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  1. #1
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Dips After Long Hiatus

    I was cleaning up my basement/gym area this weekend and after the junk laying around my dip station was cleared, I figured what the heck, let's see what this feels like. I have been unable to do dips for probably 10 years or so due to wonky shoulders, but to my surprise, there was essentially zero pain using moderate depth. Since that inaugural set, I did one set of 15 reps after my next workout and then one set of 20 after my second workout. 20 is nearing my max.

    If anyone wants to offer an opinion on progressing from here, I'd like to hear what you think, but I think I'll resist the temptation to do weighted dips and stick with sets of high rep bodyweight dips perhaps slowly getting to three worksets.

    Also, have any of you found that after a long layoff that certain exercises can be slowly brought back into rotation?
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Payton1221 View Post
    Also, have any of you found that after a long layoff that certain exercises can be slowly brought back into rotation?
    I've had the same experience with dips a few times after a couple years off of them and was like "wow, they feel fine" - but pretty soon once my shoulders heard I was doing dips again I had to stop. Used to do dips a lot when younger but I don't bother trying anymore.
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  3. #3
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    I still do dips regularly, about once in two weeks it is part of my tri's exercises. My shoulders are fine and I am no shy to add a plate, sometimes two plates. Doing BW sets of 20 feels like going nowhere. There are couple fellas in our gym who can do 35 and one who can do 50. We don't do 100's of pushups for chest, do we? Similarly, you are bound to go with weighted dips.

    The trick with dips is that they also employ chest quite a bit, need to be mindful of that if chest is part of your split for the day. By being mindful I mean that if you want to emphasize chest then do chest first. For chest, I'd do fly's instead of BP so that I don't pre-exhaust tri's. Tri's pre-exhaustion will limit your dips on that day, and similarly bench press too if you go for dips first. But, pre-exhaustion is also another tool, maybe you want pre-exhaustion.

    About adding long neglected exercises, this is something asking for injury. Not from dips, but I regularly end up with injury from working at new angle. Like reverse grip arm curls, leg adductors, something like that. Generally speaking, to me those were always benign injuries that heal on its own, so far anyway.
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    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    I have hurt my shoulder three times in my life doing dips, so I avoid them entirely now. I'm jealous you can do them.
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    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GrouchyUSMC View Post
    I have hurt my shoulder three times in my life doing dips, so I avoid them entirely now. I'm jealous you can do them.
    Thanks Grouchy. What's funny is that they've been out of rotation for so long that I sometimes forget to do them (like last night!)
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    Chihuahua in the rain Corbets's Avatar
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    I found that using a SlingShot helped decrease shoulder pain on the dips. You could give that a shot.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Corbets View Post
    I found that using a SlingShot helped decrease shoulder pain on the dips. You could give that a shot.
    I see what you did there (jk)

    I have the blue one and actually thought about using it one day when attempting barbell bench again. I posted in another thread how my 20 year old son was repping 225 on the incline bench, and I momentarily got caught up in the moment and wanted to at least get a single or double with 225. I literally did ONE rep with 135 (this was to get me warmed up) and then said, NOPE.

    I may videotape a set in a few days and post it up since there might not be too many grey bearded lifters doing dips any more My depth is improving too, but not surprisingly, the number of reps have fallen off with increasing depth.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Dips are great if you can do them but they are not for everyone.
    My rules these days as a senior lifter is don't go below 90 degrees meaning upper arms go no farther than an L position.
    Do slower more controlled reps ,feel what your trying to target.
    Dont do excessive volume with sets and reps but go to where you feel good and stop there.
    Using these rules I've been able to still do dips as a part of my training.
    Good luck.
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  9. #9
    Quarantined Finja Cass40's Avatar
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    I started doing dips when I got back to the gym. Was able to do only like 5 lol.
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    Clearly Irrational blue9steel's Avatar
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    Any exercise done hard and heavy for too long can result in joint & connective tissue trauma. Deloads, active rest and variation are the normal ways to deal with this and I think they apply in this case as well. My recommendation is if they're feeling fine now go ahead and use them for a mesocycle and see how you feel, if it's still good then continue for the rest of the block but likely rotate them out on the next block. (since variation is pretty limited here) Using it that way you should be able to get most of the benefits with few of the downsides.

    Anecdotally I had a shoulder issue at the beginning of 2020 that caused me to stop doing dips myself and I've just gotten back into doing them recently as well. So far no pain and they're progressing nicely but I'm keeping a close eye on them.
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  11. #11
    Registered User MG5's Avatar
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    I love dips. I've worked up to four 45 pound plates added for 5-6 reps. I don't do them as often as I used to.

    If you're hesitant to add weight and you're already up to 20 reps, add sets to add more volume.

    Volume = Sets x Reps x Weight

    Other ways to progress...

    - Mentioned above - more sets.
    - Decrease rest periods so you're doing the same amount of work, but in less time.
    - Increase the time under tension by slowing down the negative, and can pause at the bottom.
    - If you want to add some resistance, you can have a band in your grip on the bars and have the band go behind around your upper back so as you press, there's more resistance from the band.
    - Improve rep quality. Almost everyone has room to improve the quality of their reps - more control, consistent tempo, great mind-muscle concentration, consistently hitting a full range of motion or the range of motion that's best for you.
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  12. #12
    Registered User Payton1221's Avatar
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    Here’s a set from last night (and YES, I’m wearing jeans . . . it’s the advantage of a home gym: workout whenever while wearing whatever 😉)

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