How to Build the Beach Muscles with Diamond Push Ups

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Most of you can perform sets of 20+ regular push ups with ease and this makes the push up useless for strength and muscle building, since it’s too easy.

20+ reps will mostly build endurance since the upper body responds best to 8-20 reps for muscle building.

In contrast, the diamond push up might be a perfect fit for you since it’s a lot harder than the regular push up and thereby fits better into the 8-20 rep range for most guys reading this.

Besides that, compared to other push up variations, the diamond push up sculpts your upper body in a very aesthetic way.

It brings up your upper and inner chest, thereby creating a very masculine look on your chest.

Here’s a photo of my chest development after doing diamond push ups:

In addition, it’s also the best push up variation to grow your triceps and triceps make up 2/3 of your arm size. (So you get the best bang-for-the-buck by doing diamond push ups if you want to build big arms).

To sum it up, diamond push ups are better than regular push ups because they’re hard enough to stimulate muscle growth while sculpting your upper body the right way.

How to Do the Perfect Diamond Push Up


  • From the starting position, your entire body must look like a straight line when viewed from the side.
  • Place your hands directly under your chest and make sure that your thumbs touch each other or overlap.
  • Descend slowly while keeping elbows close to your sides.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds at the bottom, then push all the way up while keeping elbows in.
  • At the top, you pause again for 1-2 seconds to feel a nice contraction in your upper and inner chest.
  • Repeat.

The top and bottom position of the diamond push up should look similar to the pictures below.

diamond push up


  • Before attempting this exercise, make sure that you can do 20 push ups with perfect form (all the way up and down on each rep, 3 seconds on the way down and 2 seconds on the way up).
  • In the case that you experience any kind of wrist pain, try doing the exercise with wrist wraps until you build sufficient wrist strength for doing it without.
  • In the case that you experience any kind of shoulder pain, go back to doing regular push ups, and work on strengthening your shoulder with isolation exercises for all 3 shoulder heads.

How to Get Your First Diamond Push Up and Later Progress to 30 Reps

Here’s a quick summary of the steps you will have to take, depending on where you’re at in your training:

  1. Knee Push Ups: Work on knee push ups. When you can do 30 perfect reps, move to regular push ups.
  2. Regular Push Ups: Work on regular push ups. When you can do 30 perfect reps, work on getting your first diamond push up.
  3. Move Hands Closer: Work on getting your first diamond push up by gradually placing your hands closer and closer.
  4. Diamond Push Ups: Work on increasing reps on the diamond push up, until you can do 30 perfect reps. When you can do 30 perfect reps, move to diamond push ups with your feet elevated on a bench.
  5. Elevated Diamond Push Ups: Work on achieving 30 perfect reps with your feet on a bench.

Don’t Forget Your Diet!

You can do all the diamond push ups in the world, but if your diet isn’t on point, you won’t gain muscle mass.

Your diet has to be designed to support muscle gains.

If you aren’t eating the right foods at the right time and in the right amounts, you won’t benefit much from your training because:

  • Your body won’t have the building blocks to support muscle growth.
  • Your natural testosterone production won’t be high enough to support muscle gains.
  • Your muscles and central nervous system won’t be able to recover between training sessions so you will come in weak for your training.

Therefore, make sure to put just as much energy into your diet as your training.

The key to getting your diet right is to focus on boosting testosterone.

Testosterone is the main muscle building hormone in your body and it’s the hormone which controls your overall body-composition.

When your levels increase you will find that it’s easier to shred body-fat and pack on muscle mass.

I’ve personally boosted my natural testosterone production with over 150% and they key to do that was to get on a High Testosterone Diet. (Here’s my blood work for proof).

You want to follow a High Testosterone Diet that includes testosterone boosting foods while reducing your intake of foods that are estrogenic.

You want to minimise your intake of estrogenic foods such as:

  • Wheat products: Bread, pasta, pizza, burgers, noodles, beer.
  • Dairy products: Milk, cheese, yoghurt, milk chocolate.
  • Refined sugar: Candy, juices that aren’t 100% natural fruit.
  • Soy: Soybeans, soy sauce.
  • Low quality meats
  • Alcohol.

