Reverse Dip: A Unique Bodyweight Exercise To Build Your Triceps

Do you struggle with building triceps strength and definition? Are traditional dips feeling too easy and not targeting the right muscles? You’re not alone! Many fitness enthusiasts face this problem. The common cause could be that your triceps are not being engaged correctly during dips. But fret not, the reverse dip is here to the rescue! In this post, we will discuss the benefits of reverse dips, how to perform them, and why they are an excellent addition to your triceps workout routine. So, let’s dive in and elevate your triceps game with reverse dips!

Reverse Dip Summary

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

Reverse Dip Instructions

  • Setup in the down pushup position, except move your hands to just in front of your hips or as close as you comfortably can.
  • The pushup maintains your feet stationary and hips low.
  • Pause at the top and then lower yourself back down.
  • Continue the exercise for a complete set.

Video Tutorial

The Perfect Reverse Dip

Reverse Dip Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers


Antagonist Stabilizers

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

Benefits of Reverse Dip

Reverse Dip is an effective exercise for targeting the triceps brachii. This exercise involves lowering and raising the body while suspended on parallel bars, focusing the tension on the triceps brachii. As the triceps brachii is responsible for elbow extension and shoulder adduction, Reverse Dip is an ideal exercise to increase strength in those areas. Additionally, this exercise can help to build and tone the muscles of the upper arm, giving them a sculpted look. Reverse Dip is also a great exercise for increasing coordination and balance as it requires good control of the body.

Tips for Performing Reverse Dip

If you’re looking to take your reverse dip to a new level, then you’re at the right place. These tips can get you the most out of this effective workout, and help you reap all the benefits it has to offer. You’ll be able to develop your tricpes muscles, and minimize your risk of getting hurt. Let’s get started and take a look at how these tips will benefit you.

  • Make sure to keep your arms straight when doing the Reverse Dip: This will help you to engage your muscles and maximize the benefits of the exercise.
  • Use good form: Keep your back straight, shoulders down, and chest up when performing the Reverse Dip. This will help you to get the most out of the exercise and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Gradually increase reps: Start with a low number of reps and slowly increase as your strength improves. This will help you to progress safely and effectively towards your fitness goals.

Benefits and Tips Video

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Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

Avoiding common mistakes can mean the difference between a successful training session and an injury when performing reverse dip. Additionally, achieving optimal results from this exercise requires proper form, and making sure you don’t 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 seem. By knowing the mistakes to avert and taking the appropriate actions, you can execute the exercise securely and effectively. Let’s start by staying away from these standard errors and incorporating this exercise to your training regimen.

  • Not fully extending arms: Not fully extending the arms during the reverse dip can lead to weaker tricep muscles and less progress in muscle growth.
  • Going too deep: Going too deep in the reverse dip can lead to shoulder injuries and a decrease in range of motion.
  • Not controlling the movement: Not controlling the movement during the reverse dip can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and make it harder to isolate the tricep muscles.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

If you’re looking to switch up your routine, there are plenty of variations, complementary, and alternative exercises to the Reverse Dip that work similar muscles. Below is a list of some of the best exercises to mix in with Reverse Dip for a well-rounded workout.

Bench Dip

Graphic image of Bench Dip.

Bench Dips are an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to Reverse Dips. It involves placing your hands on the edge of a bench and slowly dipping your body down and back up. This exercise is great for building strength in the triceps and core. Unlike Reverse Dips, Bench Dips are easier to do and can be done with less stress on the shoulders. Additionally, they can be done with more variations to increase the challenge. This makes them a great alternative or supplement to Reverse Dips, allowing you to build strength without overloading your joints.

Weighted Tricep Dips

Graphic image of Weighted Tricep Dips.

Weighted Tricep Dips are a great complementary or alternative exercise to Reverse Dips. This exercise works the triceps and chest muscles, while also engaging the core and shoulders. The weighted version of this exercise adds an extra challenge and helps to build strength and stability. With this exercise, you hold a weight between your feet and dip yourself down until your arms form a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and close to the bench as you lower and raise yourself. This exercise is a great way to target both the chest and triceps muscles and is an excellent alternative or complementary exercise for Reverse Dips.

Chest Dip

Graphic image of Chest Dip.

