The dip is so effective, for building muscle and strength, that it’s often referred to as the squat for the upper body.
And yet, you’re not likely to see a line of folks waiting to use the dip stand at your local gym. Much of the reason is because there is a host of myths surrounding this powerhouse exercise.
Myth #1- Dips are bad for your shoulders.
The dip is just like any other exercise where it’s safety is due to how well you perform the technique. In video 3 of the TMR I go over at least 3 different ways you can make your dips safer and more effective at the same time.
Myth #2- Dips are a triceps exercise.
Dips are a triceps exercise. They are also a chest, shoulder, back, core and even grip exercise. Their ability to fully work almost every muscle from your waist up is what makes them so effective at building a strong and beautiful physique.
Myth #3- Dips work the lower pecks and can cause “moobs.”
Strong plate-like pecks are a hallmark of the strong physique. But some guys have this idea that pushing downwards causes the lower part of the chest to be developed causing your pecks to look more like sagging breast-like muscle. Nothing could be further from the truth! Just search for any image of someone doing dips and you’ll see their entire chest tight and flexed to the max.
Pushing downward is one of the most effective ways to achieve full engagement of the chest, shoulder and triceps muscles. After all, ask someone to flex their chest muscles and they probably won’t strike a pose as if they were doing an invisible bench press. Instead they push their hands downward and together more like an invisible dip or cable crossover. The dip is the most powerful exercise for taking advantage of this action.
Myth #4- Dips are only for the strong-as-hell.
Yes, full body dips are tough, and many may have some trouble with them, but they are not out of reach of anyone.
Using a weight assisted machine or slinging an exercise band between the dip bars can bring this uber exercise within the reach of anyone. If you’re using adjustable rings or straps you can use your own legs to give you assistance against the ground.
In the end, the dip is an exercise that provides more pushing strength than almost any other body weight exercise. It’s for this reason, why it’s the primary pushing movement in the TMR program.