This exercise provided courtesy of Mike Clausen, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
Tricep dips and pull-ups are both great strength-training exercises, but many people without a lot of upper-body strength can't maintain proper form or do enough of them to reap their full benefits. Enter the Gravitron machine, which allows you to perform these exercises while setting different weight levels that you lift or dip. By taking a percentage of your body weight off the table, you can do more reps and maintain proper form, allowing you to build up strength quickly. These Gravitron machine dips work similar to standard dips. By leaning over when you do them, you work both the pectoral muscles in the chest and the triceps.
Chest and triceps
Set the weight setting, then step up on the platform of the Gravitron machine. Set the Gravitron dip handles in the wide setting. Grasp the handles in each hand and step off the platform onto the foot bar. Lean your upper body over significantly until you can feel your chest supporting a lot of your weight; for this exercise you want a lot of the burden on your chest muscles. Push up with your chest and straighten your arms with your triceps until you are as high as you can go while maintaining the leaned-over position. Your arms will not straighten fully, keeping your pectoral muscles engaged (see Photos 1 and 2).
- From the starting position, slowly lower your body down into the dip. Be sure to continue to lean forward as you descend. Lower yourself down until your body is parallel to your arms; do not go any lower or your shoulders will have to do the work. Focus on keeping the pectoral muscles engaged and working; (see Photo 3).
- When you have reached the bottom of the movement, reverse the motion and push yourself up again until you are back at the starting position (see Photos 4 and 5).