Once you’ve cut out these foods, you want to increase your intake of testosterone boosting foods such as High grade Omega-3 fatty acids, green vegetables, fruits and nuts.

High grade Omega-3 fatty acids and green vegetables are by far the most important for your natural testosterone production because:

  • Close to 99% of people have a very low Omega-3 Index. When you correct your Omega-3 Index, you will reduce the production of the hormone SHBG which binds to testosterone while boosting the hormone LH which triggers testosterone production. This results in an increase in your free testosterone production.
  • Green vegetables have a variety of vitamins and minerals that boost testosterone. For example, when you increase your intake of spinach, you will get more magnesium through your diet and magnesium is one of the minerals that boosts your natural testosterone production. And remember, Popeye wouldn’t be that strong if he didn’t eat his spinach!!

The easiest way to ensure that you get enough Omega-3 fatty acids and green vegetables is to supplement with HIGH GRADE supplements.

You can find my top recommended supplement on this page.

When you combine a testosterone boosting diet with diamond push ups, you will find that your chest, shoulders and arms get sculpted while your waist becomes more trim.

“I Can Do 30 Diamond Push Ups With My Feet Elevated On A Bench, Now What?”

If you can do 30 diamond push ups with perfect form with your feet elevated on a bench, you can do a variety of things to keep progressing:

  1. Want to improve your athleticism? Learn handstands push ups or muscle ups.
  2. Want to sculpt your muscles with gym training? Move to a high volume bodybuilding training program done at the gym.
  3. Want to sculpt your muscles with bodyweight training? Increase your training volume and frequency and reduce rest time between sets with the diamond push ups to keep building muscle with them. (How to Get Muscular With Calisthenics).

I moved on to doing all 3 at separate times in my training career and the diamond push up provided a great strength foundation for all of them.

Be proud but stay hungry,

Oskar Faarkrog


Read my guide the 2 Phases of a Skinny-Fat Transformation:


View My Top 40 Fitness Articles (Read By Over 3 Million Skinny-Fat Guys):


  1. hey
    i am beginner and started working out from last 30 days or so, should i direct jump to diamond or go through rookie stuff

  2. There is an interesting study available online where they test the most effective exercises for tricep development and diaond push ups were number 1. Tricpes were far more engaged than any weighted activity.

    Certainly an exercie that I will be looking to include into my repetoire more often.

  3. Is it necessary to form a diamond shape with your hands in order to do Diamond Pushups.

    Can we do them with just the thumbs touching?

  4. I’m no doubt skinny-fat. I just started your program after starting lifting a few months ago and really only toning up with my skinny-fat features still visible. I can do free weights pretty easily but when it comes to actually body weight exercises like pushups I’m a joke. I was wondering whIle following your plan if you can still do bicep curls and what not whIle doing 3 sets of Max reps of push ups and pull ups? Other wise my work out is only 25 Mins long as I can do very few.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Yes you can add some pump work at the end. Just keep the weight light and use perfect form.

      • Peter Fultz says:

        so I’ve been doing push ups now for 98 days tonight 12am and I decided to switch it up to dimond Push ups and I do 100 of them each night/day. So when do you think i’ll notice results? a month or two or weeks? thanks PETE

  5. That’s great man! So pausing a bit will actually help more! I will try it now. Thanks for sharing and I like how you got stronger with age. I also want to be able to bang diamonds when I am 55.

  6. I’m 55years old and have been doing diamond push ups for a very long time I don’t work out as much as I used to but I use them in my push up routine and I do chest and back arms together if you want tris and chest try to elevate your feet on a bench or chair you don’t have to pause the2 seconds but I guarantee you will get stronger by doing this and your backarms will get ripped.

  7. Bobb Sanders says:

    never mind i found a comment with the same question that you answered. thanks!

  8. Bobb Sanders says:

    i’m following your complete guide to skinny-fat transformation. in that article you mentioned this bodyweight routine be done 4 times a week. here you said everyday. which is it?

  9. Hey oskar , how much squats to start with ??? My lower body is huge with a lot of fat , squats the way to slim it down?

