Once you master the major bodyweight exercises, you’ll be amazed at how well-stocked your fitness arsenal is, because it only takes small tweaks to the standard version of each to change the difficulty of the move and which muscles it targets.
The diamond push-up is a great example of this. While all kinds of push-ups work the chest, shoulders and triceps, moving your hands closer than in a classic push-up puts the focus firmly on your triceps, turning it into one of the, if not the, best triceps exercises. In contrast, spread your hands wide apart to target the chest.
Diamond push-ups are also a sizeable step up in difficulty from the standard push-up, so don’t be surprised if you fail after doing half as many diamond push-ups as you can normally manage.
How To Do A Diamond Push-Up
Get on all fours with your hands together under your chest. Position your index fingers and thumbs so they’re touching, forming a diamond shape, and extend your arms so that your body is elevated and forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
Lower your chest towards your hands, ensuring you don’t flare your elbows out to the sides and keeping your back flat. Stop just before your chest touches the floor, then push back up to the starting position.
Diamond Push-Up Variations
The diamond push-up is hard, so if you’re finding it tough to get through more than a handful of them at a time, don’t be afraid to drop onto your knees to complete a few more reps. If you’re really struggling, reverting to the classic version of the exercise to build your strength up is another savvy strategy.
On the other hand, if standard diamond push-ups are not hard enough for you, then you can try to do them with your feet elevated. Put your feet on a bench or, tougher still, a gym ball and then do the exercise. The instability of supporting yourself on an gym ball will make for a stern test of your core strength while you complete your push-ups.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.