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It may look like an easy exercise, but getting the most from tricep dips means focusing on form rather than aiming to do a particular number. Here’s how:


When done with good form, tricep dips are a great exercise for toning and defining arms. They target the triceps (obviously!) - the muscles which run along the backside of your arm, as well as the pectoral muscles in the chest.

Dips are very flexible. They can be done on a chair, bench, or on a dip machine at the gym. They can easily be modified to lessen or intensify a workout so are great for beginners through to athletes.


  1. Stand with your back to a stable surface that is approximately knee-high, ensuring that it can support your bodyweight. Bending your legs, place your palms behind you shoulder-width apart and fingers facing forward on the edge of the surface.
  2. With arms fully extended, slide your butt off the chair and slowly walk your feet forwards, until most of your bodyweight rests on your arms. Keeping a firm grip, extend legs fully in front of you, keeping a slight bend in the knee.

Focus on form: Keep your elbows at your sides and your back as close to the bench as possible.


1. Inhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower your body until your triceps and forearms are at about a 90 degree angle.

Focus on form: Don’t dip past 90 degrees. Going too far into the dip takes the stress off the working muscles. Do not use momentum to help you raise or lower your body.

2. Keep your core engaged and let your hips ‘hang’. Hold for a second.

Focus on form: Make sure your back stays close to the bench and that your feet aren’t sliding. This will keep the focus on the triceps and not the shoulders.

3. Using your triceps, exhale and lift your body back up to the starting position. Well done, you’ve just performed one dip! Continue for 10 more reps, working up to 4-6 sets.

Challenge yourself:

To make the exercise more intense, cross your legs over each other, or even elevate them on a bench placed in front of you.

Remember to stretch after, breathe naturally, and have fun doing them!


the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.