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Weighted Dips for Football Players
Greg Everett

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Joe Says: Hey guys I am a new subscriber to your site its awesome! I have a question for you? Our OL coach (High School Football) wants the entire OL/DL to do heavy weighted dips after each workout. I am opposed to this for several reasons.
  1. Kids use lousy form on dips!
  2. We do Bench Press and Pushups once a week adding 5 reps on the pushups each week.( I feel that’s more than enough tricep work in –season.
  3. We Squat and RDL once a week.
  4. Clean and Chin-ups once a week
I feel between practice and games our shoulders take enough of a pounding? Help, thanks.

Greg Says: Generally speaking, I like dips. More specifically, I like them as more of a volume exercise for people with healthy shoulders. For those with dicey shoulders and limited flexibility, I avoid them. Weighted dips can be great for certain people as well, and we rotate them into our cycles for fitness clients for about 6 weeks out of every 18.

In your case, since you're already doing two horizontal pressing exercises, I don't see a real need to throw in dips on top of it, especially weighted ones every workout. I'd rather see a vertical (overhead) pressing exercise in there assuming healthy shoulders and adequate flexibility. I would probably opt for dumbbell or kettlebell presses since it would be the only independent arm pressing work. So throwing dips in may not be a total disaster (although it could be), but in any case, I think you'll get more mileage out of pressing.

Also, if you can only add one exercise, I might even be more inclined to throw in a horizontal upper body pulling exercise instead of another pushing exercise to balance out the benching. Something like bent over barbell rows or dumbbell rows. The chin-ups are great and it's good to see the recognition of those as a staple, but simply for the sake of shoulder health, I think another pulling exercise that emphasizes scapular retraction and stability will do well for your players.

Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, and director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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