  10. Dear Oskar, I can do 10 diamonds with a 25 pound backpack…. does this mean I am strong?

  11. Will,

    Thanks a lot for this article. I already do 20 reps of diamond push-ups and I am aiming for 25 reps.


    Lukeny de Almeida

  12. Madhu Sudhan. R says:

    Dear Oskar, Thank You for the post. I am 40 yrs old, weigh 72 kgs i.e.,158.7 pounds, 5ft ft inches. I have recently started working out. I have done 100 push ups (single day) and 300 push ups (single day). I am saying single day as i have not done more than 40 push ups non stop. For 100 push ups, my routine is 40 nonstop, 20 crunches, 25 push ups, 20 squats, 20 push ups, 20 tir-dips, 15 push ups, 20 lunges, For 300 push ups, I did pyramid style (modified) 24 reps, 23 reps, 22 reps…. till 1 (total will be 300 push ups). After each set, one body weight workout of 20 reps. It has been three weeks since i started this format. I take rest on Sundays.

    My doubt is (a). Are all 100 push ups should be done at one go? (b). I want to loose 9-10 kgs (20 – 22 pounds). How many days/ weeks/ months later can achieve this?

    Madhu Sudhan. R (Hyderabad – India)

  13. Thanks for sharing Oskar. Diamond push ups are no joke! I overlooked them for years until I read this article (again). I decided to give them a try yesterday. Needless to say my shoulders and triceps are very sore! I’ll be adding these into my routine from now on.

  14. Hi Oskar, how many diamond pushups before we have a well-defined chest? I know it’s subjective, but any approximate guess or your own experience? I was only able to do 15 before I got a very well-defined chest.

  15. Great post. That will surely help.

  16. Hello, I’m trying to get started with building muscle and I’m new to all of this. I’m a skinny 123lb’s with a height ranging about 5’5 – 5’6. I’ve tried regular pushups along with situps but stopped due to very slow results and a lack of a true progra; it was just a little daily exercise I slopped together myself. How many sets of diamond push-ups would you recommend a person starting off and when during that day should I routinely commit?

    P.S Nice work, seems like a perfect workout for me. Thank you for this.

  17. Hello Oscar,
    Great website I am glad that I stumble upon. I was wondering about increase difficulty of push up by doing elevated push up and eventually elevated diamond pus ups. What is your opinion?

  18. Mateusz says:

    Great article. I will definitely give this a shot. Due to being in school, clinical work,music and having a family, I had to revoke my gym membership. I have decided to focus my training on doing push ups, pull ups, and cardio. I definitely want to incorporate diamond push ups when I reach that level (both in reps and in perfect form). I do have a question or two for you:

    I understand that in order to build muscle, the activity needs to put stress on the muscle fibers. I understand that in order to do this, eventually, in doing push ups, the resistance will need to go up to continue seeing results.I’m having a hard time understanding what does “resistance” mean, in this context;does it mean adding more reps? Changing Grip position of the push up? Elevation? Basically, is there a limit to resistance with push ups?

    Thanks for this wonderful article and I look forward to your response to this question.

  19. Hi, regarding the diamond pushups will it help build fuller chest ? the thing is i can do 45ish regular pushups and i do 150 pushups a day but the thing is i dont see my chest increasing i tried the diamonds and i managed to do 20 i tried to mind the form but i bet it wasnt pefect i certainly felt really strained after them should i keep on doing them untill i find them easy or should i not bother if i can do 20 ?

    • Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer says:

      There’s no way to guarantee that, everyone is different.

      I suggest you try doing them with your feet on a bench to increase difficulty and then later move onto handstand push ups.

  20. Hi Oskar, how do u break plateaus? Let’s say I am stalling at 10 diamond pushups – do I do rest pause and improve my reps? Or is there some other method to improve? Because if I keep stalling at the same number of reps, there is no progress in strength and also lack of motivation.

    So what do u suggest for improving strength? Will rest pause method work?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Try mixing it up. Do the opposite of what you do now. If you train diamonds often, train them less often and go all out.

  21. hanikaa says:

    Yo thanks for the guide. Ijust wanted to ask : can i train on knee diamond push ups insteas of push ups before procceding to the normal diamond ?

