Could This Chest Exercise Be Even Better Than The Bench?

chest workout

Build up your chest with this awesome exercise.

Chest exercises are pretty obvious at this point. When most bodybuilders look to improve their chest development they focus on a handful of exercises that have been popularized over the years. For our money, the bench press and dumbbell flyes are two of the best exercises you can perform to build a massive and strong chest. At least that’s the school of thought from most trainers and experienced bodybuilders.

That’s not to say that bench press and flyes aren’t the answer to improving your chest game, but as the old saying goes there’s more than one, in this case two, ways to skin a cat. One exercise that could potentially prove to be a better chest exercise than the bench and flyes are dips.

Dips have been at times sited as a potentially damaging exercise for the shoulders by some uninformed fitness gurus, but the reality is that it can greatly improve chest development. We’d go as far to say that it may even be better than if not or equal to the bench press and flyes in its importance and usefulness to chiseling the chest. If you have any doubts, then just take a look at the reasons why you should substitute the bench every now and then.

1. It’s a faster option

Dips are great for the chest for a number of reasons, one of them being that the exercise isolates the chest muscles. The motion for performing the dip requires the user to push in a downward motion with the arms while lifting your body up. The shoulders are also engaged in this motion but are under far less stress when with the bench. Since it’s a bodyweight exercise it also requires more tension and strength from the chest muscles in order to perform the motion. All this combines to making quicker chest gains.

2. Build functional strength along with your chest

Like we mentioned before, the chest dip is a bodyweight exercise. The isolation works great for building muscle specifically in the chest. Besides that however is the fact that you must lift your own body through space which will ultimately translate to core strength. Posture is also important with this exercise.

You body must remain static, your legs must be held in the same position, preferably bent at the knee and crossed. This kind of posture ultimately engages the chest, abs, shoulders, and back, meaning you can get major gains in multiple areas. The body working in concert with other muscles means gaining functional strength for other endeavors, lifting or otherwise.

3. Widens the chest

Another great benefit from doing chest dips is the development in chest width. What separates dips from the bench press and dumbbell flyes is that you’re able to not only work the chest, but work the rest of your upper body as well. As we just mentioned before the dip can engage not only the chest, but the back as well. That includes the upper back as well.

The dip can build the lats up nicely which is the antagonistic muscle to the chest. When you work the antagonistic muscle it allows for better development of the opposite muscle, in this case the chest. All in all, the chest dip is a multifaceted exercise that can work wonders for your entire upper body. We strongly recommend an all in one strength machine trainer that can combine a smith machine, power rack, dip station and core trainer to build upper body strength.

Do you perform chest dips in the gym? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Jacob Ladon is a staff writer and former amateur bodybuilder. He has been passionate about bodybuilding since he was 15 years old and discovered the joys of training in the gym. He reports and comments on all bodybuilding related matters.