If you are looking for a multi-joint bodyweight exercise that will make you feel the burn in your arms, back, and chest to the maximum limit, then you should consider dips and push ups. 

If you incorporate dips and push-ups into your workout routine and remain persistent, the two exercises will help you build muscle and get stronger.  

There are a few important differences when it comes to technique, creativity, variations, muscle groups, equipment, grip manipulations, and the possibilities of burning muscles by performing dips vs push ups. 

The main question is which exercise is better for you — dips or push ups? It honestly depends on what you want to do with your body, and two important factors include training requirements and personality types. 

Better For Muscle Mass


Better For Muscular Endurance

Push Ups

Better for Strength and Conditioning

Push Ups

Better for Equipment Needed

Push Ups

Better for Creative Variations

Push Ups

Better for Extreme Training Variations


Better for Perfecting Balance


Better for Early Muscle Development


Best for Whole Body Work Out

Push Ups

Target Muscles Of Dips And Push Ups

If you want to achieve your goal of effectively strengthening your chest muscles, then first, we must explain the chest muscles that are being worked in dips and push ups. There are four muscles in the chest that are called: 

  • Pectoralis Major 
  • Pectoralis Minor 
  • Subclavius 
  • Serratus Anterior 

We will concentrate on the pectoralis major, which consists of two main muscles: the clavicular head (known as the upper chest) and the sternal head (which is known as the lower chest). 

Dips Overview

Dips might seem like a challenging exercise at first. Many people only know dips on the rings or between the parallel bars. The exercise allows you to manipulate the position of your arms. 

If you are looking to strengthen the chest muscles in a better way, then you should keep your arms away from your body. If you want to target the triceps, then the contact of your elbows and forearms with your oblique muscles is necessary.

However, the reverse plank tricep dips are a simple type that can be performed with or without assistance. An untrained person will even have the chance to strengthen the triceps depending on their level. 

Target Muscles Of Dips Vs Push Ups

How To Do A Dip Correctly 

  1. Get into position with a good weight bench or a pair of sturdy dip bars behind you. In a pinch, you could even use the plyometric box. 
  2. Tighten your core and lower your body off the bench, bending at the arms and placing tension on the triceps.
  3. During the dip, you must keep your head and upper body as straight as possible. Make sure you keep your body upright.
  4. Hold the dipped position for 1-2 seconds before pushing back up.

Benefits Of Dips 

  • There are dip exercises for a person at any level of fitness.
  • Triceps dips are a variation that can be done with the same equipment, like the push up. If you buy a weighted dip belt, then regular dips can support more combinations and equipment.
  • Dips can strengthen the rear side of your body without even focusing on it.
  • You can perform triceps dips in any location because the exercise requires very little space.
  • Triceps dips can be done in your hotel room or even at the beach, making it an excellent exercise for travel purposes.
  • There are many suitable variations even for beginners.
  • If you are creative, you can target a series of muscle groups and combine them with equipment and resources.

Drawbacks Of Dips 

  • You will need stability, balance, and proprioception in order to achieve a successful workout.
  • Dips are not suitable for people who have sustained a wrist or elbow injury in the past.
  • You might have to purchase a set of gym gloves or straps in order to prevent your palms from getting blisters and tears.
  • If you want to perform ring dips or use a parallel bar, then you will require equipment.
  • Regular dips are contingent on the distance between the rings, parallel bars, or custom device. 

People who love calisthenics and street workouts usually choose to add dips to their routine. A person who is strictly looking to target one or two muscle groups will most likely choose dips as well. 

Other people who like dips include gymnasts and people who have not sustained wrist or elbow injuries. If you want a challenging off-balance exercise and you are trying to build a big chest and triceps without weights, then dips are a great choice for you. 

Push Ups Overview

Many people consider the push up to be the best planking exercise ever. The push up allows you to activate the part of the body that you want and combine it with many different movements. 

Push Ups Overview

How To Do A Push Up Correctly 

  1. Start in a face-down prone position lying on the floor on your belly. Put your feet together.
  2. Place your hands at shoulder width and tense your core. If you are using a set of push up bars, place your hands on them instead.
  3. Using your arms, raise yourself into a plank position with your weight supported by your hands and your toes.
  4. Lower yourself until your arms reach a 90-degree angle and hold for a second.
  5. Complete the movement by pushing the floor away from you and returning to the original plank position.
  6. Repeat the exercise at a steady pace with controlled breathing.

Benefits Of Push Ups 

  • There are endless possibilities to the push up when you use your creativity, and you can activate almost every muscle in your body.
  • You can add various equipment in order to create more challenging variations of the push up. Equipment includes dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, push up bars, plyo boxes, medicine balls, TRX suspension trainers, bumper plates, Swiss balls, and much more.
  • You can also train using the push up without the need for any equipment.
  • You can perform the push up anywhere in the world.
  • You do not necessarily need perfect configuration of the ground to change or modify the exercise.
  • The push up is perfect for people who are looking to impress clients with their knowledge.
  • The exercise does not require a lot of space.
  • The push up is strongly recommended for a CrossFit training session or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
  • Some of the variations of the push up are even suitable for a person who is untrained.
  • The push up is a multifunctional exercise that is capable of training various aspects at the same time.
  • The push up is designed to work for a large variety of the population. We know that you can find a suitable variation for your client, even if they hate performing push ups.
  • Push ups are an excellent choice for creative coaches who spend every day learning, building, and improving their skills and workout routine. 

