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How To Do a Diamond Push-Up?
Muscles Worked & Common Mistakes

Last updated: October 6, 2021

If regular push-ups have become unchallenging for you, then maybe it’s time for you to upgrade to diamond push-ups—the more difficult variation of this popular bodyweight exercise.

Just by tweaking the classic version a bit, you can get a workout that targets your triceps and, to some degree, your chest and abdominals.

In my 15 years of being a trainer, I’ve probably done this exercise thousands of times, and I’ve seen numerous clients benefit from it, too.

Here’s everything you need to know about the diamond push-up.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Diamond push-ups are a version of standard push-ups with focus in one area.
  • How effective the exercise will be depends on your hand position.
  • There are five steps to follow to do the exercise correctly.
  • There are both easier and more difficult variations of diamond push-ups you can try.
  • There are several benefits you can get from doing this exercise.

What Is A Diamond Push-Up?

man in a push up position at home

All kinds of push-ups engage the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. But with diamond push-ups, also known as tricep push-ups, the burn is concentrated in one area.

“Diamond push-ups provide all of the benefits of a normal push-up, with a special focus on triceps and center chest if done properly.” - Christopher Vo, Fitness Instructor

To feel the burn in your triceps, you should position your hands close together to form a diamond shape.

Is The Diamond Shape Important?

Despite the name, forming a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs isn’t the most important component of this push-up variation.

The effectiveness of the diamond push-up will largely depend on your hand position.

The key to maximizing this movement is to keep your hands closer to each other than a classic push-up so that you can target the outside head of the three-headed tricep muscle of your arms more efficiently.

How To Do Diamond Push-Ups

man in a push up position

Setting up to perform diamond push-ups is simple, but performing them the right way is a lot harder.

Here’s how to do them correctly:

  • Step 1: Begin by getting into a plank position with your legs extended behind you and your hands together under your chest.
  • Step 2: Move your index fingers and thumbs and try to form a diamond or triangle shape on the floor.
  • Step 3: Extend your arms and bring your body up, forming a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Step 4: Slowly lower your chest and ensure you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides. Keep your back flat as you go down and stop just before your chest touches the ground.
  • Step 5: Finally, press your body back up to return to the starting position.

Diamond Push-Up Variations

men in the gym doing push ups

The diamond push-up is a challenging exercise, and struggling to crank out even just a few is normal.

If you find the standard diamond push-up too hard at first, you can try some of the easier variations:

  • Perform this move on your knees instead of your toes. For additional support, you can pad the area under your knees.
  • You can also revert to the classic push-up in order to build up your strength before trying diamond push-ups again.
  • If you feel wrist strain with this exercise, you can decrease your range of movement to reduce the intensity and relieve pressure from your wrists.

On the other hand, if diamond push-ups are too easy for you, here’s a progression you can try:

  • Do them with your feet elevated on a bench or, for an even bigger challenge, a gym ball. Trying to stabilize yourself while using the ball will test your core strength as you complete your push-ups.
  • Try alternating knee bends as you lower your body to the floor.

3 Things To Remember

woman stretching their arms

Here are some tips you should keep in mind before starting this exercise:

Warm-up

The arm angle of the diamond push-up makes it a somewhat awkward motion that can cause strain on your elbows and wrists, which just makes warming up even more important.

To prevent any injuries or pain in these areas, rotate your elbows and wrists for several minutes to ensure they’re warmed up and ready for the exercise.

Practice continuously

Diamond push-ups take time to master, so don’t worry if you find them challenging to do the first couple of times. With persistence and practice, you will be able to pull off several of these push-ups in no time.

Use them effectively

The only way you can fully reap the benefits of diamond push-ups is by doing them right.

Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:

  • Remember not to flare your elbows up too much. Keep them close to your body.
  • Aim for a 45-degree angle between your torso and your arms.
  • Don’t allow your hands to go in front of your shoulders.
  • If you’re a beginner, try to move slowly to avoid injury.

Benefits Of Diamond Push-Ups

shirtless man showing off his arm muscles

Like the standard push-up, diamond push-ups are suitable for training several muscle groups at once—the triceps, pecs (chest), deltoids (shoulders), abdomen (core), hips, and legs [1].

They’re also an excellent exercise for improving the overall size and strength of your triceps.

Unlike other tricep exercises, the diamond push-up is a simple bodyweight exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment, which means you can do it anywhere, anytime.

Diamond Push-Ups In A Nutshell

The diamond push-up is an excellent exercise that activates several muscles in your body at once.

Whether you find them too easy or too difficult at the moment, the great thing about diamond push-ups is that you can always modify them to suit your fitness level.

If you add diamond push-ups to your regular workout routine, I’m confident that you’ll notice an improvement in your strength in no time.


References:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/rise-push-ups-classic-exercise-can-motivate-get-stronger-2019021810165

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