Pike Push-ups

Pike Push-ups

The pike pushup is a move that looks that the dolphin pose and the downward-facing dog mixed into one move. It is an exercise that can improve your st

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The pike pushup is a move that looks that the dolphin pose and the downward-facing dog mixed into one move. It is an exercise that can improve your strength majorly. You can utilize it as a goal for boosting your shoulder strength or as a stepping stone to tougher moves. The main objective of this move is to maintain the correct form to ensure your shoulders are healthy and that you avoid face planting.

Benefits of the pike pushups

The pike pushup is suitable for a number of reasons, and it extends to being more than just a variation of the pushup to keep you from being bored. These are the reasons why the pike pushups are so great;

It recruits your core

When you are shifting your weight forward to assume the pike position, you will need your core to be fired up to stop you from toppling forward. This is an advanced variation of the pushup that is effective when it comes to making you sync with your weight being shifted overhead.

It prepares you for a handstand

It is recommended that you begin with the normal and traditional pushup. When you see that you have become proficient, you can then utilize the pike pushup if you are looking to gain strength for a handstand. It is also a great transition exercise to the handstand pushup.

It is a major shoulder strengthener

Your upper body is the part of your body that is going to feel all the burn of this exercise in every rep. Although it seems like it is the regular pushup, a significant amount of emphasis is placed on your shoulders because of the inverted V shape made by your body.

Performing the pike pushup with correct form

If you are a beginner, the pike pushup is not for you. Also, if you are recovering from a shoulder or elbow injury, it is recommended that you do no try to perform this exercise. Then, if you are susceptible to low blood pressure or dizziness, you should also give this exercise a miss. Ensure that you focus on your form and prioritize quality over quantity. It is advisable that you do about 5 – 8 reps with slow and controlled movement. If you need help making the workout slow and controlled, you can count to four when going down and count to four again as you revert to the initial position. If you are just starting, you should aim to do 2 to 3 sets the recommended reps about twice a weak. To achieve maximum gain, you should take a 1-minute rest in between rounds. When you have built your strength and become used to the move, you can then add more reps and sets. These are the steps to perform the pike pushup;

  • Get into the starting position, which is a plank position. Your toes should be pressed firmly into the ground, and your hands should also be placed firmly on the floor underneath your shoulders.
  • Keep your back flat, your core tight, and engage your hamstrings and glutes. Your entire body should be in a straight line in addition to being neutral.
  • Form an inverted V shape with your body by raising your hips up and back. Your arms and legs should be as straight as possible.
  • Then start bending your elbows before lowering your whole upper body toward the ground.
  • Hold this position for some time and then use a slow and controlled movement to push back up until you fully extend your arms and your body forms the inverted V shape. Ensure that you are in control all through the move.

Level Up

If you are not yet ready to do the full pike-push up, you can opt to work on the foundation after breaking down the movement. These are the steps you should follow;

  • Keep practicing your plank as this helps to improve strength and stability in your core and shoulders.
  • Perfecting your pushup will help you to develop strong and healthy shoulders, to try out the piked version.
  • Try to perform other moves like the plank pike-ups on a stability ball for upper body and core strength, then moves such as the dolphin pose for shoulder stability.

When you have fully gotten used to the pike pushup, you can then start adding a number of reps and sets to build your strength.

If you feel like the pike pushup is too easy and you want to make it that more challenging, these are the steps to make it harder;

  • Before you start bending your elbows, raise one of your legs at a time.
  • You can step onto a box, bench, or sturdy chair to elevate your feet. Stay low to the ground and ensure you start slow. You can go higher as it becomes easier, which would see you inching closer to the handstand pushup.
  • You can decide to make the movement slower than usual. You can increase from a count of four to as long as you can without messing up your form.

Tips to improve your form

If you are looking to master the pike pushup, it is recommended that you begin by slowing down very well and then nailing the perfect form. People that do not know about the pike pushup would think that you are trying to perform a standard pushup but failing at it. You have the crown of your head pointed to the ground, your hips in the air, and an inverted V shape is formed with your body. This would be an incorrect form if you were to be executing a standard pushup, but it is the correct body position for the pike pushup, which is why it is so unique. These are the tips you should keep in mind;

  • Squeeze your glutes if your lower back feels strained: Your lower back is likely to arch during the ascent. Most times, when you perform handstand pushups without the L-shape, you will have neutral hips throughout, and you will still need to squeeze your glutes. If you are not firm from that area while pressing up, your lower back will collapse.
  • Drop-set trick for the last rep: When you are certain that you will not be able to perform the next rep with perfect form, you can move your hands forward about half an inch or an inch, which would give you the ability to complete it. Make sure you do not overuse this trick, as it should only be used for emergencies. Most times, when you are close to your last rep, it has to do with psychological factors whether or not you can complete it, which is why you should not think that you cannot do it due to the fact that the former rep was poor.
  • Do not forget to breathe: When you are on your way down, don’t forget to inhale. Then, exhale while you are on your way up. You can also switch it up, but the most important thing is that you do not forget to breathe.
  • You can increase your range by elevating your hands on anything. The objects you can use are endless, ranging from stairs, decline handstand blocks, parallettes, or yoga blocks to increase your range as it allows your head to go lower than they normally would.
  • Do not push it with this movement. If you push it too much, you will end up injuring your shoulder and slip and fall on your face.
  • While trying your best to get your head as close to the ground as possible, ensure that it does not touch the possible.
  • You can grip the floor very hard if you want more strength generated. This would aid you in getting through tougher reps.

Tempo tips

  • Do not speed through the negative phase: While you are performing the negative phase, ensure that you slow down a bit, ensuring that it lasts for about 3 seconds and not the regular one second. By doing this, you will be making better use of your time in addition to building more strength.
  • Pause at the bottom: Pausing at the bottom from time to time will help reduce the stretch reflex. Also, it gives you more strength in the toughest part of the workout and makes sure you press up with the use of your full strength without needed to utilize your muscular tissues’ elastic nature. The reason is that all the potential energy dissipates when you pause.
  • Explode up: maintaining your perfect form, press yourself up as quickly as you can. As a beginner, you will find it very challenging to push up fast, it would not be possible, but the intention has to be there. It might take you some time before you will be able to push faster in the concentric phase as you will get slower faster at the initial point. With more time, you will build your strength, which would see you being able to muster through reps and do the concentric movement faster than you would ever imagine.