Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Yesterday I gave you a list of the
top 25 exercises for building muscle
As you might expect, I received tons
of emails in response.
Funny thing was -- most of the emails
were about an exercise that wasn't
even on the list!
It was the parallel dip -- a tried and
true strength and muscle builder that's
been around since (I'm sure) the days
of the ancient Greeks. (Why am I sure?
Because the guy that posed for the famous
statue of the Farnese Hercules undoubtedly
did them -- along with plenty of pull-ups.)
And remember - John McCallum once called
dips "the upper body squat."
So why aren't they on the list?
The answer is simple.
Dips DO build strength and muscle -- but
they also wreck shoulders.
The problem is the bottom position of the
exercise. There's just too much stretch on
the shoulder joint. Over time, bad things
happen to a surprisingly high number of
trainees who may have once viewed dips
as their very best friend.
Now, having said that, I KNOW that many
of you are going to continue to do dips.
So let me share some advice.
Don't do deep dips with a full stretch
at the bottom.
In fact, don't even go all the way down.
Stop about two inches ABOVE the bottom
of the rep.
Or, to make it even easier, just go down
until your upper arms are parallel to the
floor -- and then stop!
Don't worry about missing out on any sort
of strength and muscle-building benefit
by skipping those potentially dangerous
last couple of inches.
The middle and top positions of the dip
are where you build the strength and
muscle. And they're much easier on
your shoulders. So stick to that part
of the movement -- the safe but
productive part of the movement.
Al of the above assumes that you're
going to do your dips the right way,
meaning in good form, and under control.
No drop and bounce stuff.
No twisting or swinging or kicking the
feet or wiggling the knees.
You lockout, pause briefly, lower,
go down only as far as I just described --
and then go back up.
And you control the movement the entire
Personally, I still prefer close grip
(meaning shoulder width or slightly
closer) bench presses to work the
triceps -- but for those out there
who insist on doing dips, do them
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make
it a good one.
Yours in strength,
P.S. I cover plenty of other great
exercises for safe and effective strength
and muscle building in Dinosaur Bodyweight
Training. Go here to grab a copy:
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Train hard,
but train smart. You're in it for the long
haul." -- Brooks Kubik