tough for some to maintain the stability while doing dips. They will be rocking in and out, or swinging back and forth for momentum which is both ineffective and harmful.
It will divert your focus from the muscles you’re targeting.
What you should do is keep your body solid and stout. You elbows and shoulders should only be moving and doing all the work.
You can achieve this by keeping your core tight and crossing your legs at the ankles.
Just flex your quads and keep your elbows tucked in so that you will be completely avoiding unwanted motion.
9. Not pushing your limits and enjoying the same old bodyweight dips
Growth won’t occur if you do the same thing everyday. It applies to real life also.
If you want your muscles to grow and be strong progressively, then you want to increase the amount of weight that you’re pushing day by day.
Provided that you can do 12-16 reps of bodyweight dips, you should start putting on some extra weights using strap belts or dumbbells clamped with your legs such that it will increase the resistance for you.
The easiest for you would be to use the weighted vest which are a lot comfortable and simple methods to increase resistance during any kind of exercises, be it dips, pull-ups, pushups, and many more. The best weighted vest that is currently trending in the market is Aduro Sport Weighted Vest.
Thus, those are some of the most common mistakes while performing dips. But now you’ve got an idea of it and you can skyrocket the benefits from tricep dips by not repeating the aforementioned mistakes.
Proper form is the key for inducing muscles growth safely and effectively.
If you are having a hard time performing dips, then you’d like to see our article about best alternative to dips.