Why These Exercises Are A Great Alternative To Dips

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Can’t do dips? No problem. These alternatives will work just as well to give you the same benefits.

For those looking to boost their chest and triceps growth, dips are that number one way people do that. As a great bodyweight exercise with a lot of potential to maximize growth, dips are a popular exercise performed by those serious about lifting and getting big. For many of us, our chest and triceps can make our physique pop, giving us those well-rounded pecs and that horseshoe-shaped arm we want to see most.

But for some of us, performing dips can be a challenge, making us feel like we’re missing out on some great potential for growth and gains. That’s where good alternative exercises come into play to give us similar benefits to dips without having to perform that specific exercise.

It can be hard to find which exercises are the right one’s to perform because with so many out there, the options are endless. But fear not, for we have you covered. These alternative exercises can boost your growth and aid in that desired physique you want most. And you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Let’s jump into dips and see what these alternative exercises are all about. Working multiple muscle groups while focusing on your chest and triceps is great for enhancing many muscle to aid in strength, size, and stability.

What Are Dips?

Dips are a bodyweight exercise that works your upper body muscles to aid in strength and building that desired physique. The two main groups targeted will be your chest and triceps, both of which can really give you a well-rounded and shredded look. These are typically performed on a dip bar or a set of rings and require proper and engaged form to really maximize the effectiveness (1).

Benefits Of Dips

The benefits of dips include:

  • Build muscle: Work to enhance strength and size by really working your muscles.
  • Functional exercise: The movement of the dip works to build functional strength that can pay off in the long run.
  • Build stability: Stability should not be overlooked and dips can help give you that grounded support for all your big lifts.
  • Great alternatives exist: We’ll talk about the alternatives but having a variety to choose from is great for changing up your workouts.

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How To Perform Dips

Grab the handles and let your feet hang, bending slightly at the knee. Engage your core and slowly lower to the ground, keeping your elbows tucked in to avoid flaring. Once at the bottom, hold for a brief pause and push back to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Great Alternative Exercises

Here are some of the best alternative exercise for dips. Each will provide similar benefits while giving you a chance to see the desired growth you want most out of your exercise.

Diamond Push-Up

What makes the diamond push-up a good exercise is that it will work your triceps and chest and is more challenging that a regular push-up. Since this requires more triceps engagement due to the closer grip, it will provide similar benefits to the diamond push-up.

How To: Starting in a regular push-up position, bring your hands into a diamond shape. Keeping your elbows tucked in and your core engaged, lower to the ground and push back to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Close Grip Bench Press

This exercise is similar to the push-up in that your grip is about the same. With the closer grip, you target the triceps more, and of course, have more room to really give your chest a good workout (2).

How To: Place your hands on the bar slightly more narrow than shoulder width apart. As you brace your ab core, keep your elbows tucked in and lower the bar to your chest in a controlled motion. Drive through your feet and push the bar back to the starting position. Repeat for your desired number of reps.

Pec Deck Fly

While this doesn’t have as much triceps engagement, it is a good alternative for beginners to work the chest in a controlled manner. With slow and engaged movements, you work to get the most out of this workout.

How To: Adjust the machine to how you want it and position yourself so your arms rest against the pads. Slowly bring your arms forward, push the weight, and really feel a good squeeze in your pecs. As you return to the starting position, keep a good, controlled motion.

triceps kickbacks


This is an effective exercise for working your triceps and will also target range of motion with the extension portion. For the best stability, use an incline bench, but it is also fine to bend over a bench and extend out using a flat back.

How To: Lay on an incline bench with your feet on the ground and core engaged. Taking the weight, slowly straighten your arms so they are parallel with your body. Pause for a moment once they are extended. Slowly bring the weight back to the starting position and repeat for your desired number of reps.

Wrap Up

When it comes to building our chest and triceps, both muscles are vital in not only boosting strength for sport specific movements and functionality, but also aiding in that desired physique. Dips are a great way to work both and should not be overlooked as an essential exercise to have in your routine. But sometimes we can’t physically perform dips, or want a little variety in our workouts. That’s where these alternative exercises come into play. What they can do for us is really boost all areas of our training and performance to give us the most when it comes our workouts. Give these alternative exercises a try and see what they can do for your goals. You won’t be disappointed with the results and the gains you seek are right around the corner.

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*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Langton, Becky; King, John (2018). “Utilizing Body Weight Training With Your Personal Training Clients”. (source)
  2. Lockie, Robert G.; Moreno, Matthew (2017). “The Close-Grip Bench Press”. (source)
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.