Friday, March 12, 2010

Ring Dips, a Love Affair!

I'm no different than everyone else in the sense that what I like to throw into my training changes with time. I was never a huge fan of the dip for the overwhelming majority of my time training, partially because it requires a bit more specific equipment than most other forms of BW. So, I didn't do too much with it.

That was until the summer of 2009, when I struggled with some problems with my lower back. a large swath of my choice exercises were promptly rendered too painful to do. Dips were an exception since the legs and hips hang, not really requiring any sort of muscular contraction while working out. So, by necessity, the dip became my upper body pushing exercise of choice.

The hotel in Nevada that I was staying at had a sturdy railing that could hold me while I did my dips (it really surprised the hell out of a lot of people as they walked by) but eventually, cracking out 20, deep reps became a bit too easy and I looked for alternatives. This is when I built this super-cheap suspension trainer.

I started something that I just can't stop doing now! Doing dips off from rings or any other hanging object amplifies the difficulty of the dip immensely, particularly for the chest aka pectoralis major. I could bore you with all of the actions of the major pec muscle but I'm going to keep it pretty short and sweet: If you have to move your humerous (arm bone) in any direction in front of your body, you're probably using using the pec-maj. Pretty important muscle, in other words. When you're doing dips on rings, you're forcing your pecs to work in TWO ways: You're bringing your bodyweight back up to the start position while trying to keep your arms in place. It adds up fast, and that rocks!

If you've never played with these before, you'll probably be starting with your choice suspension tool's handles close together, shoulder width apart. This will bring your triceps more into play. As it gets easier, spread the handles farther apart. Now, you really have to pull to keep those handles in place!

These also pair very well with Pull-ups in a superset. Or, if you really want to torture yourself, with handstand push-ups! Either way, it's worth setting yourself up with some sort of suspension rig so you can do this gem of an exercise!


Jeremy Elder said...

This is great and makes me want to build the suspension trainer you mentioned a while back.

I also remember you improvising a set of pushup T's. Would you mind posting a mini tutorial on how to construct those?

Justin_PS said...

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately, I've intentionally not posted a tutorial on the design of mine because I just recently broke them and I'm looking for a way to build them stronger.

I don't know if you're a DIY buff or not. If you aren't, Torque Athletic builds something like these. If you google Sierra Exercise equipment, you'll find that Bruce makes them too.

When I've got a design that I have the warm and fuzzies about putting out there, my readers will be the first to know.

Jeremy Elder said...

Thanks Justin!