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Dips are one of the best ways to build a bigger chest, but that’s only if you learn how to do them right. First of all, many people will not lean far enough forward when doing the chest exercise to maximize the impact on the chest. The further forward you lean, the more likely you are going to hit your chest rather than shifting the load to your shoulders and arms.
That said, this isn’t even the most common mistake when performing dips. In this video, I show you how to avoid two errors that are made at the shoulders during this chest exercise that diminishes the results you see from it. If you want to build a bigger chest you have to try and keep as much tension on the pecs during the exercises that you perform for them. The shoulders have a way of taking away some of the load in an effort to try and assist the chest. This is not what you want if you are trying to build as big a chest as possible.
You will see in a poorly performed dip that the shoulders have assumed a shrug position. It is hard to avoid this if you aren’t consciously aware that you are doing it in the first place. Just by grabbing the handles of the dip bars and then stepping away from the bars and sinking into position, you are likely to allow your shoulders and traps to drift upward. Not only does this take some tension away from the pecs but it also tends to shoot your shoulders into a forward posture which can jeopardize the integrity of the anterior capsule.
To do this right you have to remember to set your shoulders and keep your shoulder blades depressed throughout the movement. You can do this by focusing on keeping the traps from rising up at any point during the dip. Even when you lower your body down you want to be sure that you prevent your shoulders from shrugging up. By doing this, you can keep the chest in a position to maximally help you during the movement.
Just as during a bench press movement you would want your pecs to be able to assist the pressing of your arms away from your body, the same applies here. Try to do what I’m showing you in the video and you will instantly feel the difference between the two positions.
For more than just a bigger chest, you have to be sure that you are doing everything you can to do every exercise right. The ATHLEAN-X Training System available at shows you how to put the science back in strength and get the most out of every single exercise you do. It doesn’t stop at just chest exercises of course, as it trains your entire body like an athlete.
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