New -- substituting pushups with dips?

body weight workout

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New -- substituting pushups with dips?

Post by kwp » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:36 pm

Hello everyone, I am new.

I weigh about 300 lbs and have ZERO upper body strength. However if you can believe it I am in pretty decent cardiovascular shape due to cycling. I love the cardiovascular effect of these workouts, especially the endurance day.

I'm having to do substitutions (obviously), for both pullups and pushups. The squats are a breeze.

What I have tried doing is setting a bar at about two-three feet high in a smith machine and using the bar as an incline to do pushups, and then getting under it and doing inverted body rows. This works OK but due to the location of the smith machine in our gym, it isn't optimal.

I've also tried girl pushups (on the knees) and I just hate them. It is very difficult to get a consistent load, to bend correctly, and to do it without cheating and using strength from the legs.

I happen to have access to an assisted pullup machine which has dipping bars, and it has enough boost that I can do the pullups and dips comfortably on it.

I am wondering if I would get the same kind of training effect doing dips instead of pushups. As I understand it they work the same muscles? At an even amount of boost they require similar effort.

Are dips a good substitute for pushups until I can do full pushups well?


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Post by Ruli » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:21 pm

hi kwp - welcome to SF!! i trust you will enjoy the routine and in no time at all you'll see some progress.
i'm not so sure if dips is a suitable sub for push-ups, as dips work more on your triceps.

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I don't know what you would call them.

Post by supernova » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:39 am

I don't know what you would call them.

you stand against a wall, at an angle and do push-ups against the wall.

what are these called anyone know?
(i don't think these are vertical push-ups)

would these be a good substitute?

Also seen a version of push-ups, however, you kneel. I suppose these would be good at building up to push-ups.

I too struggle with push-ups, the problem is keeping my back straight. I can do them but have to take my time and keep getting back into position.
Last edited by supernova on Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by zorg » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:25 am

As long as you have arms and legs, you can progress to pushups, imo.

As demonstrated here.

Don't be discouraged because things are hard now, push-ups will become easier.

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Post by supernova » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:15 pm

Thanks ... Brilliant video !!!!

and one of the methods i was trying to describe, plus others.

Given me great ideas to progress with my pushups. I only i had know this when i was fitter as a teen

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Post by Viking Dan » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:44 am

If you lack the strength to do push ups off the floor, try any of the following (in order of difficulty):
  1. Push ups off the wall
  2. Push ups off a table
  3. Pushups on a pair of chairs(one hand on each chair seat, feet on the floor)---a Charles Atlas favorite
  4. Floor pushups off your knees

Another way to break into doing full pushups is to take an aerobic step or a low box and place it under your groin(put a pillow or folded towel on it first :wink: ) and do pushups off the floor. When that becomes easy, move the step to halfway between groin and knee. When that's easy, move it to your knees. Then midway down your shin. Finally, try full pushups off the floor.

Whichever you try, work up to sets of 20 before trying the next hardest level.

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