The push-up is an exercise that works the chest, or pectoral, muscles; the deltoids, or shoulders; and triceps. Variations on the push-up can focus more emphasis on the different muscles involved. One of those variations is the diamond push-up. The diamond push-up is performed with the hands next to each other, under the chest, with the index fingers and thumbs of both hands touching, to form a diamond. Like many other exercises, this one too can be modified.
Standard Diamond Push-Ups
To perform a diamond push-up, start in the standard push-up position, with one notable exception: Instead of placing your hands outside of your shoulders, place them under your chest with your index fingers and thumbs touching to form a diamond. Lower your upper body, by flexing your elbows to the outside of the body, to the point that your chest almost touches your hands. Push your hands into the floor and extend your elbows so that your upper body returns to its starting position to complete the first repetition. Repeat 10 to 12 times over two to three sets. This exercises shifts the focus to the triceps rather than the chest.
Diamond Push-ups to the Forehead
To perform this variation of the diamond push-up, start by getting into the standard push-up position with your hands in the diamond position under your head. Raise your hips as high into the air as you can while keeping your head over your hands.Your legs should be perfectly straight. Slowly lower your upper body in a downward motion so that your forehead touches your hands. Push your hands into the ground and extend your elbows to thrust you upper body back to the starting position, with your head over your hands and hips high into the air. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions over two to three sets. This variation puts emphasis on the shoulders and triceps, rather than the chest.
To perform diamond scoops, start in the same position as the head-touch diamond push-ups. Flex your elbows in the same motion to touch your forehead to your hands. However, instead of touching your forehead, after lowering your upper body, drop your hips and arch your back to slowly bring your chest over top of your hands. Slowly reverse your movement sequence by sliding your head back over your hands, and thrust your upper body back into the air by pushing your hands into the ground and extending your elbows. Repeat this movement sequence for 10 to 12 repetitions over two to three sets. This movement involves both the shoulders and triceps, along with the primary mover, the chest.
About this Author
Brian Bowden began writing professionally in 2008 for “American Football Monthly” and “Gridiron Strategies.” He is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise and sport science from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Education in elementary education from Widener University.