Dips vs Push-Ups - Which One is Better For You?

Garagegympower is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Dips vs Push-Ups – Which One Is Better For You?

Are you looking for multi-joint bodyweight exercises which will burn your arms, back, and chest to the maximum limits?

Many people are so indecisive when it comes to the dilemma dips vs push-ups? Both exercises have positive and negative sides but one thing is certain – your muscles will be stronger if you remain persistent.

There are many differences in technique, equipment required, variations, creativity, muscle groups, grip manipulations, possibility to burn muscles…

You would need tons of paper to write them all out.

The right leg or right arm seems to be weaker… Well, there is a solution for your problem – these exercises do not require even weight distribution!

Are you going to choose dips or push-ups? Both of exercises are beneficial in it’s own way!

We will give you the breakdown and explain to you who is the winner of the dips vs push-ups debate and why. We are identifying pros and cons and we will help you make the most of it.

Dips vs Push-ups – What Is The Difference?

The difference between these two is enormous. It would be the same if you asked for the difference between Citroen and Chevrolet. Not only the manufacturers are different, but most of the parts are too.

Here is a brief review:

  • You can manipulate the grip width of your arms in seven ways, and the position of your arms in much more when it comes to push-ups, while for the dips you have the fixed width unless you create a custom-made device;
  • Push-ups allow more muscle groups to activate, and it is a lot easier to target the whole body;
  • Push-ups are generally less dangerous exercises and affect more preventively to your wrists and elbows;
  • Push-ups allow endless number of variations (for example, reverse hand push-up), while dips offer the possibility to use many more training devices with a simple purchase of a multifunctional weight dip;
  • Push-ups allow movements in all three planes, while the dips on parallel bars allow only two;
  • You can easier target maximal strength with dips;
  • Dips require more balance and the exercise is harder by itself;
  • Dips are better for practitioners who want to work on the proprioception;
  • Dips are better to activate anconeus muscle;
  • Push-ups are easier for beginners.

crossfit strenght workout training

Dips vs Push-Ups – Are There Similarities?

Basically, these two exercises primarily target chest muscles and triceps, and every kind of push-up or dip activate deltoid muscles.

You can call them the toughest rivals. These two exercises are El Classico in the world of fitness.

Here are some other similarities:

  • The mechanics of movement is similar, you perform elbow flexion and maximum pressure is on your wrists;
  • Advanced variations require additional equipment and off-balance position;
  • Both exercises require at least solid calisthenics;
  • You can target power, endurance, and even plyometrics in both exercises;
  • Both exercises can be dangerous if you overestimate your possibilities;
  • As strange as it sounds, both exercises are great for strengthening glutes and lower back muscles;
  • Weight distribution needn’t be even, there are both dips and push-ups where you can transfer weight to the desired arm;
  • You also have triceps dips, which can be performed from reverse plank position with the assistance of a plyometric box or another training device for beginners. It means both exercises can be performed from planking position.
  • You need to resist gravity heavily to perform both exercises successfully.


Many practitioners will call push-up the best planking exercise ever. It gives you an ability to freely activate the part of the body you want, and combine it with many various exercises.

Let’s assume you are left-handed. You mostly go to the left while performing push-ups, but you can correct it in front of the mirror and intentionally move your body to the right side.

Handsome muscular man doing push ups on kettle ball in crossfit gym


  • There is no muscle in your body which won’t work if you have creativity.
  • You can use various equipment for harder variations – medicine balls, plyo boxes, push-up bars, TRX suspension trainers, dumbbells, kettlebells, bumper plates, resistance bands, Swiss ball…
  • You can train without any equipment;
  • You can train anywhere in the world, from Antarctica to Iceland, from the South Pole to the Sahara desert;
  • You don’t need perfect configuration of the terrain to modify the exercise;
  • Excellent for the ones who want to impress clients with their knowledge;
  • It doesn’t require much space;
  • Highly recommended for HIIT or a CrossFit training session.
  • Some variations are suitable even for an untrained person.
  • A multifunctional exercise which can train so many various features at once.


  • Almost impossible for maximal strength training sessions;
  • Advanced types of push-ups might be riskier.

In general, push-ups are designed to satisfy wide population, a big group of people. Even if you have the client who hates push-ups, we bet you can find a suitable variation for him.

We would consider push-ups as a choice of creative coaches who spend day after day learning and improving their own skills.

Another group of people who will surely prefer push-ups are scientists, especially fans of anatomy, biomechanics, or physiology.

Push-ups can activate every muscle, be performed under almost every angle, and has the ability to activate all the processes, from β-oxidation to oxygen debt creation and ATP consumption.


