You are currently viewing Powerful Wide Grip Dips Hacks to Build a Bigger, Stronger Chest(2024)

Powerful Wide Grip Dips Hacks to Build a Bigger, Stronger Chest(2024)

Dips are awesome for building upper body muscle because you can lift way more than usual isolation exercises (and do more reps depending on your strength, of course!).

The key thing is Wide Grip dips hit your chest more, while regular dips (narrow grip) focus on your triceps. Most people don’t know this, so here’s the lowdown:

I use dips to target my chest, triceps, and shoulders, and I choose Wide Grip dips when I want to focus on my chest muscles.

Wide Grip Dips

Vince Gironda, a famous bodybuilding and movie star trainer, really loved Wide Grip dips. He thought they were way better than the bench press and even considered them his favorite chest exercise! So, Wide Grip dips were his thing!

Vince Gironda

Wide Grip Dips: Muscles Worked

Wide-grip dips are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that, despite their simplicity, pack a powerful punch. But what muscles are you actually targeting when you perform them?

While wide-grip dips primarily target your chest, particularly the lower and outer pecs, they also engage a number of other muscles. Your triceps, the muscles on the backside of your upper arms, work hard to help you push yourself up, similar to how they function during push-ups. Additionally, your shoulders and core muscles are activated to maintain proper form and stability throughout the movement.

This exercise has been a favorite among bodybuilders for decades. Arnold Schwarzenegger, known for his impressive chest development, was a big advocate for wide-grip dips. He believed they helped him achieve his signature “wide” chest look.

Equipment Needed for Wide Grip Dips

The beauty of Wide Grip Dips lies in their simplicity ā€“ you don’t need a fancy gym membership or a boatload of equipment. But before you head out to the park or gym, there are a few essentials you’ll want to have on hand:

  • Parallel bars: These are the most common setup for Wide Grip Dips. Look for sturdy bars with a comfortable grip width, allowing your hands to be placed wider than shoulder-width apart. Public parks and many gyms offer these, but you can also invest in a portable set for home use.
  • Dip belt (optional): As you become a Wide Grip Dip master, you might crave an extra challenge. A dip belt lets you add weight plates to your bodyweight, further intensifying the workout. This is a popular choice among bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger, who used weighted dips to sculpt his iconic chest.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes: Choose clothes that allow for full range of motion and fitted shoes that provide good grip and stability. Remember, proper form is crucial to prevent injury, so prioritize comfort and support.

With just these basic elements, you’re all set to unlock the amazing benefits of Wide Grip Dips. So lace up your shoes, grab the bars, and get ready to build a powerful upper body!

Advantages of Wide Grip Dips:

  • Target your chest: Wide grip dips emphasize the lower and outer chest muscles, creating a wider, more defined appearance.
  • Compound exercise: They work multiple muscle groups at once, including chest, triceps, and shoulders, leading to greater efficiency and calorie burn.
  • Bodyweight exercise: No equipment needed! You can do them anywhere with parallel bars, making them a convenient and accessible option.
  • Strength builder: Dips are challenging, allowing you to build upper body strength effectively.
  • Progression possible: As you get stronger, add weight with a dip belt to keep challenging your muscles.


  1. Equipment limitation: It needs special equipment like V-shaped dip bars or wide parallel bars, which aren’t readily available in all gyms.
  2. Difficulty: Even for experienced individuals, performing the exercise with proper form and using only bodyweight is quite challenging.

How to Perform Wide Grip dips

Here’s how:

  1. Grip it and Rip it: Grab the parallel bars with your hands wider than shoulder-width, fingers wrapped around the bars.
  2. Posture Up: Engage your core and keep your back straight, forming a slight forward lean. Think “proud chest, tall spine.”
  3. Lower with Control: Slowly lower yourself down by bending your elbows, aiming to bring your upper arms parallel to the floor. Feel the stretch in your chest.
  4. Powerful Push-Up: Push yourself back up to the starting position, keeping your elbows close to your body and maintaining that core engagement.


  • Focus on quality over quantity. Start with fewer reps and gradually increase as you get stronger.
  • Control the descent ā€“ don’t just drop down!
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

With dedication and proper form, wide grip dips can become a valuable tool in your fitness journey. Now go out there and crush those dips!

Variations Or Modifications

Even if your gym doesn’t have Wide Grip dip bars, you can still target your chest with dips. Here’s what to do:

On Standard Dipping Bars:

  1. Use the regular, narrower bars.
  2. Focus on chest activation: Flare your elbows out, round your back slightly, and look down.
  3. Expect some tricep involvement: The narrower grip will work your triceps more than Wide Grip dips, but your chest will still be the main target.

