Stop Doing Bench Dips Like This!

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, So today I’m going to show you the right way
to do a bench dip so that you don’t shred up your shoulder in the process. I call the normal bench dip the “rotator cuff
ripper-dip”. There’s a reason why we actually put it in
our exercise fails video. There’s a reason why that video is funny,
because we’ve all recognized it. Unfortunately, all too often. People do this version of the dip way too
often. This is the bad version. A lot of people might say “But Jeff, it looks
normal.” That’s the problem. This. Do you know what I’m doing wrong? Do you know what the problem is with this
dip? You should be focusing right in on that shoulder
and the problem is the position of this shoulder in relation to my trunk. It’s way forward. You see how it’s jutting here, forward? Also what’s happening is we’re allowing it
to collapse. We’re allowing our shoulders to hike up and
just collapse on our neck, and then we crank out our dips from here. Well, what all that’s doing is just really
screwing up your shoulder because it’s taking all the structures inside that shoulder joint
and compressing them as we press weight through our arm. If you look at Raymond over here you’ll be
able to see what I’m talking about. So this is the ball and socket, it sits in
this position here, you put your arm back, behind your body, and as soon as you put force
through your hand you’re pushing up into this joint. So you have some compression. But when you allow your shoulders to then
jut forward like this, you’re pushing forward, and up. You’re creating a lot less room for all the
structures that run through this little space up here. You have your supraspinatus tendon, your rotator
cuff, you have your bursae; all this stuff gets inflamed and jammed up, against that
space. Then you start grinding up and down, up and
down, up and down. You’re creating a lot of repetitive stress
to that joint. That’s not good. So if you’re going to do the exercise the
right way you’ve got to figure out a way to take that strain away. The first thing you have to do is, you have
to externally rotate the shoulder because internal rotation is going to pull the shoulder
forward. External rotation is going to pull the shoulder
back. So the position of your hands is extremely
helpful. If I do this – which is what most people
do, they take their thumbs and they put them in this way, right next to their body – I’m
internally rotating. I’m almost giving myself no chance to do the
exercise properly. If I take my hands and I turn them out, now
we’re externally rotating. You can see the position of the shoulder as
I turn out. It goes back. That’s the first thing. The second thing is – I mentioned to you
before – allowing your shoulders to collapse on your body, and on your neck. You don’t want that. If it collapses you could see that also throws
your shoulder forward. So what you want to do is, you want to keep
your shoulders down, and back. So if you look from behind here, the difference
is, when I get ready to dip, if I’m collapsed here and I’m cranking out my reps like that,
or if I set them down, and back here, and now I’m cranking out my reps you can see the
difference that the shoulders stayed down as the elbow is bent. Now, it takes a lot more force and contraction
in the triceps to do this because now all the work is being done in the triceps. But that’s what you want in the first place. So when we’re here you can see the shoulder
stays in a much better position. It’s not getting into this position here. So your biggest two keys are: positions of
your hands, and then the stability here, through your shoulders to keep them down, and back
– depressed – as opposed to letting them ride up. If you do that and you crank out your dips
you get a lot more of what you’re looking for, and a lot less of what you’re not looking
for. Guys, again, I’ve always said that exercises
themselves – it’s not just whether you’re doing them. It’s whether you’re doing them right. If you’re looking to be in this game for the
long term – meaning, being able to lift without injury – you’ve got to make sure
you get these things right. If you were doing this and you had no idea,
you might just wake up feeling worse, and worse, and worse progressively, over the course
of many, many workouts and say “I don’t know what happened.” You didn’t do one thing wrong. You did one thing wrong, repetitively and
it snuck up on you. I don’t want to see that happen to you. If you want to train smart, if you want to
train like an athlete, if you want to train the right way; head to and get
one of our ATHLEANX training programs. I put a link below to our program selector. That will allow you pick the program that’s
best suited to your specific goals, but all unified by the fact that I’m going to make
sure – as a physical therapist – to train you safely, to help you get to where you want
to be, the right way. Those are over at If you’ve found the video helpful leave your
comments and thumbs up below. If you want me to cover what was wrong with
all those other exercise fails we did in that video let me know. I’ll do that too, in the coming videos. All right, guys. See you soon.

