Are Diamond Push Ups Good For Your Chest? (Here’s 4 Reasons Why)
So, you been working out hard to get that Chiselled chest and now wondering about diamond push ups?
Diamond push ups are a great body weight exercise that target the triceps and shoulders more than the regular variety.
Are they any good for the chest though?
Is it worth doing them over other variations of push ups?
How many should you be looking to do?
Lets take a look at answering these questions…
Are Diamond Push Ups Good For Your Chest?
Diamond push ups are a good variation to do, although other types of push ups will target the chest more. This variation ultimately works the triceps and shoulders more than it would pinpoint the chest itself. If you wanted to target the chest specifically, it would be advised to use another alternative, such as the “archer push up”. You could try Diamond variations, which include doing them on your knuckles, as this will activate the chest muscles more than palms down or add a weight vest into the mix. If you are new to diamond push ups it is advised you do them off your knees to begin with, so that you aren’t lifting your whole body weight. Also start off by placing your hands narrower than shoulder width, with you working your hands inwards from workout to workout as the movement can feel unnatural, eventually reaching the diamond or “triangle” position. This will allow you to get used to the exercise and movement, while building reps and strength over time.
1. What Are Diamond Push Ups?
Diamond push-ups, which are also known as triangle push-ups, are a more advanced variation of the classic push up. Practice diamond push-ups by bringing your hands close together to form a diamond or triangle shape below your chest. Keep your back and legs in a straight line and push yourself off the ground.
Diamond push-ups target your triceps. The diamond push-up is one of the most effective triceps exercises. The unique hand position of this exercise activates your triceps brachii more than a standard push-up.
It can help you build muscle in your arms and prepare you for other exercises that use your triceps, like the close grip bench press or close grip Australian pull-up.
Instead of having your hands far apart as with a regular push up, you keep them next to one another (or as close as you comfortably can) as you press your body up. You position your hands in the shape of a diamond on the floor when doing this push up, hence the name diamond push ups or “Triangle Push ups” as they are also known.
Due to the biomechanics of the exercise, this push up variation is one of the most challenging. Unlike the classic push up where your chest (pecs) is the primary muscle group that works, your triceps and anterior deltoids do the bulk of the work here.
2. What Are The Benefits?
Due to the narrower position of the hands, more of the load is placed on the triceps. In a study by the American Council on Exercise, found that the diamond push-up is one of thee most effective tricep exercise, followed by dips.
This makes this exercise a top choice for people who want to strengthen their triceps or add more definition to them.
Push-ups all work the shoulders, especially the anterior deltoid…
However, diamond push-ups put more pressure on the shoulder joint, which is excellent for preparing you for further variations.
Since the hands are closer together, they form a smaller base of support. If you couple that with the feet being together, you get an exercise that has a big balance component.
Therefore, it will work your core more: especially your internal and external obliques, the muscles responsible for trunk rotation.
If you’re looking for a good bodyweight movement to train and work your triceps, then diamond push ups are it. This is a unique movement because it does a great job of developing the lateral (outermost) tricep head.
Other diamond push ups benefits include the fact that this movement still trains the chest and shoulders to a significant degree. Plus, unlike many tricep exercises, diamond push ups don’t require any special equipment, and you can do them anywhere at any time, WINNER!
Here is a recap of the great benefits of diamond pushups:
- A great exercise to work your triceps in general.
- One of the best tricep exercises to target the lateral (outside) tricep head.
- They provide an effective workout for three upper body muscle groups: triceps, pecs (chest), and deltoids (shoulders).
Diamond push ups train much more than your chest, shoulder and triceps…they also work your abs, obliques, lats, lower Back, quads, glutes and core.
You’re abs and obliques keep your body in a straight line while you’re propped up on your hands and toes.
They will also be working hard to keep you balanced. This fires up the many stabilisers of your core. Which is very important for posture and energy transfer.
3. Always Check Your Form And Is Hand Position Critical?
Doing diamond push-ups may have diffrent effects depending on how many you can do and how good you do them. If you do less than 15 and you do them slow and well it will give the inner chest more mass and and some defenition. Do more than 15 and fast and your inner chest will look shredded and show more detial but not look as big.
A slight change in hand position results in significant muscle gains, especially in the upper body.
With diamond push ups being a compound exercise, it is crucial that you have the correct posture when performing the exercise.
Always keep your elbows tucked in as much as possible, don’t have them flapping out by your side like an ostrich.
You want to feel like your body is in a tube and you must keep your arms tight against your torso, so they don’t stick out.
Doing this exercise correctly involves the body working in unisone as one, or else you may find yourself feeling it more in one muscle department more than others.
Small changes to your hand position can make a big difference too, its better to work them in to start with, as oppose to trying to pull off the perfect diamond push up right off the bat.
The movement may feel unnatural to some and its worth progressing, rather than getting an injury trying to pull them off straight away.
Don’t get me wrong, some may be ok with them right away, its always worth considering a steady progression all the same.
Also move and change the hand position depending on how the movement feels in your shoulders, moving the hands up past your chest will activate your triceps more or back down towards the lower chest region may help too.
At the lowest position, your hands should be touching your sternum. However, it all depends on how your body is built.
4. Numbers Game And Progress
When looking to progress with diamond push ups, there’s really only one answer and that would be to squeeze out one more.
A good target to work towards would be 4 sets of 20 reps. This will take time but when you can pull this number off, you will be ready for a more difficult variation or for adding weight. Go get em tiger!
You can also start by doing them off your knees, this will help you to get confidence with the movement and make a gradual progression to performing these on your toes.
Always go to failure if possible to bust out one last rep. Over time you will gain strength and be able to perform this movement and reps comfortably.
Just make sure you are patient and enjoy the process.
5. Final Thoughts…
There is no doubt diamond push ups are a great compound exercise that work multiple muscles at once. Make sure to check your form and build up gradually over time.
Mens Health Magazine wrote an article in 2020 stating that you shouldn’t do diamond push ups. Its a valid argument as the exercise can cause massive stress on your triceps having your hands in this position.
They offer an alternative to the diamond push up and explain why this is, but in my humble opinion…diamond push ups can offer you a great alternative to a standard push up and are good for your chest.
They can be difficult and uncomfortable, but that shouldn’t put you off if you are looking for push up alternatives and a diamond push up will definitely help you on your journey to that chest you have been working towards.
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