diamond push-upsWhat are the muscles that diamond push-ups work and how does this benefit the body? Learn more about that and how to do diamond push-ups the right way in this article!
In this article:
- What Are Diamond Push-Ups?
- What Do Diamond Push-Ups Work Out?
- How to Do Diamond Push-Ups
- Variations of the Diamond Push-Up
- Optimizing the Benefits of the Diamond Push-Up
Diamond Push-Ups: Muscles Worked and How to Do It Right
What Are Diamond Push-Ups?
For those looking to build an iron chest, nothing can beat diamond push-ups in achieving that. In fact, this exercise is also excellent for growing the triceps.
Some even prefer diamond push-ups over the regular ones because it builds the upper pecs more effectively, it engages the triceps better, and it’s easier on the body.
This goes without saying that any new exercise can cause pressure and strain on certain muscles and joints. This is why it’s so important to nail down the proper technique of doing diamond push-ups to prevent any injuries.
What Do Diamond Push-Ups Work Out?
1. Triceps Branchii
Traditional push-ups focus mainly on the chest muscles, with assistance from the triceps and shoulders muscles. Diamond push-ups focus mainly on the triceps brachii muscles.
The triceps work together with the biceps to enable the forearm to extend and retract. The triceps also play an important role in stabilizing the shoulder.
Since the shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion, it’s more susceptible to instability. So, working out the triceps with the diamond push-up will help keep the shoulder joint stable.
2. Deltoid and Pectoralis Major
The shoulder and chest muscles assist the triceps in pushing the upper body up from the ground in this exercise. That’s why it also gets a nice workout when doing diamond push-ups.
3. Biceps Branchii
Today we're focusing on the Biceps Branchii! The biceps brachii is a bi-articular muscle, which means that it helps control the motion of two different joints, the shoulder and the elbow. #downtownshealthcare #downtowndenver #colorado pic.twitter.com/vrWAg3xm7x
— Downtown's Healthcare (@CORegenMed) December 17, 2018
In this exercise, the biceps are the dynamic stabilizers. The biceps primary role is to ensure the joints remain steady during the exercise.
4. Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, and Quadriceps
Similar to doing any type of push-up, it is important to keep the body stable. The core and thigh muscles act as stabilizers so the body can maintain the right posture throughout the exercise.
How to Do Diamond Push-Ups
The main difference between regular and diamond push-ups is that the hands are positioned together under the chest, forming a diamond shape. Again, it’s crucial to get the form spot on, so these are the steps to follow when doing diamond push-ups:
- Begin by assuming the starting position. Get down on all fours with the hands together positioned beneath the chest’s center. Make a diamond shape with both hands by joining together the index fingers and the thumbs.
- Extend or straighten the arms and keep the body straight to form an inclined plank. This is the starting position.
- Start bringing down the torso towards the diamond-shaped hands. Elbows must stay close to the body and not flare out while keeping the entire back flat the whole time.
- When the chest is close to touching the floor, stop. Then, push the torso up again to return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
- Do 5 sets of 20 reps.
- Keeping the elbows close to the body will activate the upper pecs and help stabilize the shoulder joint.
- Before lowering the body, make sure to brace the ab and glute muscles and keep them tight when doing the push-up.
- When lifting the body, squeeze the upper pecs and always keep the elbows in!
- If one is still new to doing diamond push-ups, it is recommended to start slow and focus on the proper movement and form.
Variations of the Diamond Push-Up
1. The Beginner’s Version: Table or Countertop Diamond Push-Ups
- Stand two to three feet away from a sturdy and solid table or a kitchen counter.
- Make a diamond shape with both hands by joining together the index fingers and the thumbs.
- Lean forward and place both hands on the edge of the table or counter.
- Extend or straighten the arms and keep the body straight to form a plank with a much greater incline than the standard diamond push-ups on the floor. This is the starting position.
- Start bringing down the torso towards the diamond-shaped hands. Elbows must stay close to the body and not flare out while keeping the entire back flat all the time.
- When the chest is close to touching the edge of the countertop or table, stop. Then, push the torso up again to return to the starting position to complete one repetition.
2. The Advanced Version: Elevated Diamond Push-Ups
Perform the standard version of the diamond push-up on the floor. The only difference is instead of being on the floor, both feet must be elevated on a stepping board or a flat bench.
Optimizing the Benefits of the Diamond Push-Up
1. Shoulder Blade Movement
To make it more challenging, squeeze the shoulder blades together at the bottom. When pushing back up, let the shoulder blades go out of each other.
To give more work to the chest and shoulder muscles, increase the range of motion when pushing back up. This means letting the shoulder blades push out even more at the top of the movement.
2. Chest Out, Shoulders Back
The most common mistake people make with push-ups, both diamond and regular, is hanging or pushing the shoulders forward at the top of the movement. Why is this a problem?
Doing so takes much tension away from the triceps and transfers it to the shoulder muscles. Remember that the primary target muscle groups for this exercise are the triceps and the chest. The shoulders are only secondary.
By keeping the shoulders out and back throughout the movement, much of the weight continues to rest on the triceps.
3. Optimal Core Position
Most people who do pushups tend to fail in this area. Their core tends to sag or bend backward during the movement, which increases the risks for lower back injuries.
Failure to maintain an ideal core position, i.e., a straight and tight one, throughout the movement puts one at risk for lower back injuries. It also removes a significant amount of tension from the triceps, preventing optimal workout of said muscles.
Learn how to do a diamond push-up with the proper form in this video from ScottHermanFitness:
Without a shadow of a doubt, diamond push-ups work out the upper pecs and triceps like no other exercise can. That’s why it’s considered one of the best, if not the best way, to build muscular and stronger chest and arms.
What is your favorite type of push-up to do and how does it benefit you? Let us know in the comments section below.