Chest dips are a great complementary or alternative exercise to reverse dips. They involve lowering the body down and pushing back up with the arms, engaging the chest and triceps muscles. The range of motion is more limited compared to reverse dips, as the feet remain firmly on the ground and the arms are bent slightly. Chest dips are a great way to target the chest and triceps muscles while avoiding too much strain on the shoulders. They can be done with or without weight, making them a great choice for those who are just getting started with strength training. Additionally, they are a great choice for those looking for an alternative or complementary exercise to reverse dips.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension

Graphic image of Barbell Lying Triceps Extension.

Barbell Lying Triceps Extension is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Reverse Dip. This exercise focuses on the triceps muscles, which are responsible for extending the elbow joint. The exercise is performed by lying flat on a bench and holding a barbell with an overhand grip. The arms should be extended up towards the ceiling. From this starting position, the arms should be bent at the elbows and lowered to the chest, before being extended back up towards the ceiling. This exercise can be done with light weights for beginners, or heavier weights for more advanced lifters. It is an effective way to increase strength and muscle mass in the triceps, while also strengthening and toning the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and upper back.

Barbell Standing Overhead Triceps Extension

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Overhead Triceps Extension.

Barbell Standing Overhead Triceps Extension is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Reverse Dip. This exercise works the triceps from a different angle and can help to increase strength and size of the triceps. To perform the exercise, hold the barbell with a narrow grip and press it overhead until your arms are fully extended. Then, slowly lower the barbell behind your head until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Make sure to keep your elbows in as you lower and lift the barbell. This exercise can be done as a standalone or as part of a superset with Reverse Dip to really work your triceps from all angles.

Cable Concentration Extensions

Graphic image of Cable Concentration Extensions.

Cable Concentration Extensions are a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Reverse Dip. This exercise targets the same muscles as Reverse Dips, including the triceps and deltoids. It is performed by standing in front of a cable machine with a handle attached to the low pulley. Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly extend your arms outwards, hold for a count of three and then return to the starting position. This exercise increases strength and endurance in the arm muscles and is an excellent way to enhance performance in Reverse Dips.

Find More Arms Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

This exercise works the triceps, chest and shoulders, but it is important to work the opposing muscle groups in order to maintain balance and prevent injury. To complement the Reverse Dip, try the following exercises to strengthen the opposing muscle groups:

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Graphic image of Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl.

The incline dumbbell biceps curl is a great exercise for developing strength and size in the biceps. It is complementary to the reverse dip because it uses the opposite muscle group. The incline dumbbell biceps curl involves curling a pair of dumbbells from a seated position, with the arms bent at 90 degrees and the palms facing up. As you curl the dumbbells, focus on contracting the biceps, squeezing at the top of the curl. This exercise works the biceps in an isolated fashion, which helps to build strength and size in the muscle group. When done in conjunction with the reverse dip, this exercise provides an effective workout for the opposing muscle groups, allowing for greater overall development and balance.

Lever Hammer Grip Preacher Curl (Machine)

Graphic image of Lever Hammer Grip Preacher Curl (Machine).

The Lever Hammer Grip Preacher Curl Machine is a great tool for isolating the biceps and building strength and muscle. This machine allows you to perform reverse curls with your palms facing up while sitting on an inclined seat. This exercise is complementary to the reverse dip, which works the triceps muscles, because it uses the opposing muscle group to help strengthen the biceps. Additionally, the Lever Hammer Grip Preacher Curl Machine offers adjustable seat height and arm pad angle so you can adjust to find the right position for your body size and type. This machine is ideal for those looking to target the biceps and build strength and muscle with a safe and effective exercise.

Lever Preacher Curl (Machine)

Graphic image of Lever Preacher Curl (Machine).

The Lever Preacher Curl Machine is an excellent complement to the Reverse Dip exercise, as it works the opposing muscle groups. The machine helps to strengthen the biceps, which are worked in the opposite direction to the triceps when doing the Reverse Dip. The Lever Preacher Curl Machine ensures that the user has good form and can safely challenge their muscles with a full range of motion. By strengthening the biceps, the user can better support their bodyweight when performing the Reverse Dip exercise, allowing them to get a more effective workout with fewer chances of injury.

Empower Your Upper Body with Reverse Dips

To really tone and strengthen your upper body, consider incorporating reverse dips into your workout routine. These exercises focus on the triceps and shoulders, so they are perfect for anyone looking to sculpt those areas. With the right form and consistent practice, you’ll start to see significant improvement in your upper body strength and definition. Not sure how to get started? Check out our other section for a step-by-step guide on how to perform reverse dips safely and effectively.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Arms Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for reverse 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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