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February 10, 2022 8 min read

Stronger arms are achievable without using bulky gym equipment like barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells. There are bodyweight exercises that provide equally great results on the arm.

The bench dip is a great  bodyweight exercise that helps to target the arms. It applies to everyone regardless of fitness level and provides stronger arms. Don’t know how to begin? We have compiled some tips to help you.

couple doing triceps dip exercise on bench outdoors

What Is The Bench Dip?

The answer is simple: an excellent exercise that you can learn in little to no time. 

The bench dip strengthens major upper body muscle groups like the arms, chest, and shoulders.

Upper body strength is vital to functional activities and  even more critical in sport-related performanceWithout upper body strength, you are at risk of injury in your daily activities and working out at the gym.

The bench dip is nothing like the regular dip. The latter exercise involves hoisting yourself to grab two bars and imitating pressing movements. Although the normal dip is an equally splendid exercise for the arms, the bench dip is an even more straightforward exercise that you can perform without getting your feet off the floor.

How Does It Work? 

The bench dip requires only one item: a bench - or any other elevated but sturdy surface that you can find at the time.

It involves dipping off the bench with your legs kicked out and your arms acting as some lever that does all the work.

You sit on the bench with your legs extended in front of you and gently shift off the bench until your arms are the only things left on the bench. You then slowly raise and lower your arms repeatedly. 

The bench dip is a valuable addition to arm day workouts.

Although it looks too simple to be taken seriously, it packs a punch to your arms. The effect of gravity and your bodyweight packs a punch on your arms. It also helps build muscles in the upper body and strengthen the core.

Benefits Of Bench Dips

Like any other  upper arm exercise, the benefits of bench dips extend to the shoulders, upper chest, and upper back. It promotes general upper body strength, growth of the arm muscles, and more muscular arms.

Other than the generic benefits, some other benefits of bench dips are:

They are easy to learn 

Bench dips are beginner-levels and can be learned and perfected in no time. They do not demand a high focus on form and are not complex enough to be done by only veterans. As a newbie just getting introduced to equipment at the gym, do not make a run for dumbbells or barbells. This equipment requires an impressive amount of upper body strength. 

To build arm strength, begin with the bench dip.

It gradually but sure leads to stronger arms and upper body muscles.

Core strength

Bench dips require a great deal of core muscle activation. This helps you to be balanced, stable and coordinated.

Keeping your core activated throughout the exercise is a great way to improve core strength.

There are various  benefits of a strong core, and these benefits are evident in our daily activities and other physical activities.

Can be done anywhere

The bench dip does not require bulky gym equipment.

These simple exercises can be performed using stationery items like stairs, chairs, or any other sturdy elevated surface.

This enables you to perform my alter bench dip anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are home, walking your dog, or sitting in the office.

Muscle hypertrophy in shoulders  

Although it might look like much, bench dips help target and break down the fibers of the deltoids, the muscles of the shoulder.

The breakdown of these muscle fibers signals the beginning of the healing process. With the healing comes the improvement in shoulder strength and muscle growth for a broader chest. For the best muscle growth results, incorporate the  RIPPED STACK into your daily routine.

Bigger guns

Even with virtually no added weight, the bench dip works the triceps of the arm: located at the back of the arm, the triceps contribute to the size of your arms.

Bench dips work your triceps, increasing their size and strength as you go.


The bench dip is a versatile exercise that can be done anywhere using your available resources.

Unlike other exercises that require bulky gym equipment, the bench dip requires you to find a sturdy elevated surface.

It can also be modified to increase or decrease the intensity. As long as your form is correct, feel free to tweak certain parts of your bench dip routine for better muscle response.

How To Do Bench Dip

The bench dip might be a simple exercise, but like any other exercise, you need to perform it with perfect form. Your stance, movement, and range of movement should be nothing less than perfect.

When done with the careless form, you increase your chances of muscle injuries and engage the wrong muscle groups. 

Although it is called a bench dip, in the absence of a bench, make use any other sturdy elevated surface.

How to do bench dips properly:

  • Sit on the edge of the bench.
  • Place your arms beside your hips with your palms face down on the bench and your fingers facing your hip.
  • Walk your legs outward and stretch them until they are straight.
  • Your buttocks should be hanging mid-air in front of the bench, and your palms should remain in the starting position and stacked under your shoulders.
  • To get a good engagement of the lats, rotate your elbow slightly.
  • Keep your legs straight so that you are supported by the balls of your feet, or flex your knee so that your legs are bent, and your feet are in contact with the floor.
  • Turn your shoulders outward so that your lats are activated.
  • Tuck your chin as if you are holding an egg underneath it, keep your ribs down, and tuck your pelvis.
  • Pre-tension your shoulders and hips to reduce their engagement, then engage your core.
  • Keep your body still as you slowly lower your hips towards the floor, letting your arms do all the work.
  • Your arms should form a 90-degree angle at the end of the movement.
  • Squeeze your triceps and drive through your elbows to lift yourself but do not lockout your elbows.
  • This is one rep. Complete as many reps as possible.

