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Friday Fit Tip: Bench dips

Bench dips are a versatile exercise to add to your routine and can be done anywhere.

INDIANAPOLIS — You know when you're starting a fitness routine you might think you have to invest a lot of money and go to a fancy gym, but certified trainer Ron Allison said there's opportunities to work out wherever you are.

For instance, WTHR's Anne Marie Tiernon met Ron at a picnic table at White River State Park for Friday's tip. And Allison saw plenty of exercises available using just the table.

"I see a perfect opportunity for dips from the bench," Allison said as he sat on table's bench seat.

"So you want to sit down on the bench, have your palms forward on the bench, slightly take your hips away from the bench, and from there bring your elbows down to 90 degrees and press up strong through your palms. If you need to use your feet for assistance, press through your feet to help allow to bring your body weight up," he said as he repeated the dipping movement.       

To get the most from this exercise, you need to keep your back close enough to the bench seat to maintain a sitting posture, but just far enough away so you don't scrape against the seat.

"A common mistake I usually see is people having their hips too far from the bench." Allison explained, "which adds unwanted pressure on your shoulders. So keep the hips close, then making sure you stop at 90 degrees with your elbows."

If you want to kick the exercise up a notch, you can add some weight resistance.

"Add that weight to your lap," Allison said as he placed a dumbbell in his lap. "From there, same thing. Ease it down, press up strong through your palms."

If you want to ease some pressure on your back, or add weight to take on more of a challenge, bench dips are a versatile exercise to add to your routine.

That's your Friday Fit Tip.

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