Fitness dumbbells

This exercise, using your own weight, matches the pull-up or chin-up in the upper body weight exercises. The dip uses a pushing motion to primarily train the pectoralis major, triceps, and anterior deltoid. It is possible to vary the triceps or pectoralis more, depending on how far the trunk leans forward. This exercise is difficult for beginners as they need to have enough strength to lift their own body weight and strong abs to keep their torso stable. Some gyms have special equipment for this exercise that will support you if you don’t have the necessary strength.


Stand between the parallel bars and use the step so that the bars are at waist height. Grab them, straighten the elbows, bend the knees and lift the feet. Lower yourself by applying eccentric control of the extensors until the elbows are bent 90 degrees. Push yourself back up (elbows straight).

Do it well
Lean forward to exercise the pectoral muscles; stay upright to exercise the arms.

Too much extra weight can lead to tears in the pectoralis major and triceps. Don’t add too much weight too quickly.


Bench dips are a good alternative if you don’t have enough strength for the ‘real’ exercise. Sit on a bench with your legs extended forward and your heels on the floor side by side. Support the upper body on the arms and lift it up. Slide forward so your body floats in front of the bench, not above it. Lower your body, then push back up (elbows extended).

Extend the challenge with more weight. Use a dip belt to which you can attach additional weight suspended between the legs and perform the exercise as described.

Active muscles

  1. Pectoralis major
  2. Voorste deltoideus
  3. Triceps brachii