When it comes to body fitness, cardio is mostly thought of as the best exercise. You see, cardio exercises such as jogging, cycling, and swimming are considered beneficial to your heart, lungs, and circulatory system as they boost the circulation of blood to other parts of the body.
But, despite cardio being a valuable type of exercise, strength training is equally important as it strengthens your bones and muscles to keep you strong and healthy. Now, supposing you’re a beginner, choosing the best strength exercise can be a tad overwhelming, especially when it comes to dips vs. push-ups.
Now, both of these enduring exercises provide a great strength solution. However, each exercise targets specific muscle groups. Since this can be quite challenging for beginners and advanced lifters, this article has come to analyze and access each of these endurance exercises to tell you which exercise will suit your fitness routine.
How Do They Differ?
If you’re a beginner, it will be quite hard to understand the difference between dips vs. push-ups. Although they’re both endurance exercises, the difference is enormous.
For instance, push-ups are more like horizontal pressing exercises that target your arms and shoulders. To perform a perfect push-up, you have to position yourself with your palms flat on the ground. Your legs should be close together and your elbows should be 90 degrees with the body. While in that position, try to push the body up and down.
Now, push-ups are less dangerous and very easy to perform. This makes them the best for beginners with little training background. Push-ups also target a larger group of muscles making them the best for a full-body workout. Some of the muscles that are activated by push-ups include those on the chest, back, and core.
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While push-ups involve lifting about 60% of your body, dips involve lifting your entire body with just your arms. Dips require more balance and more shoulder mobility making them more complex to accomplish. Due to these reasons, dips are specifically intended for advanced lifters with more training time.
Now, there are two ways you can perform a dip exercise. One is by using a bench while the other involves using parallel bars. To use a bench, simply brace yourself in a sitting position. Keep your head upright, elbows slightly tucked in and arms behind the hips.
To perform a perfect dip, simply lower your body until your elbows are 90 degrees with the body. From there, raise your body slowly to the starting position. If you’re using parallel bars, hold them with your arms locked, knees bent and your head and chest erect. Lower your body slowly until your elbows are 90 degrees with the body then raise your body to the starting position.
Dips Vs. Push-Ups: Which Muscles are Involved?
Before we get to which muscles are involved, you need to note that dips and push-ups have one huge similarity. Both of them target the triceps and the chest muscles. So, if you’re looking to effectively activate your deltoid muscles, then these two exercises can be of massive benefit.
But, despite possessing this huge similarity, dips vs. push-ups have a slightly different nature of movement that allows them to focus on totally different muscles. For instance, dips are compound exercises that focus on the upper body while push-ups target the upper and lower pecs making them the best for working your core.
So, Which Muscles Do Dips Work?
Although we mentioned that dips focus on the upper body, there are lots of joints and other muscles that are involved. Some of these muscles include:
- Triceps: Triceps are muscles that extend from the back of your arm to your elbow joint. Since dips involve lifting your entire body, you tend to work these muscles more often.
- Deltoids: These are shoulder muscles that consist of posterior, medial, and anterior muscles. Since dips hugely focus on your shoulder joints, you’ll notice that these muscles mostly get busy when you’re exercising.
- Pectoralis: Also known as pecs, this muscle is found on your chest and is mostly activated when rotating your shoulder joints when exercising.
- Lower Trapezius: Also known as the traps, this muscle is used to cover your upper back. When exercising, the lower trapezius bears all the impact, as it’s the one responsible for holding your shoulders when performing dips.
Which Muscles Do Push-Ups Work?
Push-ups have many similarities with dips. In fact, this endurance exercise works most of the muscles that dips work such as the triceps, deltoids, and pecs. However, while dips focus more on the lower traps, push-ups focus on the core. Some of the muscles that are involved here include the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, transverse abdominus, and obliques.
Also Read: Chest Exercises and Rear Delt Exercises
Dips Vs. Push-Ups: Pros and Cons
Advantages of Dips
- This type of exercise tends to target specific muscles such as the triceps, pecs, trapezius, and anterior deltoids.
- It provides a quicker way of building strength and muscles.
- Best for more advanced trainers.
- This exercise comes with many variations.
Disadvantages of Dips
- Dips can be much riskier if you’re a beginner
- You’ll need to have some equipment for exercising.
- The exercise involved can put extreme pressure on your shoulder joints
Advantages of Push-Ups
- Push-ups are versatile and can be done anywhere.
- You don’t need any equipment when exercising.
- Easy to master especially as a beginner.
- The exercise involves your entire body.
- Advanced push-up exercises can be risky if you’re a beginner.
- Doesn’t target full body muscles.
- Doing lots of push-up reps can lead to muscular imbalance, which can cause pain and discomfort in your body.
So, Which is the Best Exercise?
After carefully analyzing each of these two endurance exercises, the last question you’re likely to ask yourself is which exercise is better between dips vs. push-ups. Now, both of these exercises are effective. However, the route you pick will be determined by your personal goals, how much you train, and how your body responds to endurance exercises.
Dips, for instance, are arguably better as they involve exercising your entire body. As a result, this exercise allows you to build strength and muscle size. On the downside, dips are very delicate and are notoriously known for causing shoulder pain, especially for beginner weight lifters.
Push-ups, on the other hand, are much easier and safer to perform. Since they don’t involve lifting your entire bodyweight, these exercises are best for beginners with less knowledge as well as injured athletes who are trying to regain their fitness.
On the downside, push-ups are only intended for general fitness and not for building strength and muscle size.
Overall, when it comes to dips vs. push-ups, the final decision will always depend on you. Dips, on their part, mostly focus on the lower pecs while push-ups focus on both the upper and lower pecs. So, whether you’re a gymnast, athlete, or just an enthusiast bodybuilder, it’s always advisable that you combine these two endurance exercises to increase both strength and chest muscles.
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