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Many consider the pushup to be the best upper body calisthenics workout, and for good reason. It hits so many muscle groups, and best of all you can do it anywhere with absolutely zero equipment. One thing I love about doing pushups is that there are tons of variations that can target different parts of the body. The diamond pushup is one of the more challenging variations, and is one of my favorites. It is helpful to know what muscles are worked with diamond push ups, because they are more specific and targeted than regular push ups.
How to Perform a Proper Diamond Push Up
A. Assume a normal pushup position, body elongated, toes on floor. Except this time, bring your hands together and make a diamond shape with your thumbs and pointer fingers. You can also make a triangle shape if you don’t want to stretch your thumbs that far. Your core should be tight and your body should be flat. Don’t arch your back.
B. Arms extended, inhale, and slowly lower yourself to the ground. Keep your elbows tucked in. Do NOT let them flare outward.
C. As you lower yourself, your inner chest should come within one or two inches above the diamond shape of your fingers.
D. Hold yourself in this lowered position for a second.
E. Slowly push yourself back up as you exhale, keeping your core tight and body flat.
F. Make it a goal to hit 12 reps.
G. ADVANCED: Do decline diamond pushups with your feet on an elevated platform.
Important Notes for Safety and Max Benefits with Diamond Push Ups
A. It is important to keep your elbows tucked in to increase effectiveness of this move. Flaring them out will add extra stress to your joints, which is not good.
B. Similarly, keeping your core tightened and body straight will reduce risk of muscle strain and other injuries. Plus, it just makes your technique better and improves results.
Targeted Muscles with the Diamond Push Up
Primary: Triceps, Inner Chest
Secondary: Chest, Forearms, Wrists
Tertiary: Core, Shoulders
Suggestions for Beginners
If the diamond pushup is too challenging, you can start this move on your knees instead of your toes. But in my opinion, if you are having trouble with the diamond pushup, you should continue to focus on regular pushups. As you get stronger, begin to bring your hands closer and closer together until you achieve a true diamond pushup.
Diamond Push Ups: A New Push Up Challenge
Diamond push ups are a great addition to any upper body workout when you understand what muscles are worked with them. If you want to focus on triceps, you can’t go wrong with this variation. The fact that it really hits the inner chest hard is great, too. You will feel the burn! There are so many other benefits to diamond pushups as well. Just make sure you have proper form and keep the core tight! And remember to stretch!
If you are interested in strengthening your triceps even more, check out my guide on tricep dips. How are your diamond push ups coming along? Have you advanced to an even harder push up variation? Leave a comment below!