How to do reverse dips (push-ups)? Effectively train your triceps


Reverse dips (push-ups) are a simple exercise that you can do at home to train your triceps. Even if you know what reverse dips are, many people may have the following questions:

  • What muscles do reverse dips work?
  • What is the difference between reverse dips and reverse push-ups?
  • What is the correct way to do reverse dips?

In this article, we will explain in detail how to do reverse dips correctly and the key points to doing them. Effectively train your triceps and get the upper arms you want.

What are reverse dips?

What are reverse dips?

Reverse dips are an effective exercise for working your triceps.

Lean back and place your hands on a bench or chair, bending and straightening your elbows to put stress on your muscles. You can expect to see results in toning your triceps, increasing muscle strength, burning fat, and even getting rid of saggy arms.

Here we will take a closer look at the differences between dips and reverse push-ups.

First of all, what are dips?

Dips are a type of exercise where you support your body with only your arms and move up and down. They mainly train your pectoral muscles and triceps. They are easier to put a heavy load on than other upper body bodyweight exercises.

If that's not enough, you can use weights to adjust the load, so it can also be used as a training exercise for advanced users.

On the other hand, reverse dips are a variation of dips that primarily targets the triceps.

Regular dips are performed by holding onto a bar on either side (such as a dedicated dip bar) with both hands, but in reverse dips you turn away and place your hands on a bench or chair, bending and straightening your elbows.

What is a reverse push-up?

Reverse push-ups are another name for reverse dips. Regular push-ups are also known as push-ups. Reverse push-ups (dips) are easier to understand if you think of them as a type of push-up.

The main difference between reverse push-ups (dips) and push-ups is the muscles they train and the direction of movement. Push-ups target the pectoral muscles and are performed with the hands in front of you.

Reverse push-ups (dips), on the other hand, focus primarily on the back of your arms, especially your triceps, and are performed with your hands behind your back.

Muscles trained with reverse dips

Muscles trained with reverse dips

Reverse dips effectively train the following three muscles:

  1. Triceps
  2. Deltoids
  3. Latissimus dorsi

We will explain each muscle in detail.

Muscle #1: Triceps

Reverse dips are an effective exercise for training the triceps (the muscles located on the back of the upper arm).

The triceps are divided into three parts: the long head, the medial head, and the lateral head, and by doing reverse dips you can strengthen all parts at the same time. By training your triceps, you can get toned upper arms and improve your overall arm strength.

Muscle #2: Deltoids

Reverse dips also effectively train the deltoids, which are the muscles in your shoulders. The deltoids are large muscles that cover your shoulders and are divided into three parts: the front, middle, and back. By training your deltoids, your shoulders will become larger and rounder, which is effective in emphasizing the inverted triangle silhouette of your upper body.

Muscle #3: Latissimus dorsi

Reverse dips are a training that trains not only the triceps and deltoids, but also the latissimus dorsi. The latissimus dorsi is a large muscle in the back. By training the latissimus dorsi, you can create an inverted triangle body shape and add width and thickness to your upper body.

In addition, the latissimus dorsi is part of a large muscle group, and training it increases the basal metabolism. As a result, energy consumption increases, leading to a body that is less prone to gaining weight, making it effective for shaping up.

Basic Reverse Dips Technique

Basic Reverse Dips Technique

The basic method of reverse dips is explained in three steps:

  1. Prepare a chair or exercise bench
  2. Reverse Dips Procedure
  3. Appropriate number of repetitions and sets

Let's take a closer look at each method.

Tip 1: Get yourself a chair or workout bench

To begin reverse dips, first grab a chair or workout bench.

Choose a chair that is stable and tries to keep it from moving as much as possible. If you have a training bench, it will ensure stability and the right height for more effective training.

In particular, an adjustable bench allows you to adjust the height and angle, making it suitable for other exercises in addition to reverse dips.

If you want to know how to use an adjustable bench, please refer to the following article. It introduces 15 types of training using an adjustable bench.

>>15 ways to use an adjustable bench | Recommended training exercises you can do at home

Method 2: Reverse Dips

Reverse dips are an effective exercise for training the triceps, but they also put a moderate load on the shoulders and latissimus dorsi. It is important to perform them with the correct form and repeat them as many times as you can without straining yourself. The steps for reverse dips are as follows:

(1) Preparation

Place your chair or workout bench on a stable surface. Make sure it is stable and will not move.

(2) Starting position

Sit with your back against a bench and grab the edges of the bench with your hands shoulder-width apart, fingertips pointing forward. Extend your legs in front of you, with your heels on the ground. Beginners can also bend their knees to reduce the load.

(3) Start of operation

Slowly lower your body while bending your elbows. Ideally, you should lower your body until your buttocks are just about to touch the floor. Lowering your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle will effectively stimulate your triceps.

(4) End of operation

Extend your elbow back to the starting position, making sure not to fully extend your elbow to keep the muscle engaged.

(5) Repetition

Repeat steps (3) and (4) the prescribed number of times. It is recommended that you allow 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

Method 3: The right number of repetitions and sets

To perform reverse dips effectively, it is important to do the appropriate number of repetitions and sets.

