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Pike Push Ups

What Is A Pike Push Up?

How To Do A Pike Push Ups

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A pike push up is a variation of the traditional push up that place more emphasis on the shoulder muscles than the chest. In the pike push up, your hips are in a pike position, meaning the hips are higher and the torso is at a greater angle to the legs and more vertical towards the floor compared to traditional push ups. This shifts more of the resistance to the deltoids and makes it a generally more challenging exercise.

The primary muscles worked during pike push ups are the deltoids, triceps, upper back and upper chest, however there is more resistance placed on the shoulders and more weight placed on the triceps than standard push up. It's great for building overhead strength and improving shoulder stability. Pike push ups also work the core and can improve hamstring flexibility.

Pike push ups are generally considered quite a challenging push up option. Decline push ups are a good variation to master first as they also place more emphasis on the shoulders and upper chest and can help to build the strength needed for pike push ups.

Check out our other push up variations: one arm push ups, archer push ups, superman push ups, knee push ups, incline push ups

Commonly Asked Questions On Pike Push Ups

Are Pike Push Ups Effective?

Yes, pike push ups are a highly effective exercise. This compound exercise builds shoulder, tricep, chest, and core strength while improving hamstring flexibility and core compression.

What If I Can’t Do Pike Push Ups?

Pike push ups are challenging but there are regressions and exercises you can do to build the strength needed for this exercise. Once you have mastered the standard push up, performing decline push ups, overhead tricep extensions, incline bench press, and shoulder presses can help to build the necessary overhead strength. Pike leg raises can help with the compression and hamstring flexibility needed too.

Do Pike Push Ups Work The Chest?

Pike push ups do work the upper portion of the chest, however the key muscled worked are the shoulders and triceps. Pike push ups are great as part of a rounded upper body strength training routine, but it's important to include other chest-targeting exercises.

Are Pike Push Ups Easier Than Traditional Push Ups?

Most people find pike push ups more challenging than regular push ups. They provide a great way to elevate your push up game and work a range of different muscle groups. It’s recommended that you start by perfecting traditional push ups before moving on to more difficult options like this.

Pike Push Up Tips

  • If you find that you can do a pike push up with little difficulty, there are ways to increase the intensity and difficulty of this exercise. Before lowering your head towards the ground, lift your right leg into the air. With your leg raised, begin your pike push ups.

  • Experiment with placing your hands more or less than shoulder-width apart to see which you prefer. Wider hand placement can engage the chest more, while a narrower stance will place more emphasis on the shoulders.

  • Spread your fingers to create a more stable base from which to work.

How To Do A Pike Push Up

  1. Start in a high plank position on the floor, hands under shoulders with your core, glutes, and legs engaged.

  2. Lift your hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape, keeping your arms and legs as straight as possible.

  3. Start to bend your elbows, and then lower your entire upper body toward the floor.

  4. Stay there for a moment, then slowly push back up until your arms are straight and you’re in the inverted V position.

If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.