I’ve been working with a client for over two years. She is 47, still quite overweight due to poor food choices, but her strength is pretty good and she is proud of herself for all her gains. We do mostly free weight exercises with dumbbells, kettle balls, HIIT, circuit training. She CANNOT do tricep dips. She keeps her fingers tented and just cannot bend her elbows. Some of it might be fear of falling, but I just can’t figure this out. She is able to do other tricep exercises without problems. Any ideas on how I can help her? thanks
Hello Robin Warnberg,
You have many good ideas. I reiterate the psychology factor/goal setting and feet on floor to take off some of the bodyweight. This is a good excuse to get in a pool with water buoyancy. I would also try dips eccentrically. Make sure the scapulae are stacked/packed in place properly; that makes a difference.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
There are a lot of great suggestions above mine, here is my take on the situation.
I would figure out how important triceps dips are to her. If this is a huge goal for her I would concentrate on building the mobility and stability the movement requires. The gray institute has a lot of good info on building mobility and stability at the same time.
If the dips aren’t a huge goal of hers I would just attack the triceps with other exercises.
Is there a seated “dips” machine at your gym? If yes, you can start from there and see how she does. If you have her do regular dips she might be afraid to do them or she might be too heavy to do BW dips. Even though I don’t think dips might be the best exercise for an overweight person (for various reasons), having her do assisted dips (of any kind) might be good for her self esteem (I’m only guessing since I don’t know her). Also, pushups on a bar could be another option for her if you she is not already doing them.
First of all, bravo on all of her gains!
There are very thoughtful replies above mine, which I’ll try not to repeat.
If you and she decide, for whatever reason, that a tricep dip is a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) for her, then you might need to train her much more specifically for the skill of tricep dipping. If you are training her with free weights, they’re probably substantially less than the strength required to do a bodyweight triceps dip. If you’re not using a dip machine that has varying weights of assistance / resistance, then you could use the 42 inch giant rubber bands looped at an appropriate height to
And I would like to apologize for the tone of the above response. I reread it again after posting it and it is not the tone I intended. I in no way wanted to convey a chastizing tone or tone of disapproval. I would definitely have worded it in a less confrontational manner if I had reread it from the point of view of a first time reader seeing the post in print without any other frame of reference. The content is valid, but the tone is not one that would make the reader receptive.