  22. Thanks for diamond pushup article.
    How many days a week?
    I’m going for 100 total in sets of 10-20 plus I’m adding 50 total chins, and some sprints for legs and cardio.
    When it gets easy to do 5×20 on diamonds I will add tubing for resistance.
    How would that work?
    Until you respond to my questions I’ll train 5 days on 2 rest/ off.
    Thanks a mil!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I would do 4-5 days depending on how you feel.

      Also go easy some of the days if you need to. Listen to your body.

      You’re welcome :D

  23. Sean Roseveare says:

    Hey guys. I have been doing on average 270 normal push ups a day 6days a week for 45days so far. Still going strong. My goal has been 300 a day. Diamond push ups I can do easy 25 in one rep but it has cut my total by more than half, I can only do about 100 diamond in the time I can 300 normal. Is my ego to big?

  24. Oskar, you’re right about these diamond push-ups… They’re incredible!
    I’ve been doing them for about 4 weeks at this point, have gone 14reps to 19reps and… here’s the best part… CAN NOW DO FREAKIN’ ONE-ARMED PUSHUPS! It’s crazy to think how much stronger I’ve gotten in such a short period whilst still in a caloric deficit.

    I’ve never been able to do these before now and I can attribute it to the diamond push-ups. They’re the perfect set-up for this movement. Thanks, mate!

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      You’re welcome, keep up the good work!

      • Hi Oskar, I am a little confused. People often say one can’t build muscle without weights. With calisthenics there is no weight other than bodyweight – so there can be no progressive overload. So how does it work?

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          You can achieve progressive overload in calisthenics by:

          Increasing reps
          Increasing difficulty level of exercise (e.g. Push ups to diamond push ups)
          Increase amount of sets
          Increase time under tension
          Reduce rest time between sets
          Increase training frequency

          There are many ways and you will never run out.

          The only downside is that it’s simpler to achieve progressive overload with weights since you can add weight.

  25. Hi Oscar,

    So you recommend being able to do 20 regular push ups before trying out diamond push ups? Do you mean 20 in one set, or all your sets? I’ve actually gotten up to 20, but that’s only my first set. And I do 4 sets.

  26. hey oscar
    Do you think that chin ups has a relation to lower chest area and worth the gyno cas!

  27. This article is a bit long winded.

  28. Great article!

    Here’s a new question that may be a little tricky to answer. I’ve been working your routines for about a month. I’ve never lifted weights before but am somewhat fit, as I always did some push-ups here and there. Mostly I’m just skinny… Okay the trick is that I’m 120lb, 5ft 3 inches. I can already do 30 diamond push-ups. But can’t seem to progress at all… Maybe I should add weights to my body?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      If you can do 30 diamonds you wanna progress into handstand push ups. I wrote an article about those some time back, you can find it in the archives

  29. thanks very much Oskar. Your article was exactly the information I was looking for.


  30. Hi Oskar,

    very nice article, thanks for sharing.
    I started doing regular pushup a couple of months ago using the 100 pushups in 7 weeks program. (not that it was my goal to achieve that in 7 weeks…but rather for the increasing set/reps schedule which suits me.)
    My reps today are as follows 16-16-22-22-16-16-48 (1 min pauze between sets and 2 minutes before the last set). 3 times a week, increasing each time.
    I have seen quite some gains on triceps, chest and shoulders already, but have to add some bench press, dumbbell excercises to really work my chest.
    Would you recommend to switch to diamond push-ups now and follow the same incrementing rep method (starting all over of course) and loosing the weights ?
    What’s you’re opinion ?

  31. Hi im 16 and about 165cm tall very short. I’ve been doing 50 diamond pushups nearly every night or sometimes in the day time for about 2 or 3 months now results aren’t that noticable. My chest looks like fat/muscle its not that great and its not cut up or anything I think i need to loose more body fat in order to make it nicer and tighter. My diet is average. What do you think I need to do for a more aesthetic looking chest and arms even? Do you think more diamond pushups will achieve better results or not? Please help.

