Instructions for Seated Dip Exercise
The seated dip exercise tones the triceps, or the back portion of your upper arms. The machine allows you to determine the amount of weight you are pushing and using to challenge your triceps. Your triceps extend your arms and are activated when your arms are fully extended against resistance. They take up a significant portion of your upper arms and strengthening them helps you get defined arms. If you also want to work your chest, a slight exercise variation will challenge your pectoral muscles.
Take a Seat
Sit on the seated dip machine and choose an appropriate weight. Press your back against the seat’s back pad. When you sit down, you will see a handle on each side of you. Place your hands on the handles and straighten your wrists.
Tuck your elbows by your sides and relax your shoulders. Push the handles down, stopping before your arms are completely straight. Slowly lift the handles next to your torso, stopping when your arms form a 90-degree angle.
Complete 12 to 15 repetitions without moving your back or lifting your hips to accommodate the movement. Use a heavier weight if you don’t fatigue after 15 repetitions.
Work Your Chest
Sit on the seated dip machine and press your butt against the back pad. Straighten your back and lean forward 45 degrees. Relax your shoulders -- hunching them may strain them.
Place your hands on the handles and tuck your elbows by your sides. Push the handles down, straightening your arms. Keep your back still and your hips on the bench as you do this.
Lift the handles to the start position and complete 12 to 15 reps, stopping when your chest and triceps fatigue. This variation challenges your muscles differently, so don't be alarmed if you need to use a different weight.
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- Fitness: Seated Dips
- You may also perform the seated dip exercise using a fixed park bench or a low brick wall.
- Seated dip and reverse pushup exercises may be interchanged in a daily workout.
- The chair or sofa you are using to perform seated dip exercises should not be able to move while you are exercising. Have someone hold the chair, if possible, to decrease the risk of injury.
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.