There’s no question that when you get started with your dip exercises (here’s a great video showing you how to do them properly), your body is going to be hurting, sore, painful…you name it, you’re going to be feeling it.
What you probably weren’t aware of is that there is actually an official name for that soreness: delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short. You’ll usually feel DOMS the next day, and it will often get worse on the second day.
Watch out for DOMS, as it can seriously knock your training program to the sidelines. Even after one workout it can be enough to be almost crippling, which nobody wants, right? Going to the extreme, there are rare cases where pain has been ongoing for some TWO WEEKS after exercising, but obviously, that’s way too long, and a trip to the doctor is probably a good idea.
So, how do you avoid DOMS and those sore chest / tricep muscles?
To avoid DOMS, when you first start training (or when you re-start your training after a long break), start light (with a lighter weight, doing fewer reps/sets), and only then gradually increase the workload over time.
The bigger question is…how sore is too sore? Well, to be honest, if you’re struggling with pain that you have to bail on your next session, then that’s too sore…
In a word, yes!
Without doubt, dips are tough, especially for those of you just getting started, or getting back into the swing of things. But there’s no question that dips are the way to go if you’re looking to build upper-body strength.
Some might even argue that dips are just plain bad, sooooo old-school, and even a bit dangerous. But frankly, that’s a load of rubbish, and typically mentioned by those looking to get a softer, easier way to build up some body mass. The pull up bar and sit up bench might also be suggested as better alternatives, but like with anything old, tried and tested, dips need to be understood a little better to get the maximum benefit.
How the heck can dips be “bad” for me?
Well, if you’ve got any sort of shoulder or chest injury, or any history of shoulder injuries, we’d clearly recommend staying clear of dips. This really is the ABCs of strength training, and you’ll ignore this advice at your own peril!
If you do have a shoulder or chest problem, or in fact you’re just starting out and still don’t have decent upper-body mass, it may well worth trying a bench dip.
We’d recommend starting with your feet on the ground, with your hands on the bench behind you, as shown on the left. Once your strength picks up a bit, lift your legs up to another bench, which should soon start showing some results.
Just so you know, these bench dips will do wonders for your triceps! Especially if you add some weight to your lap while dipping…it’ll hurt a bit, but start ramping up that body mass and strength you’re after.
Once you’re ready, head over to our dip station reviews for the next step! There are some great dip station / dip bar options to really take your upper-body strength training to the next level, and we’ve reviewed most of the options you’ll ever come across online.
So, how will dips help me gain some decent upper-body strength?
Seriously, the dips you do on a dip station / power tower are going to do wonders for your upper body strength.
Just so you know, whenever you do a movement standing or pushing/pulling vertically, you are probably going to use more motor power to perform the move, mainly down to the hormonal secretions in the pituitary and adrenal glands. As a result, dipping is going to do some real wonders for your body, since they are also considered as full upper body movement, some might even say full-body, with all upper body synergistic and stabilizer muscles being used.
Dips will also be the quickest and fastest way to improving your chest strength. They’ll also prove far more effective than a bench press, as the dips isolate the chest muscles much better, with less strain on your shoulders. Your chest is also likely to widen much faster, the true sign that you’re building some serious body strength.
Time to go get dipping we thinks! Dips are very under-rated, and I hope this article has shed some light on just what they can do for you.
Feel free to get in touch with any questions!
If you’re looking to boost your upper body strength, then dips are a great way to get some really impressive results. All you need is a great dip station or power tower (even a pull up bar will do the trick) – and your body weight!
Dips enable you to really power up those triceps and chest muscles, and the video below is a great example for dip beginners to sink their teeth into.