  32. Hello! idk whats my thing to bring old topics, anyway, i was wondering since i deciced to do GtG as well with diamond push ups, you that have perfomed both for much longer diamond push ups and dips, can you say there is a much greater benefit of dips besides the full bodyweight that is used? since im interested to install some sort of parallel bars in the apartment walls, the nearest square outside to do dips its very unsafe to walk

  33. I do diamond push ups 3-4 times a week and each time I do 15 reps, 3-4 sets. Whenever I do diamond push ups my forearm hurts. Am I doing it too much? Am I doing it the wrong way? What’s going on?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Try using wrist wraps next time and see if that helps. If not, find an alternative exercise. Never push through pain.

  34. What about people like me with natural big shoulders ? Should i do chin ups or not ? I don’t wanna have an upper body too big compared to my other body parts..

  35. How long before we see some results. I am thinking of doing away with dips and doing only diamonds for one month. Is this a good idea? Dips exhaust my arms, so I find it hard to do diamond later on.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Yeah, focus on the diamonds for a while. They should be enough for now.

      I can’t tell how long it will take you to see results. Depends on genetics, how hard you train, how much you have already trained and so on..

      • Thanks, I will do diamonds alone and ditch dips. But what of inverted rows? Can I do them since I have no pull up bar….is inverted row also effective?

        Another question, Oskar… In certain lighting, my body looks very good…I can see muscle definition….for instance, two distinct pecs… but in other types of lighting, this is not the case, the chest for example may appear flat.

        What am I to make of this? Is my muscle definition an illusion or is it real?

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          If you can find a low bar somewhere, or a very solid table, then you can do them on that. Inverted rows train your back, and are good to build back/biceps strength.

          If I am in bad lighting, I can’t see much muscle definition either. It’s completely normal. Your muscle is real, don’t worry too much about it!

          • Thanks, Oskar. One other thing I noticed… Ever since I started pushups, my arms are slowly getting bigger but not my chest. Is it possible that one body part (like the arm) could grow first before another part (like chest) takes over? Because for me, they are not growing simultaneously.

            • Oskar Faarkrog says:

              Yes, that’s normal. Everybody has a bodypart which grows faster than the others. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it now. Just get very strong on the bodyweight exercises, and once that is done, you can start training at the gym and bring up your lacking bodyparts.

  36. Another doubt reg. my routine. I can only do 3 or 4 diamond pushups per set. So even if I do 5 sets, the total amount of reps will be 15. Since this is too low, do I increase the number of sets?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      How many regular push ups can you do with good form? Get to 20 reps on those before you do diamonds.

      • I can do 20 regular pushups with good form. I can do at least 8 or even 10 close grip…..but perfect diamond is hard….I keep falling flat on my face, lol. Also I do dips first, so my arms are too tired to do perfect diamond 10 times or more. But if I do diamond first, my arms will be too tired for dips. Either way, catch 22!

  37. Oskar, one doubt. Do diamond pushups target only chest and triceps, or also traps and deltoid? I do feel the burn in my deltoid aide from middle of the chest and triceps,

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      They work quite well for delts too. I got the separation lines on my delts after starting diamonds push ups. I doubt they hit traps that much.

  38. Oslar, im loving the tricep pushups. How long should i do them daily? How many sets/reps do you do? Do you do them daily or take days off to let your tri’s recover Thanks

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I don’t do them much at the moment, but you should just follow the routine from the article (4 times a week for 2-4 sets to 1 rep before failure). You can increase the frequency if you feel the need for it, but start with 4 times a week.

  39. Hello Oskar,

    I am very new to this site and did not know about diamond push ups, before coming to this site. I tried at home and could do 8 reps in each set of 5. I think, after practising regularly, i will be able to do more. My question, Can this push ups be done using push up bars? And thanks a lot for writing so nice article.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Rinku,

      I prefer to do them without push up bars, since I get forearm pain when I use a very narrow grip on push up bars.

