Chest Dip: An Advanced Compound Bodyweight Chest Exercise

Feature image for chest dip post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on left and a graphic of the exercise on the right.

Chest Dip is a challenging but simple physical exercise to shape your chest. Would you like to get exceptional technique and get stronger Pectoralis Major, Sternal? You’ll want to utilize this article to help you commence immediately.

Chest Dip Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Pectoralis Major – Sternal
  • Secondary Muscles: Deltoid, Anterior, Latissimus Dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis Major, Clavicular, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Teres Major, and Triceps Brachii
  • Equipment: Dip Stand
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Basic or Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Chest Dip Instructions

  • Mount a wide dip bar with an overhand grip, arms straight with your shoulders above your hands.
  • Lower your body by bending your arms, leaning forward, and allowing elbows to flare out to the sides.
  • When a slight stretch is felt in your chest or shoulders, push your body back up until your arms are straight.
  • Do your chest Dip for 8-20 repetitions.

Video Tutorial

How to Do a Chest Dip | Chest Workout

Chest Dip Muscles

Target (Agonist)

  • Pectoralis Major – Sternal


  • Deltoid – Anterior
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Pectoralis Major – Clavicular
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Rhomboids
  • Teres Major
  • Triceps Brachii

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


  • Deltoid – Anterior
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Trapezius – Middle
  • Trapezius – Upper
  • Wrist Flexors

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the chest dip exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Chest Dip

The chest dip exercise is an excellent addition to any strength training or fitness routine due to its ability to target the pectoralis major – sternal muscle. This exercise works the muscle from a different angle than a traditional chest press, resulting in greater chest activation. Chest dips also help to develop stability and improve shoulder mobility. The pectoralis major – sternal muscle is the primary muscle group involved in this exercise, and it is worked in a controlled manner that increases strength and endurance. Additionally, chest dips can also help to improve posture and reduce the risk of shoulder injury. All of these benefits make chest dips an essential exercise for any strength training or fitness program.

Tips for Performing Chest Dip

Your at the right place if you’re trying to enhance your chest dip execution. Using these tips can allow you to take full advantage of this effective workout. You will develop your chest muscles, and even reduce your chances of experiencing an injury. So let’s begin now and discover what these tips may achieve for you.

  • Warm Up First: Before you start your chest dips, it’s important to warm up your body and get your muscles ready for the exercise. Take a few minutes to do some light cardio and dynamic stretching to get your body moving and ready to go. This will help prevent injury and maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
  • Keep Your Elbows Close: Make sure to keep your elbows close to your sides when you dip down, as this will target the chest muscles more effectively. Keeping your elbows close will also help to engage your triceps and shoulders, which are important for supporting the movement.
  • Push Up with Control: When pushing up from your dip, make sure to use a slow and controlled motion. This will help you focus on the muscles being worked and ensure that you get the most out of the exercise. Going too fast will not only make it harder to keep proper form, but will also limit the amount of muscle activation.

Benefits and Tips Video

Are You Doing Dips Properly? (AVOID MISTAKES!)

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting chest dip, avoiding common errors can be the difference to achieving optimal results and avoiding injury. Moreover, getting optimal results from this exercise requires appropriate form, and avoiding perform typical errors can allow you to perform the exercise correctly and achieve optimal results. But relax, it’s not as challenging as it might appear. By knowing the mistakes to avert and taking the appropriate actions, you may complete the exercise securely and successfully. Let’s begin by avoiding these typical errors and incorporating this exercise to your exercise regimen.

  • Not using proper form: Chest dips require you to keep your elbows close to your body and not let them flare out, as this can put unnecessary stress on your shoulders and increase the risk of injury.
  • Going too deep: Chest dips should be done with a shallow range of motion so that you are not going too far down and stressing your shoulder joints.
  • Not using the correct tempo: It is important to move slowly during chest dips, as this helps to ensure that you are engaging the correct muscles and not using momentum to complete the exercise.

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If you’re looking for alternative exercises to the Chest Dip, there are plenty of variations and complementary exercises that can help you target the same muscles. Below is a list of exercises that work the same muscles as the Chest Dip:

Graphic image of Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip.

Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip: The Assisted Wide Grip Chest Dip is a great alternative or complementary exercise for the traditional Chest Dip. This exercise works the chest, triceps, and shoulders in a slightly different way than the regular Chest Dip. By using an assisted pull-up machine, the exerciser can focus on form and control, allowing for greater range of motion and improved muscle activation. With this exercise, the user is able to use a wider grip and keep the elbows close to the body while performing the dip. This allows for a more intense contraction of the chest muscles, which helps to build strength and muscle size.

Graphic image of Wide Grip Chest Dip.

