Bench dip

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Triceps Brachii
  • Synergists: Anterior Deltoid, Sternal (Lower) Pectoralis Major, Clavicular (Upper) Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Latissimus Dorsi
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Push

Starting position

  1. Position two benches parallel and stand between them.
  2. Place your hands on the inside edge of one bench and your heels on the other so that your bottom is suspended between the benches.


  1. Exhale as you bend your elbows and lower your body until either you feel a slight stretch in your shoulders or your elbows make a 90-degree angle.
  2. Inhale as you extend your elbows and raise your body to the starting position.
  3. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your elbows tucked in and your torso upright.
  • Do not lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • Make the bench dip exercise easier by performing it with your heels on the floor.
  • Make it more difficult by placing a loaded barbell or just a weight plate on your lap (weighted bench dip; see video), or by graduating to the triceps dip, which is performed on parallel bars.
  • In a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the bench dip was found to be one of the most effective exercises for the triceps. It placed third after the triangle push-up (aka diamond push-up), which came first, and the dumbbell kickback, which came second. The bench dip was found to elicit equally great activity in both the lateral and long heads of the triceps.

Bench dip video


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