Thursday, August 16, 2007

Triceps Exercises for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain, and "Toned Arms"

The Triceps Bench Dip is used in every bodysculpting fat loss aerobics class in the world, but is it effective and is it even good for you? Pix of triceps bench dips

Personally, I've never been one to use this exercise, as I thought it was lame-o. And then 2 years ago I attended a Bill Hartman lecture, and he was very unkind to this exercise. (Who's Bill Hartman? He's a guy that has been crowned "the smartest man in fitness" by Brian Grasso, Alwyn Cosgrove, and myself.)

So when the topic of bench dips came up on the TT fat loss forum, I decided to ask Bill a couple of quick questions.

CB: Bill, can you explain why "bench dips" are bad for the shoulder?


The bench dip requires about 90 degrees of shoulder extension which exceeds normal shoulder extension by about 25 degrees.

To achieve that much range of motion the scapula must tilt forward which is a pretty unstable position. This also means that the shoulder joint is unstable and increases demands on the rotator cuff especially the subscapularis.

Over time this is a lot of undesireable stress leading to impingement of the cuff. This doesn't even consider the stress on the AC joint. It's also a crap exercise for overload.

CB: What about the upright dip station, what is the best way to use it?


Forward leaning w/hips and knees flexed. (roughly 90 degrees)

It reduces the demand on shoulder extension

CB: Thanks Bill. Check out the smartest man in fitness at and check out his fat loss & golf exercise interview here

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