T Nation

Dips With Elbows Flared Out Bad?

I’ve been doing dips with my elbows flared when I want to hit the chest more, and the monitor in my gym says it’s bad for my shoulders, and that I should just stick to normal tri-dips. He says the same for wide grip neck presses too.

Normally I would ignore the everyday personal trainer, but this one knows what he’s talking about, he even referred me to T-Nation.

I never feel any pain when I’m doing these, but should I listen to him and stop?

Yes I’d say listen and take the advice! Why do you ignore personal trainers?

This is a great exercise for building the inner chest but places an incredible amount of stress on the shoulers. The further you lean forward, the more the chest is stretched but also the more potential for injury and stress on the shoulder muscles.

[quote]whatagoal wrote:
Yes I’d say listen and take the advice! Why do you ignore personal trainers?

This is a great exercise for building the inner chest but places an incredible amount of stress on the shoulers. The further you lean forward, the more the chest is stretched but also the more potential for injury and stress on the shoulder muscles.

[/quote]

Well, most of the personal trainers I have had the pleasure to meet are like you and tell me that dips are “a great exercise for building the inner chest”.

By the way, I don’t ever lean forward, at all.

I’m still not convinced, anybody else?

(BTW, ARE you a personal trainer whatagoal?)

Whatagoal, I just took a quick look at your posts out of curiosity, I think you should stick to asking for advice, not giving it.

Sigh…My posts are mostly about dieting and bulking, which was the reason I joined T-Nation, for advice, help and knowlodge on lifting.

No I’m not a personal trainer but I’m in second year of fitness and hoping to be one in the future. I’m here for the same reason as you, Advice? Anyway’s that’s my opinion on advice for dips, I never said take it or listen to “Me”.

“aw the breast”

(I rest my case)

[quote]whatagoal wrote:
Sigh…My posts are mostly about dieting and bulking, which was the reason I joined T-Nation, for advice, help and knowlodge on lifting.

No I’m not a personal trainer but I’m in second year of fitness and hoping to be one in the future. I’m here for the same reason as you, Advice? Anyway’s that’s my opinion on advice for dips, I never said take it or listen to “Me”.

“aw the breast”

[/quote]

Dont give advice if you don’t think people should take it or listen to you. By the way, you can’t train the “inner chest” or the “outer chest” - just the “chest” and “the small muscle near the clavicar, called upper chest”.

I don’t see an issue with doing dips this way. As long as your are balancing your shoulders, lots of rows, etc, it shouldn’t be bad unless you are currently exhibiting symptoms.

If it was me, I’d just do 'em. You said it didn’t hurt your shoulders so, just do them.

[quote]flipHKD_6 wrote:
If it was me, I’d just do 'em. You said it didn’t hurt your shoulders so, just do them. [/quote]

i agree with you here. if you feel no pain at all doing them then i wouldnt worry too much about it. but oviously if it starts bothering your shoulders you know to stop. as you know some exercies bother some people but others can do them forever with no problems. so id listen to your body

Well its sort of common sense, go for advice of someone who has had years of experience to land him that job who obviously knows what he is talking about or take a wild chance and just do it because you dont feel any pain.

You have to keep in mind the long term effects. You might not feel pain now but later on you may feel lots of pain.

Cool, thanks everybody, I’ve been doing these for a couple months and started putting more weight on (now up to 12.5kg)every week for a few weeks now, and feel absolutely nothing uncomfortable whatsoever.

I could even go so far to say that I feel more uncomfortable in the shoulders doing deep tri-dips than these deep chest dips with the elbows flared.

I think the point that was mentioned about everybody’s body being different especially applies in this case (the monitor and I). And I also do include a lot of rowing movements and chins in my routine, some olympic lifts too, this could help also with the durability of my shoulders as one stated.

One quick question though, because I know the monitor well, we’re good friends and I already know exactly what he’s going to say:

I’m going to tell him that I feel absolutely no pain at all, and he’s going to tell me that right now maybe I don’t feel it, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not causing damage, what do you guys think of his (future) statement?

[quote]KidBuu wrote:
Well its sort of common sense, go for advice of someone who has had years of experience to land him that job who obviously knows what he is talking about or take a wild chance and just do it because you dont feel any pain.

You have to keep in mind the long term effects. You might not feel pain now but later on you may feel lots of pain.[/quote]

Well, you kind of answered my question as I was typing it, thanks, but can I get a few more opinions?

(EDIT)BTW, there’s at least three guys here who I’m sure have more experience than me telling me it’s ok.

What do YOU think about the dips? I know it’s common sense to listen to him, and I do listen to my friend 95% of the time, and I think he’s right at least 95% of the time. And the other 5% when I’m not sure I agree, I like to get an opinion here. One guy can’t be 100% correct for everybody all the time, can he?

dipping with the elbows flared out just involves more pecs. If you do dips with your elbows in, it involves more triceps. If you’ve ever heard of gironda dips, those are performed with flaring the elbows straight out from the shoulder and as vince gironda would argue, is the best chest developing exercise. So the next time the personal trainer says something… just smile and say ok.

I think a better way to hit the chest is to do wide-grip dips. In my experience, narrow-grip elbows flared out does place more stress on the pecs, but it puts a huge stress on my triceps. Gironda dips are great for the chest BTW (elbows flared, wide grip) so you might wanna try them. In all cases, I find them very stressful on my shoulders on the bottom position. Just my two cents.

Biomechanically your position does tax the glenohumaral and acromicalclavicular (shoulder) joints quite a bit. I would say your not likely to destroy your shoulder but it is a consideration you should make. The articular disk in the acromioclavicular joint (AC) goes through wear and tear with repeated overhead lifting and excessive shoulder extension.

The most common exercises that typically accelerate AC joint degeneration include dips and shoulder presses. This is not something that should turn you off lifting but rather just something to know. Alot of the lifting that occurs in the gym has a negative effect on joint integrity and the trick is to learn to minimize this. The bench dip is the biggest culprit of shoulder problems but since were talking about the vbar dip well save that for another day. There is however a biomechanically “safe” position when doing a vbar dip. A slight tilt forward, not extreme, at around 45 degrees max will avoid excessive shoulder extension thus sparing your AC joint.

Please keep in mind that I definatly stray away from these positions all the time as there is no way to tax certain areas without involving shoulder extension. I am simply trying to explain to you why your trainer is in theory actually somewhat correct. Using these techniques will help the general public reduce injury while still providing sufficient load to promote muscle growth. However it wont work for power lifters or elite athletes looking for big gains.

The biggest mistake ive ever caught in the gym was a dip grip like this / and not like this /. This position puts enormous stress on your GH and AC joint and if you ever see anyone doing this please tell them to stop because they will tear something.

Cheers.