Picking a Main Pressing Movement? Dips vs Press vs Bench

First I guess the question would be if there’s any point in picking one of the three… but if one wanted to focus on one and hit a certain number, I was wondering how/which to pick.

My personal take:

Pros: Absolutely great for the chest/front delts, keeps your BW in check and great for relative strength.
Cons: Easy to vary the ROM over time, hard to be precise

Pros: Definitely translates well to athleticism since you’re standing up, great for building shoulders/traps
Cons: Neglects the chest

Pros: Easy to manipulate with bands, boards, tons of variations (CG, incline, etc)
Cons: Can be rougher on the shoulders

Hmm… it’ll come down to safety/longevity and your specific goals e.g. powerlifting or emphasizing specific body parts. So what specific goal/s do you have and what priority are they in? In terms of past exposure to these movements have you had any injury related issues?

I can’t say my personal take is in line with yours. It’d go something like:

Dips: Great for hypertrophy with tricep emphasis vs bench (probably tied with CGB tho). Personally I tolerate high loading and/or high volume well on dips (in terms of wrist ,elbow and shoulder health) maybe because I’m mobile and stable enough in the shoulders to do dips safely and go full ROM. On the other hand I’ve met many people who fuck their shoulders and fracture sternums with BW dips so it’s different for different people. Goals wise dips aren’t particularly specific to powerlifting so at best they’d be used as an accessory/developmental exercise for pressing muscles for me. If safety is an issue they may not even be an option at all for some.

Press is a similar deal. If you can do it safely it makes a great movement for most purposes (or secondary movement). Can be quite demanding mobility wise. Dunno how you do your press but there is plenty of upper chest action in there.

Flat bench is great for loading up. Safe as the other movements (safer if you consider that bench has lower mobility demands) if you bench with clean technique and use paused or at least controlled reps. Scapula/shoulder movement issues can arise if you don’t balance out your benching with other movements but that applies to all three lifts.

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why not do them all?

*Edit- if you stall on one you could go to the other


You posted this in 531 forum already so why double post?
531 has Press and bench. Just do that with dips as an accessory. Simple
As already stated, why not just do all the above?

Thanks for the well thought out reply.

I do agree that sometimes dips can be rougher than the bench on the shoulders for certain people. I guess it always depends on the leverages/flexibility of certain people. Luckily I’ve never had issues with Dips or the Press.

I’ll keep the Bench as my main pressing movement and use the Press and Dips as accessories.

I like press variations best…why? Probably because I’m good at them + they tend to lend themselves to nice, big arse shoulders! Just depends what you care about most really. My vote goes to the press though.