You can do the classic pushup in different ways to change things up. Find out how to do diamond pushups and what changes.
Diamond pushups are a type of close-grip pushup where your thumbs and index fingers touch each other to make a diamond-like shape.
Interestingly enough, the difference in upper arm angle this causes also influences what muscles you focus on the most.
Diamond pushups will typically work your triceps (back upper arms) and front deltoids (shoulders) more and your chest muscles less.
This can be good or bad depending on your training goals.
One thing you do want to keep in mind is that diamond pushups are harder.
Resistance training beginners will potentially not be able to do them in the set and rep ranges that are ideal for their training goals.
How to do a diamond pushup
Take the following steps to do a diamond pushup:
- Sit on your hands and knees with your hands in a diamond position. This means index fingers and thumbs touching each other.
- Step back with your feet until you are in a straight line from your heels to your head.
- Slowly lower your upper body as far as comfortable by folding your arms. Keep your upper arms at angles of 45 degrees or less to your sides.
- Push yourself back up in a controlled motion until your arms are slightly less than stretched.
The most important point is keeping your upper arms at the right angles during diamond pushups.
Additionally, you generally want to make sure you keep your hips high enough to avoid any discomfort in your lower back.
Muscles worked with diamond pushups
The main muscles diamond pushups work are your triceps (back upper arms), front deltoids (shoulders), and chest muscles.
Diamond pushups also engage your abs, hip flexors, and quadriceps to some extent.
Compared to regular pushups, diamond pushups tend to focus more on your triceps and front deltoids and less on your chest muscles.
One important thing to note is that you still need to do enough diamond pushups with enough repetitions and resistance for your training goals.
For example, to grow your triceps and front deltoids, you would do 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 diamond pushups.
However, diamond pushups are hard because your triceps and front deltoids are a lot weaker than your chest.
There will be many people who are not able to reach the ranges above. For these individuals, diamond pushups are not ideal (yet).
In a situation like this, you want to start with the regular version and other pushup progressions.
People who need more resistance to do diamond pushups effectively can consider the decline version or the diamond variation of one of the weighted pushups.
Benefits of diamond pushups
The benefits of diamond pushups are relatively similar to the regular version but it is worth mentioning them here too.
- Stronger muscles: Diamond pushups allow you to work certain muscles in a large range of motion. This makes it easier to grow and strengthen them.
- Different muscle engagement: By changing your hand position, diamond pushups focus on your muscles in a different ratio. This can be good or bad depending on your goals.
- No equipment or location required: You can do diamond pushups with just your body and some room. This is budget and location-friendly.
- You may enjoy them more: Choosing an exercise you like can benefit consistency. This could be the case for you when it comes to diamond pushups.
- Can help you get bigger and more toned arms: Growing your tricep muscles with diamond pushups can make your arms bigger and tone them. Many people will find this a visual benefit.
Even if these are not unique effects, it is nice to know that diamond pushups can make your life better in these ways.
Diamond pushup alternatives
While diamond pushups can still be the right choice for the right people, you don’t have to stick to this exercise.
You can also consider some of these diamond pushup alternatives instead:
- Tricep pushups
- Regular pushups
- High to low plank
- Tricep pushdowns
- Front raises
- Skull crushers
Which of these alternatives are the best choices for you depends on things like why you are interested in diamond pushups and why you don’t love them after all.
Are diamond pushups a good exercise?
Diamond pushups can be a good exercise for somewhat more advanced lifters to work their triceps, front deltoids, and to some extent their chest muscles.
By putting your hands so close together, diamond pushups tend to focus more on your triceps and front deltoids and less on your chest muscles than the regular version.
If you like this different ratio of muscle engagement, diamond pushups can be a good choice.
One thing you do want to keep in mind is that diamond pushups are also a nice amount harder.
This is relevant because there are certain minimum amounts of reps and sets that are optimal for certain training goals.
In simpler words, resistance training beginners may not be able to do enough diamond pushups to see their desired results.
These people can start with regular pushups or other alternatives instead of the diamond version to start making their muscles stronger.
What are diamond pushups good for?
Diamond pushups are good for making the regular version focus more on your triceps (back upper arms) and front deltoids (shoulders).
Are diamond pushups better?
Diamond pushups are not necessarily better or worse than the regular version. Your training goals and personal preferences will influence this a lot.
Are diamond pushups the hardest?
While they are up there, diamond pushups are typically not considered the hardest variation.
Other options like sphinx pushups and superman pushups tend to be more challenging.
Are diamond pushups harder than regular pushups?
Yes, diamond pushups are harder than regular pushups because your triceps and front deltoids are typically weaker than your chest muscles.