Diamond push ups are always touted as a ‘harder push up’ and a way to really push yourself. Most people commonly refer to diamond push ups as a good way to build triceps- and they’re right.
Recently, however, some fitness websites have come out claiming that diamond push ups are better for your chest than normal push ups. This is NOT true and not scientifically backed.
So- are diamond push ups good for chest? No, diamond push ups are not good for building your chest, and they are better for building triceps. A study recently done showed that diamond push ups have worse pectoralis major activation than normal push ups, meaning diamond push ups are not good for the chest.
However, diamond push ups are better for building the pectoralis minor, which is kind of the upper-side part of your chest. Though, this is probably not what you’re trying to build as this is not the ‘big’ muscle of your chest that pops.
This study was done in 2016 and was published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science titled Effect of the push-up exercise at different palmar width on muscle activities.
Let’s cover this study a bit more in-depth.
What Did The Study Exactly Find?
The study found this exactly:
When doing diamond push ups, (push ups performed at 50% narrow palmar width):
- There was greater activation in the pectoralis minor, triceps brachii, and infraspinatus muscles.
When doing normal push ups, (push ups performed at normal width):
- The pectoralis major muscle activation was better by doing normal push ups than doing diamond (close-grip) or wide push ups.
When doing wide grip push ups, (push ups performed at 150% palmar width):
- Serratus anterior muscle activity was greater.
So What Is This Study Saying?
This study is basically saying:
Diamond push ups are good at activating the triceps and upper/side part of the chest, but if you want to target just the chest, focus on doing normal push ups.
Basically, If You Want To Grow Your Chest – Stick to Normal Push Ups
Now, generally speaking- most people trying to grow their chest are not trying to grow their pectoralis minor- they are trying to grow their pectoralis major.
The pectoralis major is the ‘major’ muscle of your chest, the super big part that ‘pops out’ and gives you that super ‘buff’ look.
So, if you want to grow your chest- stick to normal push ups, those are by far the most effective way to grow that super big part of your chest- the part you are probably most concerned on working on.
If You Want to Grow The Side/Upper Part of Your Chest – Stick to Diamond Push Ups
Now, again, for most bodybuilders you’ll want to stick to normal push ups.
And for the most part, unless you’re a super-advanced bodybuilder, you probably won’t be worried about the side or upper part of your chest.
However, if you are that super-advanced bodybuilder and you may be noticing a muscle imbalance on the side or upper part of your chest, diamond push ups may be a good remedy for you to try.
If You Want to Grow Your Triceps – Stick to Diamond Push Ups
If you want to grow your triceps, try diamond push ups.
For the longest time, diamond push ups have always been known to grow your triceps massively. I mean, if you do a few diamond push ups you’ll immediately know what I am talking about- you can just feel it.
So, the old mantra of doing diamond push ups to grow triceps is still true.
Ignore The Other Non-Credible Fitness Websites Saying Diamond Push Ups Are BETTER Than Normal Push Ups
While some less credible fitness websites have said diamond push ups grow your chest more than normal push ups, they have cited no evidence of this.
(Shameless plug that I only provide reliable, evidence-based information on my website!)
I have gone ahead and sent some e-mails asking these websites to redact their statements, but I don’t foresee any changes. Many of these websites purposely lie and are spam.
This is a good reminder, as your mom probably told you a billion times growing up- always check the source and who wrote the content behind it. I have cited a real scientific study that is public to all, and I have a long history of bodybuilding articles and have a big name in the industry.
The other spam websites claiming that diamond push ups are better than normal push ups have little to no attribution or anything attached to them.
Don’t Get Me Wrong – Diamond Push Ups STILL Work Your Chest, But Are Less Effective
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I don’t want you to think diamond push ups are just absolutely useless for your chest or don’t work your pectoralis major at all- these are both untrue statements.
Diamond push ups still work your chest, but they are overall less effective when compared to normal push ups.
So, does that mean that doing diamond push ups over the past few years has done nothing to build your chest? No, but they are just less effective at building it than normal push ups are and the diamond push ups have better uses for different things.
Different tools for different jobs, but as the saying goes, many tools can still get the same job done- it might just take a little longer.
Conclusion Of Are Diamond Push Ups Good For Chest?
So- no, diamond push ups are not good for the chest. If you want to build your chest just do normal push ups, and if you want to focus on your upper/side chest or triceps- then do the diamond push ups.