Top 10 Body Weight Exercises No. 9 – Triceps dip

Triceps dips

This simple but effective upper limb strengthening exercise can be done almost anywhere. The triceps are arguably the most important upper arm muscle group and should be trained appropriately. Read on to find out how to perform triceps dips effectively.

At Pete Fraser Fitness we advocate the use of body weight exercises. If done effectively this type of training brings into use many muscle groups, including the core, in a highly functional way and enhancing sport performance.


Primary muscles worked: Triceps brachii

Secondary muscles worked: Deltoid – medial and posterior, Abdominals

Benefits:Develops a strong rear upper arm, shoulder, upper back and improves the abdominal area.

Good for: Any sporting movement involving throwing or pressing/lifting the upper body, i.e. javelin, tennis, gymnastics, cycling, etc. (and darts!!)

How to do it: …….

  • sit on a bench or chair roughly knee height with your hands next to the butt, fingers pointing in the direction of the legs
  • if you’re a beginner keep knees flexed – if advanced legs extended – support with hands and lift the butt 10/20 cms forwards of the bench – elbows locked
  • keeping the core `braced`, slowly flex the elbows until they hit 90 degrees or the butt nearly touches the ground
  • slowly straighten the elbows back to the start point and repeat for: 2 or 3 sets x 12 – 20 reps



  • If you’re feeling pain in the lower back move tighter to the bench and brace your core
  • keep the back as upright as possible and look forward
  • keep the movement slow and controlled counting 2/3 sec both up and down


  • hand position: between extended thumbs distance and shoulder width apart. These two positions load more on the long and short heads of the triceps
  • for more core involvement try placing the feet on a raised surface or on a small gym ball to increase intensity

Other upper body weight movements in the series: