Chances are, if you see a large number of athletic-types performing a particular exercise, that exercise is effective. One such commonly performed exercise is the triceps dip. Those in the know -- which now includes you -- are aware that this exercise provides an efficient way to work your upper body. However, the triceps dip is not well suited to strengthening your abs. You'll have to look elsewhere for abdominal enhancement.
The fact that triceps dips don't help strengthen your abs doesn't doom this exercise to complete irrelevance. In fact, the triceps dip is highly effective at working a number of muscles. In addition to the triceps, the exercise can help you strengthen your chest muscles, or pectorals; your shoulder muscles, also known as deltoids; and muscles of your back such as the latissimus dorsi, levator scapulae and rhomboids.
Importance of Training Abs
You shouldn't ignore your abs just because a few of your favorite exercises don't work those particular muscles. Training your abs is quite important, so there are no excuses to overlook them. As MayoClinic.com notes, your abdominal muscles help improve your balance and can help you move better for sports. Additionally, strong abs help you stave off poor posture, injuries and lower back discomfort.
Strengthening Your Abs
Many exercises -- unlike the triceps dip -- can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles. Some classic exercises, such as situps and planks, can help you strengthen your abs without any equipment. If you have access to a gym or have fitness equipment at home, you can also perform weighted crunches, crunches on a Swiss ball, and cable crunches to strengthen your abs.
If you find the triceps dip aligns nicely with your workout goals, there's no reason not to include it in your workout plan. If you want some variety in your workout program while still training the same muscles that exercise works, you can perform lifts such as the bench press, triceps extension, triceps pushdown, military press and pushup to help you strengthen your back, shoulder, arm and chest muscles.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.