If you are looking for a full-body exercise that will work your triceps, you should add diamond push-ups to your workout routine.
Warm up very well
Warming up before a workout is one of the most important, but ironically, most overlooked things we should do. A good warm-up prepares the body and mind for exercise, enhances our performance, and helps us avoid injury and soreness.
When it comes to diamond push-ups, a good warm-up is even more important. This is because the arm angle in this push-up variation can put some strain on your elbows and wrists. The movement itself is a little awkward. Taking extra time to warm up these areas (wrists and elbows) can save you a lot of trouble.
So rotate your elbows and wrists for a few minutes to make sure they are fully warmed up and ready.
Practice makes perfect
The benefits of diamond push-ups are numerous. But it takes time to master the exercise and reap its benefits. When you first start doing diamond push-ups, you may find them awkward and difficult. But with perseverance, you can perfect them.
For example, if you find them impossible at first, you can do a modified version and rest on your knees instead of your toes. In this way, you can reduce some of the resistance until you gather enough strength to do the classic version.
How to use it effectively
The great thing about diamond push-ups is that you can use them to supplement a full push-up workout. There’s a reason why push-ups are considered one of the best bodyweight exercises.
You can start your workout with this more challenging variation and then slowly progress to less challenging push-ups as you get more tired.
What are diamond pushups?
Diamond push-ups, also known as triangle push-ups, are an advanced variation of the classic push-up. Practice diamond push-ups by bringing your hands together so that they form a diamond or triangle shape underneath your chest. Keep your back and legs in a straight line and push off from the floor.
4 Advantages of Diamond Push Ups
Consider these diamond push ups benefits :
Diamond push-ups work your triceps. The diamond push-up is one of the most effective triceps exercises. The unique hand position in this bodyweight exercise activates your triceps brachii more than a regular push-up. It can help you build muscle in your arms and prepare you for other exercises that use the triceps, such as bench presses or close grip pull-ups.
Diamond push-ups work multiple muscle groups in your body. The diamond push-up is a compound exercise that works both your upper body and lower body. When performed correctly, diamond push-ups activate chest muscles like the pectoralis major, shoulder muscles like the anterior deltoid, and leg muscles like the quadriceps.
Diamond push-ups increase core stability and strength. The diamond push-up activates the stabilizing muscles in your core, including the transverse abdominal muscle. By strengthening your core muscles, diamond push-ups improve your balance during everyday activities.
Diamond push-ups are a good workout to do at home. Similar to the regular push-up, the diamond push-up variation requires no equipment, making it an easy choice for a workout program outside of the gym.
How to do diamond pushups with proper form
Start with 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions for the diamond push-up. Choose sets and repetitions so that you can maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.
Start on all fours with your knees and toes bent and in contact with the floor. Your hips should be above your knees. Your hands should be slightly narrower than your shoulders. Connect your thumbs and index fingers to form a diamond. Grasp the floor with your hands and rotate your shoulders outward to tighten your lats.
Extend your legs through and lift your knees off the floor so that you are in a push-up position. Your legs should be hip-width apart or together.
Tighten your shoulders and hips as you tighten your core. Tighten your quads and glutes. Your chin should remain bent as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All reps should start from this position.
Pull your chest toward your hands by bending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should pull back as you lower yourself to the floor.
Lower your body until your upper arms are next to your chest. Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement.
Maintaining your alignment, initiate the upward movement by compressing your chest and extending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should contract as you lead the movement upward.
Finish the movement by tightening your chest and triceps.
3 Diamond Push-Up Variations
Once you have mastered the diamond push-up, try one of these variations:
Perform the downward-facing diamond push-up by lifting your feet onto a bench or chair while keeping your hands together. This variation will primarily work your upper chest muscles.
Inclined diamond push-up:
This variation of the push-up puts less strain on your arms because your upper body remains elevated during the exercise. It focuses on your chest and core muscles.
Wall diamond push-up:
Practice this variation by standing facing a wall and placing your hands against the wall in the shape of a triangle. Push-ups against the wall are an easier variation that puts less stress on your shoulder joints.
How to exercise safely and avoid injury
If you have a pre-existing health condition, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to achieve optimal results depending on your individual needs.
Always choose a weight that gives you full control of your body throughout the movement. Pay close attention to your body during each exercise and stop immediately if you feel pain or discomfort.
To make continued progress and strengthen your body, add proper warm-up exercises, rest and nutrition to your exercise program. Your results will ultimately depend on your ability to recover adequately from your workout. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before exercising the same muscle groups again to ensure adequate recovery.
Performing a Diamond Push-up
In this exercise, it is not essential that you form a diamond shape with your hands. The idea is to keep your hands closer together than in a traditional push-up. The actual distance may vary, but the goal is to keep the hands closer together so that the triceps brachii are more engaged.
The set-up is similar to a traditional push-up, where you assume a high plank with your feet parallel to your hips and your hands on the ground below your chest. The hands and index fingers are brought together almost directly under the chest, creating a diamond or triangular shape. The body should be tense and straight, which can be maintained by tensing the thighs and gluteal muscles to increase support.