Dips are an exercise which by itself looks difficult. Unfortunately, many of you only know dips between the parallel bars or on the rings.

man doing triceps dip on parallel bars in gym

You can manipulate the position of your arms during dips. If you want to strengthen chest muscles more, your arms should be away from the body as much as possible.

When you target triceps, the constant contact of elbows and forearms with your oblique muscles is a must.

However, there is a simpler type – reverse plank triceps dips, which can be done with or without the assistance. Even an untrained individual will get a chance to strengthen the triceps according to his possibilities.


  • There are dips for any fitness level.
  • Triceps dips variations by itself can be done with the same equipment like push-ups, and if you purchase a weighted dip belt, regular dips can support even more equipment and combinations.
  • You will strengthen the rear side of your body without even training it.
  • You can do triceps dips in any surround and it requires very small space.
  • Triceps dips are suitable for your hotel room or even beach – great exercise for travel purposes.
  • You can find a suitable variation for women and beginners.
  • You can target many muscle groups if you have creativity and know how to combine resources and equipment.


  • You will need more balance, stability, and proprioception for a successful workout.
  • Not suitable for people who previously had a wrist or elbow injury.
  • You will probably have to buy a set of gym gloves or straps to prevent palms from blisters and tears.
  • Parallel bar or ring dips require some equipment.
  • Regular dips are dependent on the distance between parallel bars, rings, or custom-made device.

Dips are usually chosen by calisthenics lovers, and people who prefer street workout. Someone who strictly wants to target one or two muscle groups will probably choose dips too.

Other groups are masochists, gymnasts, and people without wrist or elbow injuries. If you really want challenging off-balance exercise and big chest and triceps without weights, dips are your first choice!

working out with weights

Triceps Dips vs Diamond Push-Ups – Who Is The Winner?

The biggest rivalry is around triceps muscle. There is one type of push-ups and one type of dips that target this muscle specifically.

And here comes the famous debate – triceps dips vs diamond push-ups… Which exercise is more beneficial and why?

We will provide you with a set of arguments and let you choose your favorite:

  • Both exercises can be done in a very small space, even during travel.
  • Both exercises can be done in almost any surround in the world.
  • Diamond push-up activates triceps, but also biceps, chest, and deltoid muscle; while triceps dips include pectorals, but also latissimus dorsi and levator scapulae;
  • There are modifications for both exercises, you can perform knee diamond push-up if you are a beginner, but you also have rear plank triceps dips, which may and needn’t be done on an elevated surface;
  • Triceps dips may combine more variations, while with diamond push-ups you can only modify to knee or incline;
  • Reverse plank triceps dips can be combined a lot of equipment, especially medicine balls, plyo boxes, push-up bars, and TRX suspension trainers, while with diamond push-ups you are limited to medicine balls and TRX suspension trainers.
  • In both exercises, a medicine ball can be used very effectively to create balance problems and make the performance harder.
  • The most advanced form of triceps dips is a lot more difficult.

So, which one will you choose? According to you, which exercise has a higher score?

Dips vs Push-Ups – Which Option Is Better?

It purely depends on what you want to do with your body. Two very important factors are personality type and training requirements.

Here is our set of facts, try to identify yourself:

  • Someone who wants to build mass will probably choose dips.
  • When your goal is muscular endurance or sport specific strength and conditioning training sessions, push-ups are more suitable.
  • Are you trying to combine all kinds of training equipment? No dilemma, push-ups.
  • Are you a man who is easily demoralized? Both exercises are highly suitable, there are easier variations.
  • Do you want creativity and endless variations? Definitively push-ups.
  • Are you recognized by warrior mentality? Try the most extreme types of dips, and you can also try push-ups on parallel bars or even handstand push-ups. But dips might have a slight advantage here.
  • If you want stronger muscles in the first three months, definitively dips. An off-balance position is harder by itself.
  • Are you a traveler? Both exercises are good, but you have more advanced options with push-ups.
  • And the final choice – a whole body workout. Hitting every single muscle, even forearms, is possible only via push-ups.

These are only general views. Are you going to choose dips or push-ups? You know your psychological profile and training goals, vote your winner!

So, dips vs push-ups, who will it be?

In general, push-ups are better for the front side of your body, while dips are killers of the rear side.

But it isn’t that simple! There are so many factors you should pay attention to.

Are you an athlete, a calisthenics expert, a gymnast, a regular practitioner? Do you have injury problems, which is your fitness level? How good is your endurance?

We hope we helped you determine which exercise is more suitable for you. Please write us your winner in a comment and explain us your points of views.