Do Dips Help With Pushups?

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Dips and pushups are both push exercises so it sounds straightforward that one would help the other. Find out whether this is the case.

The first thing to note is that you can do both dips and pushups in different ways that focus more on certain muscles.

What muscles are holding you back from doing more or heavier pushups and what style of dips you do play important roles.

If you do dips with your body tilted forward and your upper arms slightly wider, they will likely help with pushups.

On the other hand, if your chest muscles are the weak factor in pushups and you only do tricep-focused dips, you will likely not increase your pushup repetitions or weight.

So you will likely be able to do dips in a way that helps with pushups. However, there are styles of doing each exercise and muscle strength ratios where you don’t carry over results.

Dips vs pushups muscles worked

An interesting aspect of both dips and pushups is that the exact way you do them influences in what ratio you work the muscles involved.

For example, a more standard way of doing dips is tilting your upper body at least slightly forward and having your hands relatively close to your sides.

In this version, you mainly work your triceps, lower chest, and shoulder muscles.

You could also keep your body completely vertical. In that case, dips would be more of a tricep isolation exercise.

Additionally, you could put your hands slightly wider apart (if you have the dip bars for it) and your upper arms slightly outward. This will focus a good amount more on your chest muscles

In the most standard pushup, you put your hands about shoulder width apart and your upper arms at about 45-degree angles to your side in the downward position.

This will mostly work your chest, triceps, and front deltoids.

You can also do a pushup where you put your hands close together and your upper arms right by your side. This will mainly work your triceps and front deltoids.

Will dips help pushups?

The main way an exercise can help with another, here pushups, is by growing and/or strengthening the muscles that are holding you back in the second exercise.

So the first question is what muscles are holding you back from doing more or heavier pushups. These typically include your chest, tricep, or shoulder muscles.

Then you want to think about what style of tricep dips you can do and see if one of these can help you grow and strengthen one of the muscles above.

For most people, the answer will be that doing dips with the right load and repetitions can help pushups.

You may need to tilt your upper body somewhat more forward and keep your upper arms somewhat wider to really work your chest muscles with dips.

On the flip side, the tricep-focused dips will likely not help you improve your regular pushups that much if your chest muscles are the main thing holding you back.

The same principles apply to whether pushups help dips. Often they do but there are exceptions.

Are dips harder than pushups?

Dips are typically harder than pushups for two main reasons.

First of all, your entire body weight rests on your muscles during dips. During pushups, only part of your body weight is lifted by the main muscles of the exercise.

Secondly, dips generally put a lot of the weight you lift on your triceps. These muscles are weaker than the chest muscles which will take over a lot of the work in pushups.

Should you do dips or pushups first?

It is also possible to do both dips and pushups in your push workouts. The question is then what exercise you should do first.

There is not really a right answer for everyone in terms of whether dips or pushups should be done first.

Dips will generally focus more on your triceps and front deltoids while pushups focus more on your chest. You can do the exercise that works the body parts you want to focus on first.

If you don’t really have a preference, you can alternate between doing dips and pushups first.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.