100 Replies to “Stop Doing Bench Dips Like This!

  1. I want a trainer who does them the other way to do a video saying well JEFF, this is what YOU'RE doing wrong PAL.

  2. Wish I saw this sooner. I hurt my back and shoulder this weekend. Felt like a great workout Friday night but I woke up in pain on Saturday.

  3. Those other "trainers" who rip on Jeff, i suggest you buy one of his programs, know what ur doin before you YAP!!!!

  4. What specific injury does this cause? I had this work out wrong for months. Then i injured my shoulders, but there was no rotator cuff in mri and the doctor was unsure of the injury. So i am asking you.

  5. I think part of the reason people do dips wrong is the mentality that you're "training chest AND tris" people doing this version tilt forward to try and engage their chest when this is ment for tris. I avoid this type of dip because it just feels wrong. Plenty of better exercises out there

  6. I always watch the position of the shoulder as I do dips, but still get a tearing feeling on the shoulders as I do them, unless I limit the range of motion to a point it's hardly a workout.
    I'm just going to stop doing them and look for bodyweight alternatives to overload my triceps…

    This video was an eye opener for me.

  7. This is GREAT–I've known for years that something was off about the shoulder position in the dip, but I was never able to figure out what to do about it. Thank you Jeff 🙏🙏🙏

  8. Its incredible how I noticed that something was wrong with my dips but I kept doing them anyway. That level of stupidity is the incredible part

  9. Jeff is the guy to set an alarm every twenty minutes when sleeping that way he knows to roll over to avoid muscle imbalancment

  10. I was following Jeff's advice and one middle aged gentleman corrected me to do what Jeff told not to do !

  11. You give great knowledge, Jeff
    Thanx alot for sharing your knowledge. Its really very helpful.
    God bless you.

  12. Now this is the difference when you have a coach who actually studies the science behind the exercise, not just some jock on proteins. Very good video sir!

  13. It hurts when I try to do it properly, my wrist can't bend backwards like that, I get a sharp sting in my left hand

  14. Damn, I’ve only been doing this for 5 days and I’ve been doing it wrong, good thing I watched this when I did

  15. Everyone must listen to Jeff the god of muscles 💪🏻 thanks Jeff for that …. I’ve been doing those dips in the wrong way and now I know why ..:. Cheers Jeff 👍🏻

  16. Really tanx to your video!!! i just have one question now.. what about going dip with the bench dip, I heard dip have to arrive 90° elbows or a little more and than came up. but the repetition you show in the video is a little bit less than 90°. is this for safety? until where i should arrive with my bench dip and dip movement ? Hope you can solve my doubt, but still great thanx for the rotor cuff movement lesson!!! i'll go right away to try it!!!!

  17. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been doing dips for about a month and not too happy with my results. I’m definitely going to try this next time.

  18. Aaahh! Click, creak, crack (in a good way!) – that's my injured shoulder and associated muscles stretching and being used in the right way. Thanks as always, JC!

  19. Thank you. I wanted to tey this for the first timw today and was concerned I would do it wrong. My only question is I don't have a bench and I wanted to use a stair like I've seen other YouTubers do. But how tall should the surface I use be? I don't want to injure myself.

  20. AWESOME video 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

  21. This saved my shoulders, but I think I pinched some nerves because one of my hands started tingling after taking the stress off my wrist 0_o

  22. Great video! I can now do dips without aggravating my shoulder. I have an impingement in my shoulder and I can feel it popping against the bones when I do them incorrectly. Marking those “little” tweaks allows me to feel zero pain and pressure.

  23. There's about 7 videos showing the opposite of what you are doing… but I tried your technique and it was night and day. Took the sharp grinding pain away and replaced it with muscle fatigued. No more sharp shoulder pain.

  24. Before Jesse, there was Raymond. Raymond was headstrong. Raymond deviated from Jeff's program. An example had to be made of him.

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