  40. stupidcat says:

    Hi Oscar,

    I like your approach on simplifying training and nutrition. The diamonds are great, I like doing them, too. 1-2 Handstand Push ups are also possible, but my question is, are you really performing 20 diamonds with 2 sec hold at the buttom? I tried this and reach only 11 perfect diamonds, after this I cluster the reps up to 20. The hardest part is to keep the elbows as close as possible to the body all the time. I myself ask how can someone do 20 perfect diamonds for 4 sets?

    but btw: Your doing a great job. I read most of your articles in few days and they inspired me to keep it more simple than before.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hey, I’m glad you like the site

      I do about 20 diamonds with perfect form in the first set, but in the sets following the first I can’t do 20 with perfect form. If you push yourself on the first set, you most likely will do less reps on the following sets.

      And thank you!

  41. Nice article dude. I’ve been trying to do 100 regular push ups a day, but this looks like a great variation to add a challenge.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Definitely, I have only heard positive stuff from people that added diamonds to their training.

  42. hello oskar should I do 20 reps in each sets?Im doing paleo diet im training every day for 40 or 50 minutes whithout rest

  43. -Oskar Faarkrog

    This is pretty cool. I’ll add this to my next work out.

  44. Hey Oskar. Just a couple quick questions about diamond push ups.
    I’ve been trying to incorporate them into my routine.’s been really great for my triceps and chest and I love doing them but sometimes I get pain in my shoulder when I do it. It. Like in the shoulder area where my arm and torso meet. Is there any thing you can think of that can be causing it and how to avoid it?
    Also, I know you aren’t a fan of gym training. But I have a free gym membership and wouldn’t want to waste it. I try to do pull-ups and pushups every day when I can. Is there anything you could suggest to make the best use for it other than that?

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Ash,

      Do you get the pain on other pushing exercises such as bench press, chest press machines etc.?

      About gym training: I currently train at the gym, but I have gotten my best results from the bodyweight exercises. I like to use isolation exercises at the gym to train my weak muscle groups, but I would wait with that until you have a good base on the bodyweight exercises.

  45. I don’t understand how you can say that bodyweight exercises like diamond pushups are in any way comparable to exercises like skullcrushers / pushdowns / close grip bench presses etc… If you didn’t manage to build size on your arms with those then god knows you must have been doing something wrong.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I saw rapid changes as soon as I started doing diamonds, and Dejan (commented above) seems to have experienced the same thing. With that said, I don’t benefit much from them anymore since I can do a lot of reps with ease, so I’m experimenting with doing dropsets on pushdowns now. I haven’t tried close grip bench press, and skullcrushers hurt my elbows no matter how I do them, so I can’t say much about those. Also, keep in mind that I don’t recommend diamonds just because of triceps. I doubt you will build your shoulders and chest from tricep isolations like pushdowns.

    • My triceps have grown significantly from diamonds alone, they are actually larger than they have ever been, even bigger than when i was younger and was dedicated to the weight training two muscle groups a day. There is obviously more than one way to get things done, and different people respond to different stimuli.

  46. I can do 15 repetitions in good shape, although I consider myself skinny fat, my body weight is 163 lbs, my height, 5 ’10 “, 39.37 inches of hip, 84-inch waist.’ll try to get to 30 reps and then achieve some repetition in handstand push ups. Greetings from Argentina.

  47. Oskar, another amazing article!

    I started doing diamond push-ups after coming across your site (probably some two months now) and I must say, that they’ve been working like magic. I’ve gained an inch on my arms in the past few months thanks to doing diamond push-ups and supersetting them with chin-ups. I never would have thought that push-ups would work so great! :)

    And it’s really amusing when I hear people talking about how they blasted their biceps and they’re after huge arms and whatnot. I chuckle every time I hear that :)

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thank you Dejan!

      1 inch is a great gain on your arms considering that you’ve been at it for a long time. Did you also get an increased definition in your triceps?

      • I haven’t seen a noticeable increase in my definition, but I’m certainly noticing an increase in the size of my medial triceps head. I’ve been struggling to get this bastard to grow for years, but now I think I might have finally discovered, which exercises make the medial head grow (at least for me), and these exercises are:

        – close grip bench press
        – skull crushers (where the bar goes way below your head)
        – diamond push-ups

        The best thing is that most of these exercises can be done every day, because they’re not so taxing on your body, especially the diamond-push-ups.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I also saw an increase in the size of my medial triceps head. Prior to diamonds I didn’t even know that muscle existed. I just thought I had short triceps insertions.

