Chest Exercises

Lift Doctor: The Push-up-Bench Press Connection

Get the full diagnosis on how these go-to upper body moves differ, and complement each other.


“Do push-ups work the same muscles as the bench press?” - Fabrizio Castelli

Yes, push-ups and the bench press both develop mass and strength of the chest, triceps, and shoulders – but they do vary in other ways.

While both push-ups and bench pressing are full body lifts that require full body tension, push-ups have a more core dominant component.  The high tension required to bench heavier weights is all about transferring forces from a powerful leg drive across the core and into the upper back to help drive the bar back to lockout.

The core stability required for push-ups is more about remaining in a straight line from your feet to your head.  You will be developing more anterior core stability as you ‘prevent’ your hips from sagging (resisting hip extension).