Chair dips are a convenient alternative strength exercise to regular dips. Dips target your triceps, the muscles on the back of your upper arm. Regular dips are an advanced exercise; chair dips are an easier, but still challenging, alternative. You don't need any special equipment to do chair dips and there are several variations of this exercise.
To do the chair dip exercise, place a sturdy chair in an open space. Sit down and wrap your fingers around the front edge of the chair. Slide your body forward until your buttocks is just off the chair. Start with your arms fully extended. Adjust your feet so your heels are a couple of inches in front of your knees. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor. Point your elbows directly behind you; do not let them flare out to the sides. Stop when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and press back up, straightening your arms.
Standard dips are an advanced strength exercise that you do on a dip machine or parallel bars. Your body hangs above the floor and you have to press your entire body weight, which is too difficult for some individuals. Chair dips offer the benefit of only pressing part of your body weight, which makes the exercise viable for more individuals.
The knees-bent chair dip is the most basic version of the exercise. For a more challenging exercise, extend your legs in front of you so that your weight is on your heels. With your legs extended out, you have to press more of your body weight, increasing the difficulty of the exercise. You can also place your feet up on another chair or bench, further increasing the challenge. The last progression is to place weight on your legs, adding more resistance to the exercise.
The chair dip is a convenient exercise to include in your workout because it doesn't require any special equipment. You can do chair dips at home, at the office or in a hotel room when you are travelling. If you don't have a chair available, use any other sturdy object, such as a railing, stone wall, low table or the edge of a bathtub.
Based in Austin, Texas, Jolie Johnson has been in the fitness industry for over 12 years and has been writing fitness-related articles since 2008 for various websites. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy from the University of Illinois.