Diamond Push Ups Muscles Worked

Diamond Push Ups Muscles Worked

If you’re wondering what the diamond push ups muscles worked are, you’re in the right place. Below, we’ll take a closer look into this beloved exercise and go over everything you need to know about it.

Specifically, we’ll go over what muscles the exercise works, what makes diamond push ups different from the other variations, and what you should consider before doing this movement.

Let’s dive in.

Table of Contents

Diamond Push Ups Muscles Worked

The primary muscle involved in the diamond push up is the tricep. Specifically, the exercise does a fantastic job of working the lateral (outermost) head of the tricep, but it also involves your chest and anterior deltoid head to a degree as well.

Diamond push ups are one of the best tricep exercises because it targets the muscle group exceptionally well, keeps your shoulders in a safe position, and the overloading potential is fantastic.

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Triceps – All (3) Heads, with an Emphasis on the Lateral (outside) head

Secondary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Chest (Pecs)
  • Anterior Deltoids (Front Shoulder Muscle)
  • Serratus Anterior
  • Glutes
  • Core
  • Quadriceps
Muscles Worked Doing Diamond Push Ups

What They're Great at Working

Diamond Push Ups Are One of the Best Exercises You Can Do to Work the Lateral (Outside) Head of Your Triceps

Before moving on, it’s also worth noting that you need to do various tricep activities, so your muscles develop in a balanced way. Good examples include tricep extensions, kickbacks, and pressing movements.

What Makes Diamond Push Ups Different From Other Variations?

Though they might seem identical, diamond push ups are much different from your classic variation. To perform them, you need to form a diamond with your hands (hence the name) and position them right below your chest.

This position places your triceps in an advantageous position where they serve as the primary movers. Your shoulders and chest also contribute but to a lesser degree.

In contrast, having your arms spread wide limits tricep activation and instead places most of the emphasis on your chest muscles.

Because of this, diamond push ups tend to be more challenging, and you likely won’t be able to do as many repetitions as you otherwise would.

Important Diamond Push Up Considerations

Here are several essential things to consider:

  1. As briefly discussed above, diamond push ups are more challenging and take strength and practice. Even if you don’t do so well the first time around, keep doing them – you will improve in no time. (1)
  2. You don’t have to form a perfect diamond when you first get started. If you’re having a hard time performing one, position your hands slightly further apart and start from there. As you work and build strength, gradually bring your hands closer until you form the diamond.
  3. Elevated diamond push ups (such as doing them on a bench) is an excellent option for those who can’t yet do many regular repetitions. This takes away some of the resistance and allows you to practice good form as you build strength. Alternatively, you can start on your knees, which achieves the same effect.
  4. In contrast, if diamond push ups feel too easy, you can fill a backpack with books and place it on your back for extra resistance. That way, you can take full advantage of the exercise and challenge yourself enough, even if you’re training at home.

Common Mistakes With Diamond Push-ups

Diamond push-ups are difficult to perform, so there are some common mistakes that people make. Keep these items in mind when performing these push-ups:
  1. Your hands, formed in the shape of a diamond, are not positioned correctly. This mistake can make this already challenging exercise even more difficult. Your hands should be directly under your nipple line when you’re in the up position (start position).
  2. Your elbows are pointing out (to the side) in the down position. The correct arm and elbow position is pointed to the rear at a 45° angle when you’re in the down position. So they should not be flared to your sides.
  3. You lack experience performing this exercise, and you strain your elbows or wrists. The diamond push-up is the hardest push-up to perform. Even harder than it’s first cousin, the decline push-up. The inherent nature of the movement puts pretty intense strain on your elbows and wrists, so progress into the exercise slowly.
See some other effective push-ups that work a varied range of muscle groups:

Click for more bodyweight exercise, and also to see our bodyweight video library.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Harris-Fry, N. (2020, May 27). How to do a diamond push-up. coachmaguk. 

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