Which is more effective, Push Ups or Dumbbell in gaining strength and muscle?

How often should I work every week?

What should I eat to gain fast?

  • Why not use both?
    – Dark Hippo
    May 2, 2017 at 13:31
  • Im actually using both but I have no idea which one is more effective for gaining. May 2, 2017 at 13:35
  • 3
    It depends. Push ups are great because the whole body has to stabalise while doing them (it's essentially a moving plank), whereas dumbbells can be loaded easier (you can press a heavier dumbbell easier than you can add resistance to a push up). I'd say do push ups until you can easily manage a few sets of about 20 reps, then move onto dumbbell bench with heavier dumbbells, while still doing sets of 10 push ups as a warm up.
    – Dark Hippo
    May 2, 2017 at 13:43
  • Push ups will also help the triceps a bit when done properly, which is not the case when using dumbbells for bicep curls
    – Prasanna
    May 2, 2017 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


I'd say, you shouldn't compare the two, and implement both of them in your workout routine.

Solely for chest gains, dumbbell press would be better since you can add resistance more easily and it focusses on your chest. Doing a push-up works a lot more than just your chest.

A push-up will work your chest, shoulders, triceps and core. You're even using your legs to stabilize your body.

  • It seems to me that a dumbbell press also works the triceps, as well as the forearms.
    – s427
    May 3, 2017 at 10:22
  • @s427 It does work the triceps, but not to the same extent as push-ups do. I'm not sure about forearms. You don't have to keep squeezing your hands to keep the dumbbells in place like you'd do during for instance a bicep-curl. I personally never feel my forearms after doing dumbbell press.
    – MJB
    May 3, 2017 at 11:50

In my early years in the Army I noticed that those who relied solely on body weight exercises were almost always outperformed by those who used weights in the gym. I would do about 15-20 pushups before doing chest workouts to warm up and stretch, and then hit the dumbbells and barbell. I always maxed out my pushups on the PT test. If you can bench 200 lbs, then 75 pushups seems easy when the time comes for it. I'd concentrate your efforts on weights, but don't completely neglect body movement exercises. They have their place.

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