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Pike Push-Ups: How To, Muscle Worked, Tips

Pike push-ups are a difficult version of the traditional push-up that emphasizes your shoulder muscles and also train your triceps and chest. Incorporating this type of push-up into your exercise routine can help to build additional strength, muscle mass and improve weak areas in your shoulders.

Pike Push-up is one of the greatest conditioning exercises for the outdoor athlete, it can be performed, regardless of where you are and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or no annual gym fees required!

Pike Push-Up Vs Standard Push-Up

Standard Push-ups are a compound strength-training exercise that involves raising and lowering the body using the arms while facing down in a prone, horizontal position.

The classic push-up has survived the test of time and is the single most efficient exercise to simultaneously strengthen the chest, arms, deltoid, lower back, abs and glutes.

Pike push-ups are harder than compared to the normal push-ups ones because of the angle at which the exercise has to be done.

Pike push-ups work harder because of the upward vertical push, which implies using more of the shoulder muscles, tricep and less of the pectoral, which, being a large muscle, has the possibility of developing more strength.

In conclusion, in the pike push, the less we will work the pectoral muscles, and the more the shoulders and triceps. However, during standard push-ups the more horizontal the angle at which we work, the more the pectoral muscles will work and the less the shoulders and triceps muscles.

Pike Push Up Muscles Worked

Depending on the degree to which you perform this exercise, it will be the muscles that are worked and with greater or lesser intensity. The main  muscles involved in push-ups are:

  • Main muscles:  Anterior deltoids (shoulder muscle), and triceps.
  • Secondary muscles:  The pectoralis major, lateral deltoid, serratus, trapezius, and core muscles (abs, lumbar, gluteal, pelvic, and deep spinal muscles).
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Pike Push Up

Pike Push-ups aka shoulder push up is a variation of the push-up that increases strength and stability in the shoulders and triceps. 

Performing the exercise in a more upright position will target the shoulders more than the chest.

 

 

To make the pike push-up easier, you can place your hands on a block or a higher surface than your feet, as this reduces resistance.

 

pike push-ups
pike push-ups

 

How To Do Pike Push-Ups

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  4. Then slowly push back until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.
Tips
  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.

Make It Easier Or Harder (Regression & Progression)

To make pike pushups easier, you can place your hands on a low box or on a chair. Just about anyone can do this beginner version because you’e not lifting a large percentage of your bodyweight, and it doesn’t require as much flexibility. Knee pike push-up is also the best variation for beginner.

To make pike pushups harder, you can use any of the variations listed below, which elevate your feet. Furthermore, elevating your hands in any way increases the rage of motion.

 

Once you’ve mastered the pike push-up, then you may want to try handstand pushups – one of the toughest body weight exercises of all.

Pike Push-Ups Variations

1. Elevated Pike Push-Up

By elevating your feet on a box, you advance these holds because you are now stabilizing a heavier percentage of your bodyweight on your arms.

Each of the setups steps from above still applies. This step allows you to make greater strength gains while also eliminating the fear of falling over.

pike push-ups
pike push-ups

 

How To Do Elevated Pike Push-Up

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out. Elevate your feet to an appropriate height for your current strength.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  4. Then slowly push back until your arms are straight, and you’re in the inverted V position.
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Tips

 

  • Be sure to have first mastered the pike push-ups before trying the elevated pike press.
  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.
  • Keep your back neutral and knees straight throughout the exercise.

2. Pike Push-Up Between Bench

The pike push-up should be performed on two benches, as this allows you to lower your head between the two benches and thus ensures a full range of motion.

However, if two benches are not available, you can perform the pike push-up on the floor. Just be careful not to hit your head.

 

pike push-ups
pike push-ups

 

How To Do Pike Push-Up Between Bench

  1. Position two flat benches side by side, shoulder-width apart from each other.
  2. Place each hand on one end of each bench and each foot on the other end of each bench.
  3. Raise your hips by extending your knees. Keeping your legs straight, inhale as you lower your head between the two benches.
  4. Exhale as you push your body back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Maintain a neutral back and straight knees throughout the exercise.
  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.

3 Pike To Cobra Push Up

Are you ready to combine the Cobra Yoga Pose and the pike push-up?

Pike to Cobra Push-Ups are a strengthening and stretching exercise for your shoulder, lower back that also adds in some light arm work. It will also help to stretch your groin, abs, and hip flexors, but to a lesser degree.

You can also use them in a calisthenics training regime.

pike push-ups
pike push-ups

How To Do Pike To Cobra Push-Ups

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your chest until it’s just above the floor, going into low plank pose.
  4. In a scooping motion, scoop your head upward while arching your lower and upper back and go into cobra pose.
  5. Return to the starting position, you do not need to reverse back through the sweeping, arching motion. Simply push back into the starting position.
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Tips
  • Look upwards as you hold the arched back position.
  • Don’t let your hips rest on the ground, keep them elevated during the push-up process.

Training Tips

  • For the pike push-ups, begin by performing 2–3 sets of 6–8 repetitions. Add more reps and sets as you build strength.
  • Choose the exercises as per your fitness levels. And also choice your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout all sets and repetitions.
  • Pay extra attention to your form and emphasize quality over quantity to improve your upper-body strength.
  • Never let your head touch the floor, but try to get as close to it as you can.
  • Slow down all of your movements and really stay focused on your form.
  • If you are having trouble perfecting your form for this exercise, it can be helpful to break down the movement, regress, and work on the foundation.
  • To see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program.
  • Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.

Takeaways

Pike Push-Up is a great bodyweight exercise to develop strong shoulders. It involves lowering your head from a downward dog position until it touches the ground, then pressing back up to the start position.

Resistance can be reduced by performing exercise on a bench or apparatus with hands positioned higher than feet.

For greater challenge, place feet higher than hands.

25 Most Effective Types Of Push-Ups Exercises for Beginner to Advanced

 

 

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