When doing the bench dip, movement should only occur in your elbows. The rest of your body should be kept still throughout your sets.

Tips To Help You Get Your Dip Right

The bench dip needs to be done perfectly to activate the necessary muscle groups. Although this exercise might not look like much, a lot could go wrong if your form is off even by a bit. This could cause injuries or soreness. 

Here are some tips to help you avoid nuances in your form:

Complete your range of motion  

A common mistake made during bench dips is not going low enough.

This partial movement does not use your complete range of motion and takes some of the benefits of full movement out of your workout. When doing the bench dips, make sure you go as low as possible without feeling pain in your arms.

We recommend going low enough that your elbows form a 90-degree angle with the bench. This cue will help you complete your range of motion.

Don't move your arms

Another common mistake to avoid is moving your arms out of the tucked position.

Avoid spreading your arms outward or sideways during your movements. This would help you retain the tension in your triceps.

Moving your arms can load your shoulders unnecessarily, resulting in a sore joint or even a sprained shoulder. Make sure that your elbows remain tucked at your sides throughout your movement.

Don't go too low  

While one mistake involves not going low enough, another common mistake to avoid is going too low.

Going too low and increasing your range of motion does not guarantee better muscle stimulation and muscle fiber response. You are doing yourself more harm than good.

Dropping too low past the recommended 90-degree angle mark will shift the tension away from your arms and to your shoulders.

This could lead to shoulder injuries. Stop at the 90-degree elbow angle mark that makes your arms parallel to the floor. This would help you to take full advantage of your movements.

Move Slowly   

A rushed performance might cut your workout time in half, however, you are probably not working the necessary muscles.

Moving fast not only takes the tension out of your arms but also opens you up to the risks of injury. Using momentum does not incorporate muscle energy, so your muscles get little to no work done.

Use slow and controlled movements to help you get the most out of your exercise.

Bench Dip Variations

The bench dip can be modified to increase or decrease the intensity of muscle response. A tweak in the leg placements and the incorporation of weights in your routine will turn out to be a massive change in muscle response.

Two of the most common bench dip variations include:

1. Cross Bench Dips

    The cross bench dip is also known as the feet-elevated dip. As its name implies, this bench variation is done with your legs placed on another bench. It is a more challenging variation and should only be attempted when comfortable with the basic bench dip. 

    The elevation of the feet during this variation allows more tension on the triceps, shoulder, and chest muscles. If you suffer from injuries to the shoulders, you might want to sit this one out.

    How to do the cross bench dip:

    • Stand between two benches, two chairs, or a bench and a chair. Regardless of your choice, ensure they are sturdy enough to hold your weight.
    • Sit on one of the surfaces and prop your feet on the other. 
    • Place your palms on the bench with your hands beside you.
    • Shift off the bench, so your butt hangs midair.
    • Straighten your back and engage your core.
    • Exhale and lower yourself using your elbows until it is at about a 90-degree angle.
    • Pause and inhale.
    • Drive through your triceps to raise yourself.
    • Complete as many repetitions as possible.

    2. Weighted Bench Dip


      The weighted bench dip is just the conventional bench dip with added weights.

      It is more demanding and provides maximum tension in the arms, abs, upper chest, and upper back.

      Although it is often left to the more experienced gym enthusiasts, the weighted bench dip can be performed by gym newbies under the supervision of a spotted or personal trainer. This would ensure that your form is correct and safeguard you from injuries.

      How to do the weighted bench dip: 

      1. Sit on a bench.
      2. Place a weight on your thigh. You can use a kettlebell, small barbell, dumbbell, weighted plate, or sandbag.
      3. Place your palms on the bench with your arms at your sides and your fingers facing forward.
      4. Stretch your legs out in front of you and slowly walk your legs forward until your buttock is off the chair.
      5. Keep your back straight and neck neutral.
      6. At the end of the setup, your torso should be perpendicular to the flow, elbows bent with your arms at your sides, and legs in front of you with your knees flexed slightly.
      7. When you are sure that your form is correct, inhale and slowly lower yourself using your elbows as a lever.
      8. Lower yourself as close to the ground as you can until your elbows form a 90-degree angle, and your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
      9. Exhale and push through your triceps to raise yourself.
      10. This is one rep. Complete as many reps as you can fit in a set.

      While still familiarizing yourself with this variation, ensure that you work with a spotter. This is necessary due to the use of the weight. As a beginner, placing the weights wrongly can disrupt your form and cause injuries. To avoid this, get in form and ask a spotter to put the weight on your thighs.

      The weighted bench dip can also be done as a weighted cross bench dip.

      This variation requires a high level of muscle endurance to last the whole set Couple the weighted cross bench dip with  CHARGED-AF  for increased energy, and improved stamina, more muscle pump, optimized muscle performance, and increased strength.

      Get Your Dips On

      Bench dips are an excellent option for stronger arms and a better build. It is a splendid addition to your workout session to add bulk to your frame.

      Combining the bench dip and its various modifications with any of our  bodyweight shoulder exercises  can lead to even better results.