Wide Grip Chest Dip: Wide Grip Chest Dip is a great exercise for targeting the chest muscles. It is an alternative to the traditional Chest Dip, and can be used to supplement or replace it. This exercise involves using a wide grip on the dip bars or rings and going down lower than in regular Chest Dips. It works the chest, triceps, and shoulders, and can help build strength and size in these muscle groups. Wide Grip Chest Dip is a great option for those looking to add variety to their upper body workouts.

Graphic image of Weighted Tricep Dips.

Weighted Tricep Dips: Weighted Tricep Dips is a great exercise for the triceps, and it can be used as a complementary or alternative exercise for Chest Dips. This exercise requires you to suspend yourself with your arms in a bent position, and then lower your body towards the ground. You can add weight to increase the difficulty, and it also helps to work on your balance. This exercise targets the triceps and shoulders, while also working the chest muscles. It is an excellent way to build strength and power in the triceps while still targeting the chest muscles. Weighted Tricep Dips are a great way to mix up your workout and get the most out of your chest workouts.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Graphic image of Smith Machine Decline Bench Press.

Smith Machine Decline Bench Press: The Smith Machine Decline Bench Press is a great complement or alternative to the Chest Dip exercise, as it allows you to target the same muscles in the chest and arms while providing a greater degree of stability. The machine also allows you to adjust the angle of decline, which can help to increase the intensity of the exercise. The Smith Machine Decline Bench Press is an excellent exercise for those looking to build strength and definition in their chest and arms.

Graphic image of Smith Machine Bench Press.

Smith Machine Bench Press: The Smith Machine Bench Press is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Chest Dip. It is a variation of the traditional barbell bench press, but with the barbell resting in a Smith machine frame. The frame allows for a more stable and controlled movement, making it ideal for those looking for a safer form of chest exercise. It also allows for increased range of motion, allowing for greater muscle activation and growth. Additionally, the Smith Machine Bench Press is an ideal exercise for those looking to focus on the upper chest muscles, as it allows for an isolated movement. This can be a great way to add variety to your chest workout routine while still providing a great strength training exercise.

Graphic image of Pec Deck (Machine).

Pec Deck (Machine): The Pec Deck machine is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Chest Dip. It is a seated machine that isolates the chest muscles and allows you to perform a fly-like motion, working the chest from different angles. This exercise can help develop strength, power and size in the chest muscles, and is especially beneficial for those who are unable to perform dips due to injury or lack of equipment. The Pec Deck also offers a good range of motion, allowing for a deep stretch in the chest muscles and providing a greater challenge to the user.

Opposing Complementary Exercises

It is important to use opposing muscle groups when working out. To ensure that you get a full-body workout, it is recommended to include exercises that target the muscles used in Chest Dip, as well as the opposing muscle groups. Here are some exercises that target the opposing muscle groups:

Graphic image of Barbell Pendlay Row.

Barbell Pendlay Row: The Barbell Pendlay Row is a great complementary exercise to the Chest Dip, as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise works the upper back and shoulders, which are the opposite of the chest muscles used in the Chest Dip. By doing this exercise, you can help to increase your overall strength and balance out your physique. Additionally, it is a great way to strengthen your core muscles, as it requires you to stabilize your body and hold your form while lifting the barbell. The Barbell Pendlay Row is a great way to add variation to your workout routine and help you achieve the body you want.

Graphic image of Barbell Skier.

Barbell Skier: Barbell Skier is a great exercise to pair with Chest Dip as it utilizes the opposite muscle group. This exercise involves standing with a barbell in both hands, holding the barbell at shoulder width and bending forward at the waist. As you bend forward, you should feel your back muscles being worked and your chest expanding. The Barbell Skier works the back muscles in the opposite direction of the Chest Dip, giving you a complete workout for both muscle groups. By combining these two exercises, you can get an effective full body workout that will build both strength and endurance.

Graphic image of Cable Rope Rear Delt Rows.

Cable Rope Rear Delt Rows: Cable Rope Rear Delt Rows are a great complement to Chest Dips. This exercise works the opposing muscle group, the back muscles, specifically targeting the rear deltoids. The cable rope is held in both hands and pulled back towards the body as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. This exercise helps to strengthen and build the upper back muscles, providing stability to the chest muscles that are worked with Chest Dips. By working the opposing muscle group, Cable Rope Rear Delt Rows can help to provide balance and symmetry to your physique.


Chest dips are a great exercise for getting fit, and with the tips and advice from this article, you should be well on your way to achieving those fitness goals! Not only do chest dips target your chest muscles, but they also work your triceps, shoulders, and even your core. Just make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes mentioned in this article – otherwise, you’ll be left with a sore chest and triceps! So why not give them a try and see what all the fuss is about? Now that you know all about chest dips, why not check out some of our other fitness articles and find out how to get the most out of your workouts?

References: Wikipedia | |

Pin image for chest dip post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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