  48. Hi, I just tried them out. I can see it might be very easy to rest at the bottom (just lie on the floor) – should I keep tension for those 2 seconds? Thanks.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Yes, keep the tension.

      • Another thing – by “keeping the elbows in” that seems to put a LOT of pressure on the wrist when at the bottom. Have you found this also? Am I doing it wrong? Thanks.

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          I felt the same in the beginning, but my wrists adapted. Try different hand positions, or consider using wrist wraps if you feel pain.

  49. good article as always!!ı am about to skip normal pushups and do diamond pushups instead.

    nevertheless,ı am going back to collage this week so ı will probably workout at gym.are you going to write an article about barbell training?ı think you mentioned it somewhere

  50. Awesome and thorough guide to diamond push ups! They are killer for building triceps and I know many who have benefited from them.

    Since I work at my gym, I tend to use the equipment there (it would be odd not to), so a similar movement I incorporate from time to time is close grip bench press. The benefits are very close to the same, even though the grip is wider than diamond push ups.

    What are your thoughts about doing a weighted variation after completing 20 perfect reps?


  51. I’ve never been able to do hand stand push ups or one arm push ups :(

    Practice I suppose.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      I’m sure you have the strength for them. Soon, I will write a guide for handstand push ups (I used to be afraid of handstands my whole life).

    • Sebastian,
      I can do about 10-15 one arm pushups on my right arm and 10 on my left. It’s all about learning the technique (given that you already have the strength).

      Hmm I remember you spoke about these diamond pushups when we met last weekend. But I pictured it different in my mind. Now I see what you mean. We used to do a ton of these when I practiced Jeet Kune Do (Kung Fu). But we didn’t stop at the bottom, and we focused a bit more on the triceps. In Jeet Kune Do most punches are fueled by strong triceps muscles.

  52. Could you be a bit more specific about what type of dynamic stretching and warm up? Stretching for the arms only, or whole body? What type of stretches? Or is it even necessary? I thought chins/pushups were themselves considered warm-up exercises.

    Personally I find it a lot easier to keep up a daily routine if it’s just a case of jumping on the chinup bar then doing pushups and squats. It’s harder to get motivated if you’ve got to do 10 minutes of cardio first.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Chin ups and push ups can be a warm up for you, if you can easily pump out 8-12 reps, but most skinny-fat guys can’t do that many chin ups with ease, therefore I put light cardio and dynamic stretches as warm up.

      As for dynamic stretching, I usually swing my arms around to warm up the shoulders and lats (don’t know what exactly those are called). Then I continue to lower body where I hold onto something and swing them from side to side to loosen up my hips. Basically, if something feels tight, you want it to loosen up before you train.

  53. Great post. Love your site! I’m curious if you tracked your gains (arm measurements, etc) during this phase of diamond pushups (vs other push ups, dips, etc) and were you doing other things at the same time? I saw elsewhere on your site that you had deadlifts and squats so how have you been able to determine whether the chin ups gave you the wide back vs other exercises. I guess making things harder over time with body weight exercises from regular pushups is probably a good idea!

    I’ve been doing chin ups, pull ups, push ups, dips and trying handstand pushups (legs on chair) exclusively no free weights and getting great gains. I did a video on baked fries yesterday and noticed my arms were bigger than I’m used to seeing.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Will,

      I gained about 3 cm on my arms in the first 4-5 months of 2013 where my routine basically consisted of diamond push ups and close grip chin ups for upper body. Since then I have been experimenting with different routines, but my arms haven’t changed in size, although my shoulders have gotten a bit wider.

      As for the barbell squats and deadlifts, I did them in the beginning, but the past 1.5 year or so, I haven’t done them besides rare occasions where I do them for fun to see if my strength is still there.

      I’m glad that the calisthenics training is working out for you. Right now, I’m training at the gym since it’s very cold outside and I can’t motivate myself to train at home, but once the weather is good again, I will go outside and do calisthenics only.

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