Dips vs Push-Ups: A Complete Breakdown (+ How to Choose)

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As more people shift to working out from home, it is important to know what workouts to do and why. People want to work on their arms and two main workouts focus on the arms that don’t require weights. When planning a workout routine at home you should become familiar with dips vs push-ups. 

Dips and push-ups are seen as very similar workouts that allow you to use your body weight to focus on the shoulders and triceps. Both exercises also help you work with your back and chest. Both types of exercises can work out the same muscle group in different ways and any workout routine should include both types to fully work out the arms, chest, and back.

Depending on the exercise, you will work out the arms, chest, and back through a different range of motion. Both kinds of motions have benefits and downsides to them. They also complement each other in workout routines. If you want to strengthen your shoulders and triceps, both of these exercises are necessary. There is no need to choose a side in the dips vs push-ups debate.  


Dips may look difficult at first, but there are many ways to complete dips that make it easier to complete and gives you flexibility on what muscles to focus on. Dips do not require a lot of expensive or big equipment to do correctly. With a bench or any raised surface, dips can be a great addition to any workout routine. 

Dips are a great way to focus on the back of the arms. The range of motion during this exercise is the best way to focus on the triceps and shoulders. You can also focus on the chest by moving the arms further away from your body and keeping your arms in contact with your abdominal muscles will focus on the triceps. 

Benefits of Dips

There are several benefits to a dips workout. Once you become familiar with how to complete dips you will be able to do them in many ways in different locations. Some benefits of dips include

  • Able to adjust for different skill levels
  • Can be completed with minimal equipment
  • Strengthens the back of the body without specifically focusing on it
  • Can complete in any surrounding
  • Requires very little space
  • Easy to do when traveling
  • Can focus on different muscle groups

As you can see, a dips workout should be key in any workout for a focus on triceps and shoulders. The range of motion can be easily adjusted to focus on different muscle groups and is easily done with just your bodyweight. Though you can add more weight for more resistance. 

Downsides of Dips

Even with all of the listed benefits, there are some downsides to dips and should be taken into consideration before adding them to a workout routine. Some people will struggle to do them correctly and equipment is required to complete some variations of dips. Some downsides include

  • Requires balance and stability to complete successfully
  • People with wrist or elbow injuries will be unable to do them
  • Will need gym gloves or another form of protection from developing blisters
  • Will need to have parallel bars or rings to do those kinds of dips
  • The equipment will need to be adjustable for more variation in workouts

Dips are a useful workout tool for many people, but it can cause problems and be restrictive depending on how you want to do them. They also require a certain level of skill that some people may not have. That is nothing that some practice won’t be able to help you with though.  


The other side when discussing dips vs push-ups is push-ups. Push-ups are a familiar workout that focuses on your arms that can be done in different ways to strengthen different muscle groups, including the shoulders and triceps.

Many people think that there is only one way to complete a push-up, but by adjusting your hand placement you can change the range of motion and focus on different muscle groups. It is a staple in many routines for a reason. 

Benefits of Push-Ups  

Push-ups are a great workout that can be completed with just your body weight. There are also many different variations to push-ups and each one is adjustable for your left or right sides and gives a great planking workout. Some of the benefits of push-ups include

  • Works out every muscle in different variations
  • Various equipment can be added for more difficulty
  • Can be completed without any equipment
  • Easy workout to travel with
  • Easy to modify the range of motion
  • Doesn’t need much space
  • Works in many already established workout routines
  • Easy for people new to workouts to complete
  • Multifunctional exercise

It is easy to see why this is a workout that has stood the test of time. It is an adjustable exercise that works for many people. It should be incorporated into any workout for the majority of people.  

Downsides to Push-Ups

Even with these benefits, there are some downsides to push-ups. While it does provide many different ways to workout different muscles, it can be difficult for some people to complete and present problems for people looking for intense strength training. Some of the potential downsides to push-ups include

  • Maximum strength training exercises can be difficult
  • Advanced push-ups might be dangerous
  • Can be difficult for people with balance issues

When incorporating push-ups in your workout routine it is important to know what your limitations are. It is a great addition when used correctly and you understand your limitations. 

Dips vs Push-Ups

Now that you know the basics of dips and push-ups, it’s time to discuss which workout is best. The two exercises are very similar and give people engaging in these workouts a variety of options that differ in the range of motion and focus on different muscle groups. Like many debates in exercising, dips vs push-ups is a decision that can boil down to personal preference. 

There are some considerations to take into account in this debate though. Push-ups offer more variation in the range of motion and focus on different muscle groups. It is also typically easier for new people starting a workout routine to get used to completing push-ups. 

There are benefits to dips as well. They can offer a full-body workout as well and can be varied quickly. For a triceps and shoulders workout, dips are typically the most straightforward way to strengthen those muscles. Both of these exercises also travel well so you can keep up with your routine while on the road. 

No matter which exercises you focus on, you will be able to strengthen your muscles using just your body weight in different ways with both of these workouts. Both are workouts that should be incorporated into anybody’s workout routine to strengthen key muscles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dips & Push-Ups

Which is Better, Dips or Push-Ups?

Though both exercises are very similar, push-ups offer more range of motion that makes it easier to vary and workout different muscle groups. Dips are a great exercise as well, but push-ups are easier for people starting their workout journeys and can be modified easier for all strength levels. 

Do Dips Improve Push-Ups?

Dips help improve your arm strength, a key part of doing push-ups successfully. Doing one workout will likely improve your ability to do the other since they work on similar muscle groups. The range in motion differs in how the muscles are strengthened but both workouts will strengthen your arm muscles. 

Why Are Dips Harder Than Push-Ups?

Dips require more balance and stability to be completed successfully than push-ups. Since you need to balance on your hands and not many people are used to balancing this way, it is harder to get familiar with how to do dips. Dips may also involve working on muscles you’re not used to working with. 

Should I Do Dips and Push-Ups on the Same Day?

There is no reason to avoid doing dips and push-ups on the same day unless your routine calls for an intense day of one specific set of dips or push-ups. When starting, you may want to focus on one over the other each day but as you get used to them it is okay to do both in one day.     

A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle

Dips and push-ups are both great workouts that can give your workout routine several options to strengthen your key muscles. Both exercises are needed to make sure your triceps and shoulders get proper workouts. Both are also simple enough that different ranges of motion can be added to work the muscles in different ways. 

When planning your workout routine, there is no reason to pick a side in the dips vs push-up debate. Both are easy workouts that can be done with your body weight and pair with other workouts well. If you are struggling with developing a home workout routine, adding these to your routine will make sure that you work on the essential muscles.  

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Energetic Lifestyle Team

Our detailed review has been contributed to by multiple members of the Energetic Lifestyle Review Team to ensure the best research and highest standard of quality. Have a good or a bad experience with one of the products? Please let us know, we love the feedback!

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