Why Do Diamond Push Ups Hurt? All The Answers Here
Push ups are a great exercise that allows you to build upper body strength that doesn’t take up much room and can be done pretty much anywhere.
However, when some people try different variations, they find it hurts them.
You might be wondering why diamond push ups hurt.
Especially if you can do a good amount of regular push-ups and want to incorporate other variations into your fitness program.
There are several reasons why this may be the case, let’s look at them and ways of stopping the pain when doing diamond push ups.
Why Do Diamond Push Ups Hurt?
Diamond push ups are a great way to work your chest, but they can be tough on your wrists in particular. The key is to keep your elbows tucked in as it’s natural for them to flair out to the side. If you find that your wrists are hurting, try doing them on an incline, decline, or have you thought about doing them off your knees to reduce the weight you are pressing? If you are new to the exercise the weight you are trying to press might be too much for you to lift. You can also try using a band or towel to help support your wrists. Maybe your plank position isn’t straight, so try putting your legs wider to create more balance or maybe your hand positioning is too high or low so that when you lower your body it puts extra stress on joints. If you have range of motion issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or repetitive stress on the wrists, stop doing diamond push ups and do an alternative exercise that won’t hurt.
so, why do diamond push ups hurt? Let’s find out…
Your form is crucial
When doing any type of push up and if you are not used to the diamond variation, it might take some time to get your form down.
Get into a standard push-up position, but position your hands close together so that your index fingers and thumbs form a diamond shape.
From there, lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause for a count of two and then press back up to the starting position as you exhale.
If you are arching your back, hunching your shoulders or flaring your elbows out to the side, this might be why diamond push ups hurt.
It’s important to keep a straight line from your head to your heels, engage your core and glutes and tuck your elbows in close to your sides.
Remember to keep breathing throughout the exercise.
Pressure on wrists
If you are putting too much pressure on your wrists when doing diamond push ups, this will cause pain.
Having range of motion issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or repetitive stress on the wrists, can make it difficult to do any type of push-up without pain.
Range of motion
If you don’t have a full range of motion when doing diamond pushups, this will put extra pressure on your wrists and may cause pain.
With this push up variation, you are putting a whole lot of weight on your wrists, your entire weight truth be told, so you must have good range of motion in your wrists to do the exercise competently.
Warming up the wrists is as important as warming up before doing any other type of exercise.
Make sure you warm up the wrists before attempting to do the exercise by doing some wrist circles or forearm curls with a very light weight or even no weights.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, this is a condition that causes pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and wrist. Doing any type of push-up when you have this condition will aggravate the symptoms.
It is well advised to avoid any kind of exercise which puts pressure on the wrists, and it’s best to see a doctor regarding the matter.
Ganglion cysts are lumps that form on the tendons or joints of your wrist or hand.
These cysts are usually not harmful, but they can cause pain and discomfort. If you have a ganglion cyst on your wrist, doing diamond push ups will only make the pain worse.
It’s best to consult with a doctor to see if you need to have the cyst removed or if you should just avoid any exercises which put pressure on the wrist.
Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common type is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease.
Putting any kind of repetitive stress on the wrists will only aggravate the symptoms.
All of the above are a little extreme and more than likely won’t be why diamond push ups hurt, so don’t panic, but there is the odd occasion when one of them might be why push ups hurt.
If you are experiencing pain in your wrists, then please go see a doctor and put your mind at rest.
Pressure on shoulders
If you are putting too much pressure on your shoulders when doing diamond push ups, this will cause pain.
Your shoulder joints are not designed to handle a lot of weight and they are not as stable as your elbow joints.
If you are putting too much pressure on your shoulders, it’s best to find a different exercise to do until your shoulder joints have become stronger.
This might be down to the fact your hand positioning is too high when lowering your body down during the movement.
When lowering your body to the ground, your hands should be positioned at the centre of your chest or just above and not any higher (like near your neck or chin).
Experiment with different hand positions until the movement feels comfortable enough to do without any shoulder discomfort.
There are plenty of other exercises you can do that don’t put so much pressure on the shoulder joints.
Pressure on elbows
Check that your elbows are not flaring out to the side, but tucked in close to your body.
You also want to make sure that you are not putting all the pressure on your wrists, but balanced between your wrists and arms.
If you keep your elbows close to your body it will help take the pressure off your wrists and help the whole movement feel a lot more comfortable.
It’s also worth noting that if you do have any pain in your elbows, it might be due to the fact you are doing the exercise on your toes.
When doing diamond push ups on your toes, all your bodyweight is going through your arms and into your elbows.
A better option would be to do the exercise on your knees, which will reduce the amount of weight going through your arms and into your elbows (more on this later).
Plank is off
When doing the plank position at the top of the press up, make sure your core is engaged and your back is straight.