As the chest is lowered toward the floor, the elbows must point back toward the feet. Lower the body until the arms are at the sides of the chest. Pause for one second before initiating the upward movement. As you maintain alignment, the body is propelled upward, pushing the floor away until the elbows are extended.
Several muscles work together to perform the diamond push-up. The primary muscle is the triceps brachii, while the secondary muscles are the pectoralis (chest muscles), deltoids (shoulders) and serratus anterior.
During a classic push-up, the pectoralis muscles are activated more than the triceps brachii. However, studies have shown that diamond push-ups result in greater activation of both the triceps and pectoralis muscles than a classic push-up. This means that while the diamond push-up is considered a triceps-dominant exercise, this workout actually activates the pectorals better as well.
In addition to the upper extremity muscles, push-ups generally activate the core, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps femoris and calf muscles. These muscles help keep the body tense to maintain the plank position while performing the exercise.
Advantages of the diamond push-up
Although the diamond push-up is a bodyweight exercise and therefore does not involve the use of any equipment, it still comes with a number of benefits. These benefits include an increase in triceps activity, an increase in chest activity, an improvement in core strength and stability, and a strengthening of the shoulders.
What are diamond push ups good for
Increased triceps activity
A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) claims that diamond push-ups are the best and most effective triceps exercise. This is followed by triceps kickbacks and dips.
The increase in triceps activity during this workout is due to the closer position of the hands, which puts more stress on the triceps. This is supported by another study, which found that electrical activity in the triceps brachii is higher during diamond push-ups than during classic push-ups.
Increased activity of the chest
There is a common belief that the diamond push-up activates the pectoral muscles less than the classic push-up. However, studies have shown that diamond push-ups not only activate the triceps more, but also the pectoralis muscles. Therefore, this workout is also suitable for building muscles in the chest.
Improves nuclear power and stability
Due to the narrow base created by the hand position in a diamond push-up, balance becomes a challenge when performing the exercise. To maintain balance, this exercise engages the core muscles, especially the muscles responsible for trunk rotation, such as the external and internal abdominal muscles. Recruiting the trunk muscles to maintain balance results in improved strength and stability.
Improved shoulder strength
Placing your hands close together during a push-up will put more stress on your shoulders, especially the anterior deltoid muscle. Diamond push-ups can therefore lead to stronger and better defined shoulders.
Since the diamond push-up strengthens the anterior deltoid muscle, it is a good preparatory exercise before you move on to workouts that use this muscle more. Exercises that require greater strength of the anterior deltoid muscle include apartment push-ups and one-arm push-ups.
Common mistakes with diamond pushups
With any type of exercise, you must ensure proper form and technique to avoid the risk of injury. You should avoid the following mistakes to maximize the benefits of diamond push-ups.
It is important that you do not bring your hands too far forward. If the hands are positioned higher than the shoulders, it can put undue stress on other muscles and joints. In this position, the core and gluteal muscles are not properly engaged, so the hips appear to be higher and stick out at an angle.
To correct this error, the hands must be directly under the shoulders in the high plank position and the glutes and core muscles must be tight throughout the movement.
One of the most common mistakes in push-ups is that the elbows point outward or to the side. The angle between the upper body and the arm must be about 45 degrees, and the participant should point the elbows toward the toes.
Lowering the hips
It is important to keep the body in a straight line throughout the exercise. The hips should be level with the shoulders from start to finish. If you over-extend the lumbar spine, the hips will “drop” and place unnecessary stress on the spine. This happens because the trunk muscles are not properly tightened. The trunk muscles, especially the abdominal muscles, must contract sufficiently to keep the body in a straight line.
Progressing too quickly
The tight hand position in diamond push-ups puts more stress on the elbows than a traditional push-up. Due to the biomechanics of this push-up variation, improper execution can lead to elbow pain. To avoid injury, it is important to master a normal push-up and slowly increase over the course of a few weeks by bringing your hands closer together.
What are diamond push-ups good for?
The diamond push-up is a compound exercise that works both your upper body and lower body. When performed properly, diamond push-ups activate chest muscles like the pectoralis major, shoulder muscles like the anterior deltoid, and leg muscles like the quadriceps.
Are Diamond Pushups Bad?
Diamond pushups do not ‘break’ your shoulders, but they do cause some impingement in the shoulder joint and restrict elbow travel. A better alternative can be anything – regular pushups, close grip pushups, or whatever. No pushup is better than another, they all target different muscles, require different loads, etc.
Are diamond pushups better than regular pushups?
In a traditional push-up, the pectoralis muscles are activated more than the triceps brachii. However, studies have shown that diamond push-ups result in greater activation of both the triceps and pectoralis muscles than a classic push-up.
Why are diamond push-ups so hard?
Diamond pushups primarily strengthen the triceps – and they are harder than other tri moves and regular pushups. Your base is less stable when your hands are in a tight diamond position, which forces your triceps to do most of the work, not your pecs, McCall says.