Instructions for Seated Dip Exercise

Triceps dips will give you toned upper arms to sport a tank.

Triceps dips will give you toned upper arms to sport a tank.

Nothing ruins a perfectly good tank top like upper-arm jiggle. Seated dips target the muscles at the back of the arm to help you look more toned and taut. Dips can't make you lose fat, but they will reveal definition once you lose weight all over. You don't need any fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to do the move -- so what are you waiting for?

Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair -- not a plastic lawn variety -- or a weight bench and place your hands on the seat, fingers facing to the sides or toward your torso. Extend your legs in front of you with your heels on the floor. Dorsi flex your toes toward your shins.

Slide your derriere off the edge of the seat so you're supported only by your hands and heels. Bend your elbows until they are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbows close to your trunk and your back close to the edge of the chair seat.

Hold for two to three counts and then extend the elbows to a straight position. Do between eight and 12 repetitions. Beginners can stick to one set; more advanced exercisers can do up to three sets. Do the exercise at least twice per week on nonconsecutive days.

Items you will need

  • Chair or weight bench


  • If you find the exercise too hard with extended legs, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and plant your feet firmly into the floor. When you can easily do 12 with this modification, try the extended-leg variation. For even greater intensity, you can wrap a long resistance tube behind your neck and down in front of your shoulders. Anchor each handle of the band with your hands. Another way to increase intensity is to elevate your feet on another chair or weight bench as you pump up and down.


  • If you feel pain in your shoulders or arms, stop immediately.

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About the Author

Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.

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