Diamond Pushups

Some two- or three-hundred years ago (or so it seems) I served as an enlisted man in the Army. Through a series of foolish mistakes, I had forfeited my ROTC scholarship, and joining the Army as a PFC (E-3, Private First Class) seemed the best of my options. God used it to make a man of me (or at least changed me enough so that I could play one on TV) and I eventually went back to college older, wiser, and considerably more physically-fit.

Good military pushup posture means keeping your face forward and your back straight.

I’ll never forget the day in Basic Training when our drill sergeants decided to teach us the joys of muscle fatigue. First, they had us do diamond pushups with our feet on tables. Most of us could only do a few, and soon we were doing diamond pushups with our feet on the benches, and finally on the ground. Then we switched to regular pushups, and eventually ‘girl pushups’ (with knees touching the ground). After an hour of this, we were laying on our faces in the dust, unable to do even a single ‘girl pushup’. When they shouted for us to stand, we had to roll over onto our backs and sit up from that position, because our arms were so weak and trembly.

A diamond pushup works the triceps and involves making a diamond with the thumbs and index fingers.

This year Daniel has begun to work seriously on physical strength. He lifts weights at the YMCA, and participates in Physical Training (PT) in ROTC. Lately, he has been doing diamond pushups, which make me smile nostalgically. He’s getting pretty good at them — soon he’ll be able to pick Joshua up, when they wrestle. It’ll be a while, yet, before he can lift me, though.

Even at the point of muscle fatigue, Daniel maintained his diamond.


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