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Diamond pushups vs dips for triceps mass

Learn whether you should do diamond push ups or dips—to maximize your triceps development.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 2nd May 2022
A man doing a diamond pushups vs dips comparison to see which is better for the triceps

In this diamond pushups vs dips comparison, you’ll discover which of these two bodyweight exercises is best for muscle growth and strength development.

You’ll also learn if it’s ok to do both exercises in the same workout, as well as which movement is safer.

Note that in this comparison, I’m using diamond push ups and close grip push ups interchangeably. They are technically slightly different exercises (in diamond push ups, your hands are touching, whereas in close grip push ups your hands are just closer than normal to each other). However, for the purposes of this comparison, they’re similar enough.

Related: Wide push ups vs narrow

Diamond pushups vs bar dips

A man doing a dips vs diamond push ups comparison

Parallel bar dips are harder than diamond push ups because they use a higher percentage of your body weight as resistance. So, on a per rep basis, a correctly performed bar dip will give you more triceps activation.

By correctly performed, I mean that you need to maintain an upright torso rather than lean forward as you dip (which is the main difference between a chest dip and a tricep dip).

Diamond push ups are more convenient than dips because they require zero equipment. They’re also slightly safer because they put less pressure on your sternum and rotator cuffs.

For building muscle, I’d say that both movements are equally effective because you can add external resistance to each exercise to make them more challenging. Of course, given that you can typically add more weight to a dipping belt than a weighted vest, you could argue that dips are better for gaining long-term strength.

Close grip push ups vs bench dips

A man doing a head-to-head close grip push ups vs bench dips comparison

Bench dips are easier than close grip push ups and diamond push ups because they use a lower percentage of your body weight for resistance. For this reason, bench dips are naturally suited to being a high-rep finishing exercise that you can perform at the end of your workout to really burn out your triceps.

Since close grip push ups are harder than bench tips, they put more tension on your triceps on a per rep basis.

Close grip push ups are also easier to load than bench dips because you can wear a weighted vest. With dips, on the other hand, you typically need to get someone to put weights on your legs, although you could definitely wear a weighted vest as well.

Bench dips are a pure tricep exercise, whereas diamond push ups work the anterior deltoids and chest muscles as well as the triceps. However, as long as you keep your elbows tucked to your sides, diamond push ups are definitely a triceps-dominant exercise.

Both exercises are about as convenient as each other because you can do them pretty much anywhere, which is ideal if you’re working out at home with minimal equipment.

Can you do diamond push ups and dips on the same day?

A weight lifter performing a close grip push ups vs dips comparison at the gym

Yes, you can definitely do diamond push ups and dips on the same day. Just make sure to do your hardest and heaviest exercise first when you have the most explosive strength.

For example, you can do (weighted) parallel bar dips followed by bodyweight diamond push-ups.

Or, for a minimal equipment bodyweight workout, you can do diamond push ups followed by bench dips, which would really pump up your triceps.

Which exercise is safer?

A man doing a side by side diamond push ups vs tricep dips comparison

Now for arguably the most crucial part of this dips vs diamond push ups comparison; safety. When’s the last time you heard someone complain about diamond pushups causing them discomfort?

Probably never.

On the other hand, lifters complain about dips causing problems all the time. And that’s because bar dips put more strain on your shoulders and sternum than diamond push ups.

Since both dips and diamond push-ups are triceps exercises, they both put a similar amount of torque through your elbows.

Bench dips—even though they’re a high rep exercise—also put more stress on your shoulders than diamond push ups, so you’re best off not going too deep (stop when your elbows form a 90-degree angle).

Diamond pushups vs dips: The verdict

A man doing a diamond push ups vs dips comparison to show the differences

As I said throughout this close grip push ups vs dips comparison, both exercises can build plenty of tricep mass when performed correctly. And while you can definitely do both diamond push ups and dips, it’s not always practical to perform both exercises if you’re doing other movements as well.

On the one hand, you could argue that diamond push ups are the superior choice because they’re typically safer, and you don’t need any parallel bars to do them. You can also make your close grip push ups highly taxing for your triceps by wearing a weighted vest or by getting someone to put weight plates on your back. That’s why they’re an excellent alternative exercise for tricep dips.

On the other hand, bar dips are arguably better than diamond push ups for overloading your triceps because they use a higher percentage of your body weight as resistance. Similarly, you can add seemingly endless amounts of weight to a dipping belt, which means that bar dips are excellent for long-term strength and size gains.

Of course, both bench dips and bar dips put more stress on your shoulders than diamond push ups, which is something to take into account if you’ve had rotator cuff problems in the past.

I hope that my diamond pushups vs dips comparison was helpful. Try both exercises and see which you prefer.

References

  1. Deltoid Muscles: What Are They, Anatomy, Location & Function. (2021). Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21875-deltoid-muscles
  2. WebMD. (2017, March 27). How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/how-to-prevent-shoulder-injuries
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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