If your hips are sagging or your back is rounding, it will put unnecessary strain on your lower back and could lead to pain.
When in the plank position, you want your feet to be hip-width apart and your legs to be straight.
If you find it difficult to keep your legs straight, you can place your knees on the ground.
Your body wants to be straight from your head, down to your feet.
If you have a weaker core, you may find it a struggle to balance your body in this position.
A great way to build up the strength in your core is by doing planks on a regular basis.
The ground you’re pushing off
When doing any type of push up, you want to make sure that the ground you are pushing off is sturdy and not slippery.
If the ground is slippery, it will make it more difficult to maintain good form and could lead to injury.
It’s also important to make sure that your hands are not too close or too far away from your feet.
If your hands are too close to your feet, it will be difficult to lower your body down far enough.
If your hands are too far away from your feet, it will be difficult to push your body back up to the starting position.
Your hands should be positioned directly under your shoulders.
Your body weight
If you are carrying too much body weight, it will make it more difficult to do any type of push up.
Losing a little weight will make the exercise a lot easier and more comfortable to do, as well as reduce pressure on your joints.
Once again, start doing the exercise on your knees to reduce the weight you are pressing.
Once you are stronger, a little lighter, plus your form has improved, you should be able to do the movement off your toes.
Not warming up
If you are not warming up before doing any type of exercise, this will increase your chances of getting injured.
A simple warm-up could involve doing some light cardio for 5-10 minutes followed by some dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching that involves moving your body through a range of motion.
A few examples of dynamic stretches are arm swings, leg swings, torso rotations, gentle lunges and wrist circles.
Warming up before exercise will help to increase your heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature.
It will also help to reduce any stiffness in your muscles and prepare your body for the exercise ahead.
Change hand position
If you have problems doing the exercise with your finger and thumb touching, begin by doing the movement like a regular push up and then reduce the gap between your hands and repeat.
As you get stronger, you can then begin to bring your hands closer and closer together until they are touching.
if you have range of motion issues or suffered an injury previously, it may not be possible to do the movement with your hands touching.
If this is the case, don’t worry, just keep the gap between your hands as small as possible.
You may also find it helpful to place a small object (such as a tennis ball) between your hands while doing the exercise.
This will help to keep your hands in the correct position and stop them from moving around too much.
Do alternative exercise
If you find that doing diamond push ups is still too painful, there are a few other exercises you can do that will target the same muscle groups.
Some examples of alternative exercises are:
- Regular push ups
- Close grip push ups
- Tricep dips
- Close grip bench press
- Overhead press
- Lateral raise
- Front raise
- Bent over row
- Pull ups
- Chin ups
All of these exercises will help to strengthen your chest, shoulders and arms.
Start by doing each exercise for 1-2 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sets and repetitions you do.
Try changing the angle of the press
If you find that your wrists are still hurting or you are struggling with the exercise, you can try changing the angle of the press up.
Try doing them against a wall. If you do them against a wall, it can help you keep good form and ensure that you are doing the exercise correctly.
You can then use a bench or chair to make the exercise a bit harder.
Don’t forget about your foot placement, widening your stance will make it easier to balance and give you more stability, as opposed to having feet together, as this is half the challenge, consider this if you are doing the variation on your knees.
The correct muscle activation can make all the difference when trying to do any type of push-up, so make sure you focus on using the right muscles.
Once you can do these variations easily, try doing regular diamond pushups again.
Use wrist straps?
If you are prone to weaker wrists from exercising, you could try using wrist straps.
Wrist straps are pieces of fabric or leather that you wrap around your wrists.
They help to take the pressure off your wrists and allow you to do the exercise with less pain.
You can find wrist straps at most sporting goods stores or online.
Doing the diamond pushup with wrist straps is not the ideal way to do the exercise, but it may help you to get through the pain so that you can continue to strengthen your chest and arms.
If you decide to use wrist straps, make sure that you don’t use them all the time.
You should only use them when you are having pain in your wrists and you need a little bit of help.
Over time, you should be able to do the exercise without the wrist straps.
Remember, if you are feeling any pain it’s your body’s way of telling you something, so don’t continue to persevere or you may cause more harm.
If you find that you can’t do the exercise without the wrist straps, it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to find out if there is an underlying condition that is causing the pain.
Diamond pushups are a great exercise for strengthening your chest and arms.
However, they can be tough on your wrists in particular.
The key is to keep your elbows tucked in and to use a small object (such as a tennis ball) between your hands to help keep them in the correct position.
If you find that your wrists are still hurting, you can try doing the exercise with wrist straps or against a wall.
You can also try other exercises that target the same muscle groups.
If you are still having pain, it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to find out if there is an underlying condition that is causing the pain.
Have you noticed diamond push ups hurt? If so, how did you stop the problem? Let me know in the comments below.