On Assisted Dip/Chin Machine:

  1. If your gym doesn’t have regular bars, use the assisted dip/chin machine.
  2. Kneel on the pad or stand on the bar that helps lift some of your weight.
  3. Perform the dip with the same chest-focused form as on the regular bars.

By following these tips, you can still get a great chest workout even without Wide Grip dip bars.

My Personal Training Tips

Wide Grip Dips: Mastering Chest Activation

Wide Grip Dips are challenging, and it’s easy to rely on your triceps to power through reps. This, however, shifts the focus away from your chest. Here’s how to conquer Wide Grip Dips with proper form:

Resist the Triceps Takeover: Even if it means fewer reps, focus on feeling the burn in your chest, not your triceps.

Key Differences:

  1. Head: For Wide Grip Dips, tuck your chin towards your chest. For Tricep Dips, keep your head up and facing forward.
  2. Feet: In Wide Grip Dips, position your feet directly under or slightly in front of you, toes pointed down. Tricep Dips involve straight or crossed feet behind you.
  3. Elbows: Wide Grip Dips require flared elbows pointing outwards. Tricep Dips involve keeping elbows close to your body and pointing back.
  4. Posture: Wide Grip Dips involve a rounded back and shoulders, creating a concave chest shape. Tricep Dips require a more upright torso with a straight back.

By following these tips, you’ll maximize chest engagement and unlock the full potential of Wide Grip Dips.

Mastering the Dip: Safety First with Wide Grips

Wide Grip dips are amazing for building a powerful chest, but proper form is key to avoid injury. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Don’t be a hero: Start light and focus on feeling the chest work, not forcing reps with your triceps. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advice: “The mind is what makes the difference. It’s all about control.”
  2. Mind your posture: Keep your chin tucked, back slightly rounded, and elbows flared out. This engages your chest more effectively.
  3. Watch your feet: Position them directly under you or slightly forward, toes pointed down. Avoid placing them behind you, which puts stress on your shoulders.

By following these simple tips, you’ll maximize chest gains and minimize injury risk while conquering it like a pro!

wide grip dips

How to Progress as Beginner

Wide Grip Dips are a beast of a bodyweight exercise, targeting your chest like a laser. But let’s be honest, they’re tough! Don’t worry, even the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger had to start somewhere. Here’s a roadmap to mastery:

1. Master the Basics: Before attempting full dips, focus on assisted dips using a dip assist machine or a friend’s help. This builds strength and proper form.

2. Partial Reps are Your Friend: Can’t do full dips yet? No problem! Start with partial reps, lowering yourself halfway down and pushing back up. Gradually increase the depth as you get stronger.

3. Elevate Your Game: Once full dips are doable, increase the difficulty by adding weight with a dip belt. Start light and gradually progress as you get stronger.

Remember: It’s all about progressive overload ā€“ gradually challenging your muscles to force them to adapt and grow. With patience, dedication, and these tips, you’ll be crushing those Wide Grip Dips in no time!


In conclusion, Wide Grip Dips are a fantastic exercise for building a strong, defined chest. While they require dedication and proper form to master, the rewards are well worth it. Remember, I started with assisted dips and partial reps, and now I conquer full dips with confidence. So, lace up your shoes, grab the bars, and take the first step towards your Wide Grip Dip mastery. With hard work and these tips, you too can achieve impressive results!

Frequently Asked Question

Q: Are Wide Grip Dips better than regular dips for chest development?

Yes, Wide Grip Dips place more emphasis on your chest muscles, particularly the lower and outer pecs, compared to regular dips which target your triceps more.

Q: I don’t have access to Wide Grip Dip bars. Can I still target my chest with dips?

Absolutely! You can use regular dip bars with a slightly adjusted form (flared elbows, rounded back) to focus on your chest. Assisted dip/chin machines can also be an option.

Q: I’m a beginner. How can I progress towards mastering Wide Grip Dips?

Start with assisted dips, partial reps, or focus on proper form with bodyweight dips before adding weight. Gradually increase the difficulty as you get stronger.

Q: What are some safety tips for Wide Grip Dips?

Start light, focus on chest activation, maintain proper form (tucked chin, slightly rounded back, flared elbows), and avoid placing your feet behind you to prevent shoulder stress.

James Carter

James Carter

Passionate fitness enthusiast and author, James Carter is dedicated to inspiring and guiding individuals on their journey to a healthier lifestyle. With a background in exercise science and a love for holistic well-being, James combines expertise with a relatable approach in his writing. From workout routines and nutrition tips to mindfulness practices, his goal is to empower readers to achieve sustainable fitness goals. As a certified personal trainer, James brings a blend of knowledge and motivation, making fitness accessible to all. Through engaging content and a commitment to wellness, James strives to make a positive impact on lives worldwide.

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