Diamond Push-Ups: Which Muscles Worked and the Benefits

Diamond push-ups are an amazing upper body exercise that works your chest, triceps, shoulders, and core muscle group.

There are various diamond push-up variations you could try such as a narrow hand position, close grip push, and a decline and incline diamond push-up variation.

Diamond push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise that with proper form, can become your most effective triceps exercise using just your body weight.

Here’s more information on how you should do it, what the benefits are, and which muscles are worked.

What is a Diamond Push-up?

what is a diamond push up

Also known as triceps or triangular push-ups, diamond push-ups are a more advanced form of the classic push-up. They are performed by arranging the hands in the shape of a diamond or triangle using your index fingers and thumbs.

When you push your hands in a narrower position, your support becomes less which makes this one of the most effective push-ups to do. The hand position has a biomechanical disadvantage since it puts strain on the muscles.

The workload is then focused on the triceps, which generally absorb the bulk of the pressure which is similar to a traditional push-up.

How To Perform The Diamond Push up? 

The goal of a diamond push-up is to maintain your hands closer together than a regular push-up would allow. The distance between your hands may vary, but the idea is to keep them closer together so that the triceps are more engaged.

To get started, you must first go into a high plank position with your arms extended and with your feet parallel to the hips. Your starting position is similar to when you do regular push-ups.

Your hands should be almost directly under the chest with your index fingers and thumbs forming a diamond or triangle formation. Squeezing your thighs and glutes for further support might help in keeping the body tight and straight.

Your elbows must point back to the feet as your chest is lowered to the ground. Lower your body until your arms are parallel to the ribcage, keep your elbows close to your body, then pause for a second before beginning the upward movement.

If you experience any elbow pain or pain elsewhere, try increasing the distance between your hands while maintaining a diamond shape to make it easier.

This is possibly the most difficult push-up you can do so if you are a beginner, start with regular push-ups and increase the strength in your upper arms for a few weeks until you feel comfortable to do these.

What Are The Benefits of Diamond Push-ups? 

Benefits of diamond push ups

Although this variant of a push up is one of the most difficult types to do, the benefits are worth it.

Increased Triceps Activity

According to research done by the American Council of Exercise (ACE), diamond or triceps push-ups are the most effective triceps exercises.

The tighter you form a diamond with your hands, the stronger strain on the triceps becomes which in turn leads to an increase in triceps muscles being worked which will result in bigger gains.

Another study indicated that when performing diamond push-ups versus regular push-ups, there is more electrical activity in the triceps brachii.

Improves Core Strength and Stability

As your hands are close together, balance in a diamond push-up can be quite difficult to get right. If this is your first time doing a diamond pushup, chances are your body is shaking all over the place and you are wobbling.

This exercise engages your core muscles, particularly those involved in trunk rotation, such as the external and internal obliques, to maintain balance. When your core muscles are used to maintain balance, both strength and stability are improved.

Increased Chest Activity

The diamond push-up activates the chest muscles less than traditional push-ups. However, studies have found that while diamond push-ups activate the triceps, they also increase pectoralis muscle activation.

If you want to work the chest, add a set of diamond push-ups and a set of regular push-ups into your workout routine for better results.

Strengthening Your Shoulders

When your hands are close together for any type of push-up, the shoulders, especially the anterior deltoid, are put under greater strain. As a result, diamond push-ups help make your shoulders stronger and more contoured.

You could even do a couple of diamond push-ups as a pre-workout exercise to strengthen your anterior deltoid.

Progression Towards One Arm Push-ups

Many people aspire to do a one-arm push-up because it embodies awesomeness. However, only a few people are aware of the correct steps to take.

The diamond push-up is the next stage once you’ve gotten familiar with regular push-ups. You can then move on to archer and one-arm versions. The size of your triceps won’t be an issue by then or maybe because they will be too big.

Attempting one-arm push-ups if you are not fit enough as this could result in injury.

Which Muscles Are Worked? 

Which muscles are worked when doing diamond push ups

The main muscles worked are the triceps brachii, deltoids (shoulders), and the pectoralis major (chest). Triceps being the primary focus of the exercise.

Triceps Brachii

Diamond push-ups put a lot of strain on the triceps if you do it right. The majority of people do diamond push-ups to work their triceps to the max and build muscle.

For those wondering, your triceps are on the rear of your upper arms and that is where you should be feeling the burn.

Pectoralis Major (Chest)

Pectoralis Major is the long way of saying pecs. When people talk about their pecs they are talking about this.

If you want to feel more burn in your pecs then try declined or inclined diamond push-ups but you should be feeling it with regular diamond push-ups as well.

Declined diamond push-ups will put more strain on your upper pecs, while inclined focus more on the overall chest and core muscles.

Deltoids (Shoulders)

Your shoulders are under heavy strain when performing a diamond push-up. If you feel pain at any point, increase the distance between your hands or try a walled diamond pushup.

You can do a wall diamond push-up by facing the wall, placing your hand in the same shape, and then pushing yourself off the wall.

Core Muscle Group

To properly perform the triangle push-ups, maintain your torso straight and firm. Your core muscles are in charge of this.

Your abs, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, and spine muscles called the erector spinae are all part of your core muscles.

It is very important to focus on your core as a strong core will allow you to perform exercises easier with less pain.

If you are just starting out, don’t go too heavy on single muscle groups and instead focus on strengthening your core muscles.

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Article by Sylvie

Hi, my name is Sylvie and I am an enthusiast of health and fitness. I love spending time outdoors and traveling in my free time. I grew up in France and moved to the United States a few years ago. Ever since then, I have been passionate about learning more about American culture. I am currently majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing. I love writing (hence why I am here) and sharing my experiences with fellow readers!