By slightly altering your body position, you can manipulate what muscles you target. If you keep your torso in an upright position, your triceps will be the focal point of the exercise. If you lean forward, the muscles in your chest will be required to do significantly more work.
In order to do this exercise effectively and efficiently, your pelvis and spine need to be in a stable position. This will allow you to generate significantly more strength with your upper body.
- For the duration of this exercise, it's important that you keep your ribs and hips stacked. Bracing your core, actively tucking your rib cage towards your hips, and squeezing your glutes will help you achieve this.
- Maintain a neutral spine and never allow your lower back to hyperextend, or your rib cage to flare.
- Contract the muscles in your legs and keep them in a rigid position. You can either keep your legs in a lengthened position, or bend your knees, but whatever position you choose to adopt, keep your legs rigid. Performing this exercise will be challenging if your lower body is swinging around like a limp noodle.
- As for breathing, before you descend into each rep, take a deep breath into your belly. Exhale when you are extending your elbows.
- Focus on moving through your elbows rather than rounding your shoulders and allowing your humerus bone to travel forward in your shoulder socket. This anterior humeral glide can potentially lead to very angry shoulders, which is obviously not a good thing.
- At the top of each rep when you are locking out, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down as this will provide your upper body with additional and much needed stability.
- Reset before each rep.
- You can make this exercise easier by looping a band over the handles, and either kneeling or standing on it, and performing band assisted dips.
- You can make this exercise more challenging by performing band resisted dips, or wearing a weight belt/weight vest. You can also perform negative or pause reps.