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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Exercise Police - Tricep Dips

Brent Brookbush

Brent Brookbush


Panel Discussion: Exercise Police - Tricep Dips

Tricep Dips are on my list of "Top 10 Most Questionable Exercises.” From the perspective of HMS (human movement science) they are shoulder pain waiting to happen. So why do they still pop-up everywhere?

Moderated by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

This Panel Discussion was originally posted on my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/brent.brookbush - on October, 9th 2010

Eyal Shaul, October 9 at 10:35am: Cause many people can't do them and they look cool to do??? I don't know. It's the same w overhead tricep extension using two hands. It puts a lot of stress on the tendons and the bursa. Looks cool to do though. I guess it's all about looking good doing it SMH.

Jemimah Simms, October 9 at 10:38am: Because they 'feel the burn'. I found that people want to feel something instantly versus something they can't feel right away that will have benefits in the long run.

Brent Brookbush, October 9 at 10:38am If we are going for straight cool points - I am going for "skull crushers." Skull crushers put less stress on the shoulder and sound intimidating:-)

Eyal Shaul, October 9 at 10:39am: Lol you know it use to be called the French Press

Brent Brookbush, October 9 at 10:40am: Hey Jemimah, a tricep push-up uses the same musculature through similar joint actions, and does not include all the nasty compensation and excessive ROM that is required to do a dip.

Brent Brookbush, October 9 at 10:40am: Eyal, LOL - that doesn't sound tough at all….

Jemimah Simms, October 9 at 10:41am: well I know that. I should have stated that. but yeah, it mostly has to go with what Eyal said.

Eyal Shaul, October 9 at 10:41am I got a good one. What about women doing standing chest flyes!

Elizabeth Hawk, October 9 at 10:42am: Agreed

Brent Brookbush, October 9 at 11:05am: There is nothing inherently wrong from an HMS perspective with standing chest flyes (IMHO), although…. I don't find flyes to be particularly functional.

Jemimah Simms, October 9 at 11:06am: You've never swatted at a kid, huh?

Jeff Young, October 9 at 12:14pm: i'm a fan of chest flyes for strengthening and providing an active stretch at the same time. while they may not be functional, neither are many exercises that should be included in a program.

Fernando Fernandez, October 9 at 12:24pm: French press is actually a variation where instead of bringing it down to about the hairline/forehead, you actually have your arms closer to your face and the bar is coming down almost to the back of the skull. Not sure what it does but I would love to know as I do this movement to change it up. Either way french press does not sound appealing

and dips are for cool points definitely. However, let me ask, if you don't go too deep, can you prevent those potential shoulder problems?

Kerry Wolf, October 9 at 12:41pm: Triceps on the TRX really gets them nicely

Fernando Fernandez, October 9 at 12:44pm: True that. Those are nice.

Shawn Fears, October 9 at 2:03pm: This question was brought up after ACE did a study on them and called them "the most effective triceps exercise" because of emg activity.

Brent Brookbush, October 9 at 3:30pm: Hey Shawn, that's really interesting for a couple of reasons. #1 I am not sure that A.C.E. does their own research, so I wonder who they are quoting. #2 What would make the triceps activate more in that position… could it be part of an extensor reflex to protect the shoulder? #3 If it is good for the triceps, but horrendous for the shoulder, does it really matter how much EMG activity you get?

Kerry Wolf, October 9 at 3:36pm: Wow! Who knew triceps could bring on such a heated discussion? LOL! Good stuff :)

Jonathon Schetzsle, October 9 at 3:48pm: Eric Beard has a really good blog on this. Definitely food for thought.

Brent Brookbush October 9 at 3:49pm: Hey Jonathon, can you post the link for us.

Shawn Fears, October 9 at 3:51pm: My mistake it is 3rd on the list behind triangle push-ups and kickbacks and right above overhead extensions lol, but here is the article anyways.


By Brittany Boehler, B.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Dennis Kline, M.S., C. Russel…See More

Shawn Fears, October 9 at 3:53pm: I know from personal experience it hurts my shoulders but doesn't irritate my torn triceps tendon. I don't do them at all anymore, but for about a year it was all I could do for my triceps.

Shawn Fears, October 9 at 3:54pm: Interesting question with #2 Brent.

Julie Allyson, October 9 at 6:15pm: Ugh - I hate those…. HATE!!!!!

Maurice D. Williams, October 9 at 8:54pm: GYM Science, tradition and because "I've always done them and see other people and trainers doing them too." lol!

Jonathon Schetzsle, October 10 at 8:28pm: go figure I open my mouth, and can't find the blog ;-) I printed it off 2-3 yrs ago, but didn't have any success searching through his blogs. I'll drop him a line and see if he can help me out.

Jonathon Schetzsle www.ericbeard.com/online-courses/online-courses/2009/06/24/if-you-do-dips-corrective-exercise-andor-surgery-are-inevitable-revisited/

If You Do Dips; Corrective Exercise and/or Surgery Are Inevitable (Revisited) | ericbeard.com


corrective exercise, dips, shoulder pain, alternatives to dips, eric beard

Brent Brookbush, October 19 at 7:54am: New Articles by B2C Fitness!!! 2 new exercises get added to the Questionable Exercise category as I apply a little HMS (human movement science) to the "tricep dip" and "leg-raise." - http://b2cfitness.com/cpt_blog/

Dips: http://b2cfitness.com/cpt_blog/?p=139

Leg Raises: http://b2cfitness.com/cpt_blog/?p=142

© 2014 Brent Brookbush

Continue the conversation using the comment boxes below – questions, comments, and criticisms are welcomed and encouraged!!!