Push-Ups Versus Bench Press: Which One Is Better For You?

Anyone looking to improve their upper body strength should know about push-ups and the bench press. Both of these exercises are excellent at strengthening the arms, chest, and shoulder muscles. The option that is better for you will likely depend on your fitness goals, health condition, and more.

According to Livestrong, push-ups and the bench press target the same muscles. Specifically, these include the chest, the triceps, and the front of the shoulders. Push-ups are performed facing the floor while the bench press is performed lying on a bench and facing the ceiling. The action of both exercises, which involves pushing resistance away from your body by extending and bending your elbows, is essentially the same as well. The main difference between these two exercises is that a push-up usually relies on body weight resistance while the bench press can be loaded with more weight. If you are looking to grow your muscles by increasing the amount of weight you can lift, the bench press will probably be the best exercise for you.

Safety and accessibility also matter

While the bench press may be the best exercise if you are looking to grow your arm and chest muscles, it isn't the best option for everyone. The bench press requires a bench, barbell, and weights to use. Most people will need to purchase these items to use at home or enroll in a gym membership to access a machine. Push-ups, on the other hand, can be done anywhere without any equipment (via Madbarz). This makes them ideal for people on a budget or those who can't physically make it to a gym. Bench press machines also come with a risk of injury, as the heavy barbell can fall on your chest if it slips. Push-ups come with very little risk of injury.

According to BarBend, everyone should master a push-up, but not everyone needs to master the bench press. Push-ups help with muscle stability and joint mobility, which are two key elements of overall physical health. If you are at the beginning of your fitness journey or are simply looking to improve your overall health, you will benefit most from the bench press.