What are Diamond Push Ups? 

Diamond push ups are a compound calisthenics exercise that you can do at home or at the gym. It is a progression to the traditional push ups as it relies on the triceps and limits the involvement of shoulder and chest muscles. This exercise is for those who are at the intermediate level. The key is to form a triangle shape with your hand and position this at the centre of your chest. The index finger touches the opposite index finger, and the thumb touches the opposing thumb, creating a diamond shape figure. If triceps activation is what you’re after, then this exercise is the right one for you!

What muscles do Diamond Push Ups work?

The primary muscles worked are the pectorialis major, triceps, anterior deltoids, biceps. The secondary muscles worked are rectus abdominis, obliques, quadriceps, glutes as they are used for stabilisation when performing this exercise.

How to do Diamond Push Ups?

1. Get On All Fours

Get down all on 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 centre of your chest. Think of it as having your palms in line with your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders outwards to engage your lats. 


2. Straighten Out Your Legs

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.

3. Elbows In A 45 Degrees Angle 

Have your elbows at around 45 degrees angle in relation to your torso, keep your elbows close to your body. They should not be flared out. This will maximise tricep activation.

4.Lower Yourself Down Steadily

Take an inhale through your nose, keeping core and glutes engaged, lower your body down towards the ground steadily until your elbows are in line with your ribcage. Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement.

5. Push Back Up Steadily

While maintaining your alignment, exhale and begin the upward movement by contracting your chest and straightening your elbows. Your shoulder blades should protract and arms should be locked out as you push back up to the starting position.

What are the common mistakes?

1.Elbows Flared Out

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 maximise your tricep activation.

2. Arched back

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 and it creates a bad form. Try to check your form by either looking into the mirror or recording yourself when performing push ups.

Diamond Push Ups Workout

  • Beginners should perform between 4-6 reps, for 4 sets, 3 times a week.
  • Intermediate level athletes should perform between 7-19 reps, for 4 sets, 3 times a week.
  • Advanced level athletes should perform 20+ reps or more for 4 sets, 3 times a week.

You should move on to harder variations once you have achieved your reps and set goals.

What are the benefits of Diamond Push Ups?

1. Target Your Triceps

The Diamond Push Up is one of the most effective exercises that target triceps and it can bring a lot of definition to the back of your arms. The unique hand position of this calisthenics exercises activates your triceps more than the traditional push ups. 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.

2. Increase Core Stability And Strength

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. 

3. No Equipment Needed

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. 

4. Works On Multiple Muscles Of 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. 

What are the different variations to Diamond Push Ups?

Incline Diamond Push Ups

This variation targets your lower chest and back muscles more. It is an easier variation as it uses an elevated surface. It will reduce load on your triceps as more weight is now distributed to your legs, making your upper body lighter. Therefore, enabling you to perform more reps.


Decline Diamond Push Ups

The decline Diamond Push Ups targets 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.

About the Author

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.