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-   -   Chest work: Bench press or full ROM dip? (

Corey Duvall 08-04-2007 01:53 PM

When bench pressing I noticed that the muscle mass is primarily thru the center part of the pectoralis muscle (sternal portion). It is also "required" to do an incline and a decline press to stress the full pec. During "Jason" the other day I performed jumping bar muscle ups for the first time. (I don't have rings and haven't been able to get a bar muscle up, I figured the jump added to a WOD would help me on my way) I noticed after the workout that the upper part of my pec (clavicular portion) was sore and I wondered what about that exercise could have caused that. Well I examined the action of the dip portion of the muscle up and noticed that the clavicular portion of the pec was perpendicular to the action (can create the greatest amount of torque) at the bottom of the dip segment. I have never done full ROM dips and had stopped with my elbow's at 90 degrees. (I have stopped doing that with squats the past few months and have enjoyed it thus far). Now my question is, do any of you believe that the dip can be seen as a better exercise than the bench press? You can move a lot of weight with a bench press, but it seems that the dip would be a far greater functional exercise. This is mostly a philosophical question, but I think they're the most enjoyable anyway.

Kevin McMillan 08-04-2007 02:20 PM

your right, the dip is a far more functional excercise because you are training your body to move itself with best efficiency. on the other side of the border, the bench press can increase ( depending on how you do it, lowering/rising times and sets/reps) pushing strength and power.

you are correct as well, most of the stress in your bench is through the mid of your chest, but done properly ( pressing from nipples to over your eyes) will initiate the most of your chest as per any other barbell chest press.

i guess the best way to look at it is as per CF philosophy... the best way to gain optimal function while performing a random task is by training yourself in a wide and varied program in which you do as much work in many degrees of motion.

Steven Low 08-04-2007 11:55 PM

We kind of discussed this over at pmenu.

Have a look (w/f safe):


If you have anymore questions feel free.

Ben Moskowitz 08-05-2007 09:48 AM

I'm just curious, when you say full ROM dips, do you mean past parallel, really past parallel, or like bicep contacting with forearm? And what does everyone tend to do in the warmup and the WODs?

Corey Duvall 08-05-2007 10:01 AM

"The dip is the squat of the upper body"... I love it.

I used to get a sharp pain when doing dips as well... it is a form factor associated with poor scapular (shoulder blade) stability. The shoulders must be held in a retracted position to allow for proper glenohumeral (shoulder joint) motion. When the scapula is allowed to protract (move forward) it causes stress to the biceps muscle as it crosses the front of the shoulder, that is the sharp pain the one guy felt in his deltoid. Many people I have seen in the gym holding/rubbing their shoulders after dips have been helped by the little knowledge that they must hold their shoulder blades back.

Thanks for the link.

Steven Low 08-05-2007 10:41 AM


Full ROM dips are generally considered approximately when shoulders reach the height level of the hands (especially on rings) or in the case of elbow flexion as far as it goes (e.g biceps contacting the forearm for some -- mine doesn't for a counterexample).

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