Drawbacks Of Push Ups 

  • The push up is quite difficult for training sessions with maximum strength. 
  • The advanced types of push ups might be more dangerous. 

Related Article - Best Push Up Bars

Triceps Dips Vs Diamond Push-Ups

The main rivalry between dips and push ups is around the tricep muscles. There is only one push up exercise and only one dip exercise that will target the tricep muscles in particular.

The famous debate is the triceps dips vs. diamond push ups. Diamond push ups offer many benefits but the important question is which exercise is better? 

  • Tricep dips and diamond push ups can be performed in a small space anywhere in the world.
  • Diamond push ups activate the triceps, along with the biceps, chest and deltoid muscles, while triceps dips activate the pectorals, along with the latissimus dorsi and levator scapulae.
  • There are also modifications for triceps dips and diamond push ups. If you are a beginner, then you can perform the knee diamond push up, but you also have the option of rear plank triceps dips, which can be performed on an elevated surface.
  • Triceps dips have the option to combine more variations, while you can only modify the knee or incline with the diamond push ups.
  • Reverse plank triceps dips can be performed in combination with a lot of equipment, including push up bars, TRX suspension trainers, plyo boxes and medicine balls, while you are limited to using TRX suspension trainers and medicine balls with diamond push ups.
  • A medicine ball can be used effectively to throw in balance problems and create a harder performance in both exercises.
  • It is much more difficult to perform the advanced form of triceps dips. 
Tricep Floor Dips
Diamond Push-Up

Similarities Between Dips & Push Ups

Dips and push ups are two exercises the mainly target the chest muscles and triceps, along with activating the deltoid muscles [1]. You can even call dips and push ups rivals in a way. 

They are both classic exercises in the world of fitness. Here is our brief review of the main similarities between dips and push ups: 

  • The movements are similar in the sense that you perform dips and push ups with elbow flexion and maximum pressure on your wrists.
  • The advanced variations of the two exercises require an off-balance position and further equipment.
  • The two exercises require solid calisthenics.
  • You can focus on power, endurance, and plyometrics in both exercises.
  • They can even be dangerous exercises in the event that you overestimate your strength and power.
  • Dips and push ups are excellent when it comes to strengthening the glutes and lower back muscles [2].
  • You can transfer weight to the desired arm in both dips and push ups so that weight distribution does not necessarily have to be even.
  • Triceps dips can also be performed from the reverse plank position with the assistance of a plyometric box or another type of training device for people who are just starting out. The two exercises can be performed in the plank position.
  • You need to be able to resist gravity in order to perform dips and push ups successfully. 

Differences Between Dips & Push Ups

The differences between dips and push ups are quite extensive. The parts of both exercises are unique in many ways. Here is our brief review of the main differences between dips and push ups: 

  • Push ups allow you to manipulate the position of your arms and the grip width of your arms in seven ways, while dips force you to have a fixed width unless you make a custom device.
  • Push ups activate more muscle groups, and it is an easier exercise that helps to target the entire body.
  • Push ups are considered to be less dangerous.
  • Push ups have an extensive list of variations, while dips let you use many different training devices when you purchase a multifunctional weight dip.
  • Push ups let you move in all three planes, while dips allow only two moves on parallel bars.
  • You can easily train with maximum strength when you perform dips.
  • Dips are quite a hard exercise, and they require more balance.
  • Dips are better for the types of people who are looking to work on the proprioception.
  • Dips are a good exercise to activate the anconeus muscle.
  • Push ups are an easy exercise for beginners. 
Dips Vs Push Ups

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you build muscle with dips? 

Yes, you can build muscle by doing dips. They are known as an upper-body exercise that mainly targets the triceps, along with the chest, shoulders, and even the back. Dips are one of the most effective workouts for increasing the strength and size of the upper body. 

Is it ok to perform dips and push ups every day? 

You can perform dips and push ups every day, but it might be better if you did them on separate days. When you perform dips one day, it will allow your push up muscles to rest.

Then you can perform push ups the next day, allowing your dip muscles to relax. It is important to note that the whole body will require recuperation after working out, not just individual muscles. 


Dips are commonly used as an upper body strength and muscle builder, while push ups are an excellent way to strengthen your chest muscles. The two exercises are able to hit every area of the chest equally.  

In the end, it all comes down to personal preference when you have to decide between dips and push ups. Only you know what you want to achieve in a workout, and only you know your personal preferences when it comes to exercise.  




Lee Kirwin

Lee Kirwin

Lee has worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years. He's trained hundreds of clients and knows his way around the gym, including what you need for your garage gym. When he's not testing products, he loves weightlifting, Ju Jitsu, writing, and gaming.