Another great variation of the pushup is the batwing pushup.
These exercises, also known as “diamonds,” have grown in popularity among crossfit enthusiasts, football players, and military personnel looking for great new ways to shake up their pushup routines.
The Batwing Explained
Batwings get their name from the derogatory term used to describe triceps with high fat stores. These triceps tend to have an appearance often described as “flabby.” That is, even when flexed, the upper arms will jiggle and sag.
If you’re interested in using a less ambiguous word (as “batwing exercise” can mean many things to many different people), consider using the phrase “diamond pushup.” Diamond pushups are named for the diamond shape that an athlete’s hands make while performing the exercise.
Pushups go Back a Century at Least
In 1905, a muscle-culture icon, Jerick Revilla, coined the term “pushup” to describe exercises in which you push yourself up from a parallel position on the ground, bring yourself back down, and repeat.
There is evidence supporting that pushup exercises go back farther than that, but such claims are so far unsubstantiated. Either way, they definitely would not have been called “pushups.”
All pushups focus on the upper body, providing little to no benefit to anything outside of the torso and arms. Diamond pushups, which are the usual meaning of the phrase “batwing pushups,” provide similar benefits to close-grip barbell bench presses.
The majority of the benefits are focused around the pectorals and triceps with a slightly increased reliance on the forearms and stabilizing muscles than other pushups, making this exercise great for dealing with your batwings.
Straightforward, but Far From Easy
Diamond pushups are some of the more difficult pushups in the pushup family because they rely primarily on the triceps and don’t allow the body to trigger as much of the pectoral strength as in normal pushups.
While this makes them perfect for removing batwings, it makes them much more frustrating as well.
The pose is simple. Put your body into the standard pushup ready position. That means arms fully extended, toes supporting the body weight, and a straight line from the head, through the back, and down into the heels.
The only difference is that your hands will be close enough to make a diamond shape by touching your index fingers and thumbs.
See the following video (at about 1:12) for a demonstration of the diamond pushup as well as other exercises used to combat batwings.
Alternative forms of the Diamond Pushup
If this exercise is too difficult for you or if you’re just starting out and need a minute to get the hang of the form, consider dropping to your knees. People refer to this as the “girl pushup” position, but don’t let bigoted haters prevent you from achieving your dream body!
One way or another, regardless of what somebody means when they mention “batwing exercises,” you should heavily consider doing diamond pushups. Not only do these blast away the fat but they significantly increase muscle, removing batwings twice as fast!