Are Diamond Push-Ups Bad

Ligament tears are the 2nd cause of wrist pain in a 2017 study.

Are Diamond Push-Ups Bad? With push-ups exerting around 75% of your body weight, it can cause damage to your wrists or elbows if done wrongly or too quickly. Diamond push-ups are risker than push-ups with your hands placed in an unnatural position and hard for many people.

The 2017 study found that 84% of people experiencing pain along the back of the wrist with weight-bearing exercise (e.g. push-ups) had a physical abnormality within the wrist:

  • The main cause of pain (76%) of these wrist pains were due to a small cyst in the wrist
  • 2nd cause of the pain was a partial ligament tear.

Nevertheless, it was not clear if these abnormalities were the result of repeated weight-bearing exercises. However, do note that a significant 75% of your weight is bearing on your wrists and feet during a push-up.

According to a study published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the test subjects supported with their hands, on average, 69.16% of their body mass in the up position, and 75.04% in the down position during the traditional push-ups. (

Nevertheless, diamond push-ups were effective in muscle activation and probably less impactful than vertical dips since you have your foot as support.

Source: mpared to the back dips and wider grip vertical dips.

Vertical dips were the most effective in activating the primary mover (Triceps Brachii) while wider grip vertical dips (WGVD) produced a greater level of muscle activity in pectoralis major as compared to the other three exercises. 

Your triceps muscle makes up roughly 60% of your arm size. In our other post, we shared about whether diamond push-ups are hard for many.

Are diamond push-ups safe? 

There is no research indicating any short-term harm of diamond push-up. There is some potential research in a 2019 study that active males who can do above 40 push-ups are 96% less likely to have experienced a cardiovascular problem 10 years later than active males who can only do fewer than 10 push-ups. A total of 1,104 active, middle-aged males took part in the study.

Are diamond push-ups bad for elbows?

Doing push-ups slower might reduce the risk of elbow joint injuries. A 2011 study found high-speed push-ups exerted at least 1.23 more force on the elbows than slow-speed push-up speeds. A fast push-up is defined as doing 7 push-ups every 10s while a slow push-up is defined as 4 push-ups every 10s. The fifteen healthy males participated in the study. 

Are diamond push-ups bad for shoulders?

Stronger shoulders are a benefit of diamond push-ups usually because they put more pressure on the shoulder joint compared to a traditional push-up, and that will challenge your anterior deltoid and prepare it for other push-up variations.

Push-ups, when performed incorrectly, can cause severe damage to the joints and muscles around the shoulders and elbows though. 

Are diamond push-ups better than regular push-ups

The diamond push-up is better than the other push-ups as it develops the chest and the triceps. A variation, wide arm push-up showed great activation on serratus anterior muscle but little benefit over other variations, and could potentially place more stress on your shoulders that could lead to an injury over time.

Many newcomers to fitness programs perform push-ups the only way they know how: with their arms and elbows extended outward. This is not the correct way to perform a push-up. In fact, this stance is incredibly damaging and ineffective for your fitness goals.

Is the bicep pushup a bad exercise

A 15 person mini study from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found the most effective tricep exercise is a narrow or diamond push-up, better than dips or triceps kickbacks. The research team recruited healthy female subjects, ages 20 to 24, from the local La Crosse community.


Porcari, the researcher, explained those exercises were so much more effective than the others tested because of the body weight.

It’s because your body weight is used in the push-ups and dips, and because it’s easier to “cheat” (using momentum to more easily complete reps) while doing the other exercises, specifically the bar push-downs and rope push-downs.

Researcher Brittany Boehler, B.S. added,

All across the board, the triangle push-ups elicited the most muscle activity in our subjects. The dips and triceps kickbacks weren’t that far behind either. Essentially all three exercises could be used interchangeably.


Like all exercises, there are risks and benefits. Risks of injuries for diamond push-ups are low given it is done by most without any known side effects.  The benefits of diamond push-ups is highly researched, as long proper posture is maintained to prevent any damage.

Sky Hoon. About
Martial Art Fan
He started his love on martial arts by watching MMA and Angela Lee. He then started this blog to learn more about the different martial arts.
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