Happy Monday to everyone and welcome to the latest installation of “The Dogma of the Week”.
The topic I have decided to discuss for this week will be on another damaging exercise: Dips
Dips are one of the most damaging of all exercises (in terms of functionality) I have encountered in my personal training career.
People use dips in an attempt to train their upper body, however very few of the people who utilize this exercise know the destructive capabilities it can place on their body in the long term. I myself happened to be one of the victims of this exercise anytime I tried it. I would have friends recommend it to me for the development of bigger triceps and pectoral muscles, but more than anything got more pain than gain. Specifically speaking, the pains were happening in the rotator cuff.
As I began to intuitively learn biomechanics on the movements utilized in the fitness industry, I started seeing how certain exercises could carry damaging effects based upon joint positioning and misalignment. With the dip, this was exactly one of my major concerns. In terms of positioning and stability within the shoulder joint while attempting a dip, already there is a major problem. By bringing your arms behind your body during a dip you’re going to promote an excessive protraction and internal rotation of the shoulder, forcing the small posterior chain rotator cuff muscles to overcompensate for the stability of that area. Why is that a problem? Because we sit like that every day of our life in our westernized culture. By further promoting protracted and internally rotated shoulders during an exercise like this, we are promoting more physical dysfunctions that will inhibit proper motor behavior within your body. If we also take into context the range of motion covered while doing a dip, it furthermore puts the shoulder into an even more imbalanced position. The lower you go, the more imbalance you put on that rotator cuff.
If you want to workout til you’re 120 like me, I would highly recommend getting rid of this movement in your training regimens, as it carries very damaging characteristics. The risk highly exceeds the reward in this exercise and is definitely not worth putting any time into.
Here is a video of me breaking down the dip and how I personally feel about this exercise. Enjoy!!!