Beginners and those with less muscle mass should aim for 10 to 15 repetitions. As you get used to it, you can increase the number of repetitions to 15 to 20 repetitions per set, or increase the load and do 10 to 15 repetitions.

At first, you can do one set, but as you get used to it, increase the number of sets to two or three, gradually improving your strength. However, as there are individual differences, adjust the number of repetitions and sets to suit your experience and strength.

Key points of reverse dips

Key points of reverse dips

There are four key points to reverse dips:

  1. Be aware of the muscles you are working
  2. Lower it slowly and raise it a little faster
  3. Make sure your back is not separated from the support
  4. Do this while opening your chest and looking forward.

We will explain each point in detail.

Tip 1: Be aware of the muscles you are working

When doing reverse dips, it's important to focus specifically on your triceps.

To really work your muscles, make sure you feel a strong contraction in your triceps as you perform the exercise. When you press up against the bench, you can feel your triceps contracting, which will improve the effectiveness of your workout.

Point 2: Lower it slowly and lift it a little faster

To perform reverse dips effectively, it is important to lower yourself slowly and lift yourself up a little quickly.

When lowering your body, take your time and do it slowly to keep the triceps under strain. A good rule of thumb is to take about twice as long to lower your body as it took to raise it up.

Be aware of not holding your breath while you exercise. It's a good idea to exhale as you lift and inhale as you return.

Tip 3: Make sure your back is supported by a supportive platform

When doing reverse dips, be sure to keep your back close to the support platform. If your back comes off the platform, the stimulation to your triceps will be lost, and the effect will be halved.

When the movement becomes particularly difficult, your back will naturally move away from the platform, so be aware of keeping your back close to the platform at all times. By continuing to apply a firm load to your triceps, you can increase the effectiveness of your training.

Tip 4: Keep your chest open and look straight ahead

When doing reverse dips, it is important to keep your chest open and looking straight ahead. Keeping your eyes straight ahead and keeping your chest open will help you maintain good posture.

If your posture is poor, your back will bend or your back will move away from the platform, which will reduce the load on your triceps, so be careful. By maintaining good posture, you can effectively continue to apply load to your triceps, which will promote muscle hypertrophy.

How to apply high load

How to apply high load

Reverse dips are bodyweight exercises, so once you get used to them, they may not be enough. Here are two ways to apply high loads to reverse dips.

  1. Place weights on the base of your thighs
  2. Use a push-up bar

We will explain each method in detail.

Method 1: Place weights on the tops of your thighs

Once you get used to reverse dips and find that your body weight isn't enough, you can add some weight to the top of your thighs to increase the resistance, which will put more pressure on your triceps.

Use weights such as dumbbells or plates, and try using weights in the range of 10 to 20 kg at first. However, be careful not to let the weights fall and injure yourself or damage the floor.

Suddenly putting on a heavy load can disrupt your form, so increase the weight gradually.

Method 2: Use a push-up bar

To increase the load on your reverse dips, it is also effective to use a push-up bar. Push-up bars are used to increase the load on your push-ups, but they can also be used for reverse dips.

By using a bar, the angle of the wrist becomes natural and the range of motion increases, which stimulates the muscles more. It is available at a reasonable price, so be sure to incorporate it into your home training and effectively train your triceps.

Adjustable bench for working out at home

Adjustable bench for working out at home

When working out at home, an adjustable bench with an adjustable angle allows you to do a variety of exercises in addition to reverse dips.

For example, if you want to train your triceps with reverse dips, you can also aim for well-balanced upper arms by training the front triceps at the same time.

Incline dumbbell curls using an adjustable bench are effective for focusing on training your biceps. In addition, combining them with chest training such as dumbbell presses and dumbbell presses is effective for creating a well-balanced upper body.

Rep Fitness's "AB-3100 FI Adjustable Bench" allows you to adjust the bench to six positions from flat to 90 degrees, and the seat to three positions.

>>AB-3100 FI adjustable bench

If you want to expand the scope of your training with a high-performance bench, we recommend the "AB-3000 2.0 FID Adjustable Bench." The angle of the bench and seat can be adjusted in more detail, allowing you to do not only flat and incline, but also decline.

>>AB-3000 2.0 FID Adjustable Bench

In addition, to prevent damage to your floor, we recommend using GYMMAT. GYMMAT is a mat that absorbs shocks during training and protects your floor, and when used in conjunction with the adjustable bench, you can train at home safely and comfortably.

>>GYMMAT product list

Reverse dips are an effective way to train your upper body

Reverse dips are a workout that you can easily do at home with just a chair to train your triceps, deltoids, and latissimus dorsi. If you do it with the right form, you can put a firm load on your muscles and improve your strength efficiently.

In this article, we've introduced the correct way to do reverse dips, some key points, and recommended items for doing them at home. Increase the effectiveness of reverse dips and get the upper arms you've always wanted.

If you want to improve your at-home training, be sure to check out the Uchino Gym official website. They have a wide range of training equipment to help you improve the effectiveness of your training.

>>Uchino Gym Official Website

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