The Benefits of Chins & Dips Exercises - Build Muscles with the Basics

Chins and Dips Exercise

Reaching for the Greatest Physique Holds Many Potential Dangers

Those outside the fitness community might think that the title is misspelled (Chips and Dip?) or at least a little strange. Chins and dips, however, are two fundamental exercises for the male physique. When performed together, they combine in a harmonious effect to shape an extraordinary physique.

If you want to change the shape of your body quickly, you need to do a lot of chinups and dips. Chinups and dips are great for giving the body that knockout look. One Latin American physique star was asked which exercises were the very best for shaping the upper body. His reply was "Chins and dips. Do a lot of chins and dips." His insight is correct. Chins and dips change the body.

The chinup, when performed with a fairly wide grip, broadens the back and promotes some shoulder and arm growth. A narrow dip builds the triceps and shoulders, and a wide dipping movement builds up the outer chest and intercostal muscles. A good chin/dip workout affects most of the upper body.

The shape of the upper torso, the V-shape (or A-shape if you are out of condition), defines the look of the body. The V-shape is essential for a fantastic physique, and is what almost all men strive for. Even a man who is out of shape will throw out his chest and tuck in his waist when a pretty girl walks by. He is trying to create the V-shape, the shape that defines a great body. However, that little maneuver is not necessary if you spend enough time working on chinups. Wide-grip chinups will blow the back and shoulders out to an extreme degree if performed with enough repetitions and sets on a consistent basis. Wide-grip chinups will make the back permanently broad.

The wide-grip chinup works the upper and outer area of the back, the latissimus dorsi muscles. This muscle group has a tremendous capacity to grow. A high repetition range pulls out the width of the lats. One very beneficial aspect to stretching the lats out through the wide-grip chinup is that the back tends to stay large, even when it is no longer being trained.

The muscles of secondary use during the chinup, the shoulders and biceps, also receive growth stimulation from the movement. As a set of wide-grip chinups is performed, the movement pumps up the biceps as well as the back. The shoulders receive a stretch at the bottom of the movement and a contraction at the top. This triple combination makes the chinup a fantastic exercise for the upper torso.

The dip is an exercise that has been around for some time. It was a favorite of trainees during the mid-1960s. The dip is still a dynamite exercise for effecting quick change. There are two types of dips - narrow-grip and wide-grip. The narrow dip primarily works the frontal shoulder region and the triceps, whereas the wide dip works the chest muscles, especially the outer regions.

It is important to perform the chinup and dip correctly to get maximum benefits from each exercise. To build the back, the chinup should be performed with a wide, overhand grip. This position puts the hands about a foot beyond shoulder width, and facing outward. The top of the movement should enable the chin to be above the level of the bar (hence the name chinup), and the bottom of the movement should allow the body to get a full stretch. Don't jerk the body around or use momentum to keep it in motion. This method limits the range of the back muscles, and that in turn limits the back's opportunity for width growth. Jerking during the exercise can also leave the biceps and ribs open to injuries. Chinups should be performed smoothly. The pull should be felt in the back as the exercise is performed.

The narrow dip is performed by lowering the body slowly between two bars (or alternate fixed objects) as far as possible, then pushing the body upward at a moderate rate. The grip should be narrow (hands approximately 19 to 24 inches apart), and the chest should be thrust forward with back upright. Tension is thus placed on the triceps, causing growth.

The wide-grip dip is performed differently from the narrow-grip dip. The hands are placed farther apart (approximately 30 to 32 inches) and the chin is put on the chest, with the chest tucked inward. The back is hunched over, and the feet are forward. This dipping style will enlarge and widen the outer chest, giving it a nice sweeping look. When done in conjunction with the wide chinup, it allows a man to add several inches to his chest. Additionally, working the chest in this manner gives it a unique naturally trained look. If you want a wide, flared chest that gives the body a V-shape from a front view, work on the wide-grip dip.

As with all freehand exercises, a point of diminishing gains can occur with the chins and dips. You can overcome this plateau by adding some weight to the body with a belt. Strapping on an extra 10 pounds will put a new load on the muscles and promote further growth. Continue to add weight as the body becomes accustomed to each new weight addition.

A chin/dip workout can be done quickly and effectively, working the upper body in a short amount of time and providing maximum benefits.

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