Diamond push-ups are a compound exercise that you can do at home or at the gym and it puts emphasis on the triceps and core. The key is to form a triangle shape with your hand and position this at the center of your chest. The index finger touches the opposite index finger, and the thumb touches the opposing thumb, creating a diamond shape figure.
The primary muscles used in triangle push-ups are the pectoralis major, triceps, anterior deltoids, and biceps. The secondary muscles worked are the rectus abdominis, obliques, quadriceps, and glutes as they are used for stabilization when performing this exercise.
Get on all fours and form a diamond or a triangle shape with your hands by connecting your index fingers and thumbs together. Your grip will be much smaller than the traditional push-ups. Place the diamond directly under the center of your chest. Think of it as having your palms in line with your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders outwards to engage your lats.
Push your legs out to lift your knees off the ground to be in a push-up position. Your feet should be straight and together. Ensure that your back is straight, and not too high or sagging by engaging your core, glutes, and quadriceps.
Have your elbows at around 45 degrees angle in relation to your torso, and keep your elbows close to your body. They should not be flared out. This will maximize tricep activation.
Take an inhale through your nose, keeping your core and glutes engaged, and lower your body down toward the ground until your elbows are in line with your ribcage. Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement.
While maintaining your alignment, exhale and begin the upward movement by contracting your chest and straightening your elbows. Your shoulder blades should protract and your arms should be locked out as you push back up to the starting position.
Keep your elbows close to your body and don’t flare them out too much. You should aim for a 45-degree angle between your body and arm as this will maximize your tricep activation.
One of the biggest mistakes in any push-up variation is an arched back, as opposed to the pelvis and stomach pulled in. If you have an arched back it means that you’re not activating the core and glutes. This limits the use of the secondary muscles on the abdominals and it creates a bad form of habbit. Try to check your form by either looking into the mirror or recording yourself when performing push-ups.
You should move on to harder variations once you have achieved your reps and set goals. Not ready for the diamond push-up yet? Don't worry you can regress by doing easier variations such as the knee push-ups or the standard push-ups.
The diamond push-up is one of the most effective exercises that target the triceps and it can bring a lot of definition to the back of your arms. With respect to variation in hand spacing, this study suggests that a narrower grip requires more activity in the triceps brachii while a wider grip activates the pectoralis major muscles. Primarily, when it comes to activating your triceps, the largest muscle group in your arms, there’s no better exercise than the diamond push-ups.
In this exercise, the hand placement is narrower, and the base of support is smaller. This activates the stabilizer muscles in your abdominals, which includes the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis. Your core stabilizes your body, enabling you to move in any direction along with having better balance. You will surely benefit from having an improved balance and stability during everyday activities.
A 2021 study highlights that in order to increase core activation when doing push-ups you can use unstable devices such as medicine balls (check out my top 10 medicine balls for home gym), wobble boards, and suspension equipment such as the TRX or gymnastic rings.
This makes a great choice for exercise routines outside of the gym as it doesn’t require any gym equipment. Your body is your gym and you can take this anywhere! Whether it’s at home, at the gym, or even at the beach! All you need is your body.
The diamond push-up is a compound exercise that works on both your upper body and lower body. With the correct form, this exercise activates your upper body muscles such as the pectoralis major, anterior deltoids, triceps, abdominals, and obliques. It also activates your lower body muscles such as the glutes and quadriceps.
This variation targets your lower chest and back muscles more. It is an easier variation as it uses an elevated surface such as a bench or a plyometric box. This will reduce the load on your triceps as more weight is now distributed to your legs, making your upper body lighter and therefore enable you to perform more reps.
The decline diamond push-ups target the upper chest and anterior deltoids more than the incline variation. It is harder because more of your weight is distributed to your upper body creating more load. Want to learn how to perform this exercise with proper form? Check out this decline push-ups tutorial.
The main difference between diamond or triangle grip push-ups and regular push-ups is the hand position. By placing your hands closer together, more tricep activation will happen to perform the movement. On the other hand, by placing the hands further apart, more chest activation will occur when you perform the movement.
Both variations are great for general fitness but this all depends on your goals. To simply put, diamond push-ups are better for targeting triceps, whereas regular push-ups are better for isolating the chest.
Diamond push-ups are an excellent upper-body exercise to add to your chest and tricep workouts. This is perfect if you're working out at home or whilst traveling as they will be a gains saver, and all you need is your body and the floor to grow muscle anywhere.
If you're after a challenge in your push workouts, then adding diamond push-ups is going level up your training to the next level. You'' have to recruit your core muscles much more than standard push-ups. Ready to test your strength? Try out one of these 10 minutes follow-along chest workouts:
My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.