As a part of a good workout I'm struggling between floor presses with dumbbells and basic pushups. What are the pros/cons of choosing one over the other? Both seem similar compound movements that involve the chest quite a bit, so it's hard to choose one for my routine.

My goal is muscle mass gain.

4 Answers 4


Go with the basic pushup. Because of the angle of the arms, if you do a floor press with dumbbell (Assuming you mean a bench press type of movement) then you are missing almost half of the available range of motion.

If you need more resistance on the traditional pushup, you can wear weighted vests, elevate your feet on stairs or chairs, things like that.

If you are talking about doing pushups while on dumbbells instead of the floor, then Tracy is correct, there isn't going to be a big difference until you start elevating the feet and varying the angle of the pushup (Which will do the same with or without dumbbells involved).


The floor dumbbell presses are great if you have existing shoulder pain, particularly in your internal rotators, as it limits ROM. I have seen Jeff Cavalier (AthleanX on Youtube, check him out! He’s awesome) perform a dumbbell on the floor and he explains that it is safer to do flyes on the floor as it limits ROM and protects your shoulders - though he is not a fan of the conventional flyes.

You may incorporate both into your workout! You can perform the push ups as your “usual bench press” while the floor dumbbell can be unilateral work. This can give you more volume as well as you are looking at muscle hypertrophy. There is no one exercise that can cause you to gain muscles but the overall volume (sets x reps) you do for the muscle group, the manner in which you do (eccentric contraction can can elicit more mechanical damage to your muscles) and your diet.

Gradually overload your body to challenge it and it will adapt. Our body is a use it or lose it system. You can do a variation of push ups - body horizontal, incline and decline; explosive; archers; etc. I can write another post on them 😂 When you challenge your body hard enough, it will have to adapt and if the nutrients are sufficient, your muscles will grow!


I am not an expert, but by the feel I can say push-ups are much better. I don't feel any muscle contraction on floor presses. If I try to use heavy weights, then my forearms have pain.

On push-ups, you can modify the move a lot: spider push-up, diamond push-up, incline push-up, and so on.

I've been doing floor presses for 3 weeks. Gonna stop next time—useless.

  • 1
    Wow, thanks POD, I wrote this answer just after working out, it seems I've literally killed the language.
    – Melih
    May 22, 2020 at 9:43

I would say there isn't too much difference. You probably go slightly lower on the press using dumbbells. So arguably this could be deemed harder. Personally, I think you would get more gain from putting your feet on a raised platform which will bring your weight more forward(this would be harder than normal or dumbbell presses)

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