In the world of calisthenics, push ups are one of the most classic and effective exercises you can do to strengthen your upper body. And if you’re looking to give your triceps and chest a real challenge, incline diamond push ups are an excellent variation to add to your routine. By placing your hands in a diamond shape on an elevated surface, you can target these muscles in a new way and build serious strength and definition. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to perform incline diamond push-ups with proper form, avoid common mistakes, and gradually progress to more challenging variations. So grab a sturdy surface to elevate your hands and get ready to work those arms!
Benefits of incline diamond push-ups
Incline diamond push-ups are a fantastic exercise to strengthen your upper body, particularly your triceps and chest muscles. By placing your hands in a diamond shape on an elevated surface, you shift more of the workload to these muscle groups and away from the shoulders and back.
The triceps, located on the back of your upper arm, are responsible for extending your elbow joint and straightening your arm. Incline diamond push-ups work these muscles in a unique way, challenging them to handle the majority of the bodyweight as you lower and lift your body. This targeted work can lead to increased strength and size in the triceps, creating a more defined and toned appearance.
Similarly, the chest muscles are also heavily engaged during incline diamond push-ups. The pectoralis major, located on the front of your chest, helps to adduct and flex the arm towards the body. By placing your hands in a diamond shape and performing push-ups on an incline, you create more tension in the chest muscles and encourage greater muscle growth and definition.
In addition to targeting the triceps and chest muscles, incline diamond push-ups can also help to increase upper body strength and muscle definition. By performing this exercise regularly, you can build up the necessary strength to progress to more challenging variations and exercises, such as regular push-ups or dips. And as your muscles grow and become more defined, you’ll have the added benefit of feeling and looking stronger overall.
So if you’re looking to add a new challenge to your upper body workout, incline diamond push-ups are definitely worth trying!
Before you start performing incline diamond push-ups, it’s important to warm up your upper body to prevent injury and improve your range of motion. Here’s a simple warm-up routine you can do before beginning the exercise:
- Shoulder rolls: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, making sure to move them all the way up and back. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch to rolling your shoulders backward for another 10 reps.
- Arm circles: Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Make small circles with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles until your arms are making large circles. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch directions and do 10 more reps.
- Chest stretches: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended behind your back. Clasp your hands together and lift your arms upward, feeling a stretch in your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release and repeat for another 2-3 reps.
Now that you’re warmed up, it’s time to find a stable elevated surface for the incline push-up. This could be a bench, step, or even a sturdy chair. The key is to make sure it’s stable and won’t wobble or move around as you’re performing the exercise.
Once you’ve found your elevated surface, you’ll need to measure the correct height. A good rule of thumb is to place your hands on the surface and make sure your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. This will ensure that you’re in the correct position to perform the exercise with proper form.
If you’re new to incline diamond push-ups, it’s a good idea to start with a higher incline and work your way down to a lower incline as you get stronger. You can also start with modified push-ups on your knees and work your way up to the full exercise. Remember, it’s better to start with a lower intensity and work your way up gradually to avoid injury and build strength safely.
How to Perform Incline Diamond Push-Ups
Now that you’re warmed up and have found a stable elevated surface, it’s time to perform the exercise. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do incline diamond push-ups with proper form:
- Start by placing your hands on the elevated surface, with your fingers forming a diamond shape underneath your chest. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Extend your legs behind you, so that you’re in a plank position with your body in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Engage your core muscles and keep your elbows close to your body as you lower your chest towards the elevated surface. Your elbows should form a 45-degree angle with your body.
- Pause for a moment when your chest is just above the elevated surface, then push back up to the starting position.
- Exhale as you push up and inhale as you lower your body.
- Repeat for your desired number of reps, aiming to maintain proper form throughout the exercise.
To help you visualize the correct form for decline diamond push-ups, we’ve included a reference video below.
For beginners, it’s important to start with a higher incline and work your way down to a lower incline as you get stronger. You can also start with modified push-ups on your knees, which will still engage the triceps and chest muscles, but with less intensity. As you build up your strength, gradually move to a lower incline and then to full incline diamond push-ups.
To ensure proper form, keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels throughout the exercise. Avoid arching or rounding your back, and keep your elbows close to your body to engage the triceps and chest muscles more effectively.
By following these steps and tips, you can perform incline diamond push-ups with proper form and work towards building upper body strength and muscle definition.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
While incline diamond push-ups are a great exercise for building muscle mass, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can compromise your form and lead to injury. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when performing incline diamond push-ups, and how to avoid them:
- Flaring out the elbows: When performing the exercise, it’s important to keep your elbows close to your body. Flaring out your elbows can put unnecessary strain on your shoulders and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. To avoid this mistake, make sure to keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle with your body throughout the exercise.
- Arching the back: Another common mistake is arching your back as you lower your chest towards the elevated surface. Arching the back can lead to lower back pain and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. To avoid this mistake, engage your core muscles and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels throughout the exercise.
- Relying on momentum: Some people use momentum to push themselves back up to the starting position, rather than relying on their muscles to do the work. This can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and increase the risk of injury. To avoid this mistake, focus on using your triceps and chest muscles to lift your body back up, rather than relying on momentum.
- Allowing the head to drop: Another common mistake is allowing your head to drop towards the elevated surface as you lower your chest. This can strain your neck and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. To avoid this mistake, keep your head in line with your body throughout the exercise.
By avoiding these common mistakes and focusing on proper form, you can perform incline diamond push-ups safely and effectively, and work towards building upper body strength.
How to Progress with Incline Diamond Push-Ups
Once you’ve mastered incline diamond push-ups with proper form, it’s important to gradually increase the difficulty of the exercise to continue challenging your muscles and making progress. Here are some ways to progress with incline diamond push-ups:
- Lower the incline: As you get stronger, gradually lower the height of the elevated surface to increase the difficulty of the exercise. This will require more strength and stability from your triceps and chest muscles, helping you to build greater upper.
- Increase the repetitions: Another way to progress with incline diamond push-ups is to increase the number of repetitions you perform in each set. Start by adding one or two reps to each set, and gradually increase the number over time.
- Try different variations: There are many variations of incline diamond push-ups that you can try to challenge your muscles in different ways. For example, you can try performing the exercise with one hand elevated, which will require more strength and stability from your chest and triceps muscles. You can also try performing the exercise with your feet elevated, which will increase the intensity of the exercise and engage your core muscles more.
- Add weight: Once you’ve built up enough strength, you can add weight to your incline diamond push-ups to further challenge your muscles. This can be done by placing a weight plate or sandbag on your back, or by wearing a weighted vest.
By gradually progressing with incline diamond push-ups and challenging your muscles in different ways, you can continue building upper body strength and muscle definition. Remember to always focus on proper form and to listen to your body to avoid injury.
Incline diamond push ups are a fantastic exercise for building upper body strength and muscle definition. By targeting the triceps and chest muscles, they can help you achieve a toned and sculpted physique. But as with any exercise, it’s important to start with proper form and gradually progress to avoid injury and make the most of the exercise.
We’ve covered the benefits of incline diamond push-ups, how to get started with a warm-up routine and finding a stable elevated surface, and step-by-step instructions on how to perform the exercise with proper breathing technique. We’ve also highlighted common mistakes to avoid and ways to progress the exercise as you get stronger.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, incline diamond push-ups can be a valuable addition to your workout routine. So why not give them a try and see the results for yourself? With dedication and consistency, you can build a strong and defined upper body that will make you feel and look great.