Tips for Pike Push-ups or Alternatives

Tips for Pike Push-ups or Alternatives

Looking to take your upper body workouts to the next level? If so, you’re on the right page! In the world of fitness where few exercises are as just as ubiquitous as the push-ups, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, chances are you’ve done push-ups as part of your routine at some point. And for good reason – they’re effective, convenient, and require no equipment.

Now, for those looking to take their push-up game to an even higher level and challenge their upper body further, the pike push-up just might be it. This variation, although it may be tougher, offers a serious step up in difficulty while requiring minimal equipment. While it is a fantastic upper body strength, its advanced form may not be suitable for everyone.

So, what if pike push-ups seem a bit too intense right now? Don’t worry, this blog has you covered! We’ll not only guide you through the perfect pike push-up form but also provide some excellent alternative exercises to keep your push-up routine fresh and effective. Additionally, consider joining our online zoom classes and personalized fitness sessions to receive expert guidance and support in achieving your fitness goals.

What are Pike Push-Ups?

Pike push-ups are advanced exercises that require more strength and stability than regular push-ups, making them perfect for those seeking a serious upper body challenge. Think of an exercise where you have to do a push-up with your hips lifted high, creating a diagonal line from your head to your heels. That’s the pike push-up. 

What’s so amazing about this upper body workout is its ability to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as –

  • Deltoids (Shoulders): All three heads of your deltoids (anterior, medial, and posterior) get a workout during pike push-ups. However, the front delt (anterior) takes more focus, pushing you up from the ground.
  • Triceps Brachii (Triceps): Located on the backside of your upper arm, the triceps are responsible for extending your elbow. Pike push-ups place more stress on your arms compared to regular push-ups. This helps in making the triceps work harder as they help with extension.
  • Upper Trapezius (Upper Back): Your traps, those diamond-shaped muscles in your upper back, have three sections with different functions. During pike push-ups, all three sets of fibres get activated, with the upper traps playing the most significant role in elevating your shoulder girdle.
  • Core: Maintaining that rigid yet flexed pike position throughout the exercise requires a strong core. Your core muscles work overtime to stabilize your spine and ensure proper form.

Read more : Should people with upper back pain run?

Benefits of Doing Pike Push-Ups

In this section, let’s explore some of the benefits of pike push-ups, shall we?

  • Anytime/Anyplace Workout: One of the most significant benefits of pike push-ups is their convenience. They require minimal space and no equipment, making them suitable for exercising virtually anywhere. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or travelling, you can perform pike push-ups to strengthen your upper body and core.
  • Calorie Burner: While not strictly cardio, pike push-ups are a demanding exercise. They elevate your heart rate and get your blood pumping, contributing to improved overall cardiovascular health and potentially burning more calories during your workout.
  • A Scalable Challenge: Don’t be fooled by the initial form! The beauty of pike push-ups lies in their scalability. Feeling like a beginner? Start with a higher incline for modified pike push-ups. As you gain strength, gradually lower your body position, increasing the difficulty. This makes pike push-ups suitable for all fitness levels, and allows you to progress at your own pace.

Pike Push-Ups Drawbacks

Now, like all good things in life, pike push-ups also come with their disadvantages. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks here, shall we?

  • More Demanding Than Regular Push-Ups: If you’re new to push-ups, it’s wise to master regular push-ups with proper form before attempting pike push-ups. The increased difficulty can put more stress on your shoulders and core, so proper technique is crucial to avoid injury.
  • Potential for Shoulder Strain: Remember, proper form is essential! If your shoulders don’t have adequate strength or mobility, pike push-ups can lead to strain or pain. It’s vital to listen to your body and ensure you have the necessary foundation before incorporating them into your routine.
  • May Not Be Suitable for Everyone: While pike push-ups offer a great upper body workout, they might not be suitable for everyone. If you have any pre-existing shoulder or core injuries, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare professional or a professional fitness trainer before attempting them.

Read more : Circuit Training Workouts for Athletes: Tips for Success

How To Do Pike Push-Ups With Proper Form

Now, let’s focus on how to perform pike push-ups with perfect form, along with valuable tips and common mistakes to avoid. 

Proper Form For Pike Pull-Ups:

  • Setup: You can start with a push-up position with both of your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Brace your core and do make sure your body forms a straight line from head to heels.
  • Elevate Your Hips: Lift your hips toward the ceiling, creating an inverted V shape with your body. Keep your legs straight and at the same time your feet hip-width apart. This position will engage your shoulders and prepare you for the movement.
  • Hand Placement: Gradually move your hands closer to your feet to increase the load on your shoulders and achieve a more inverted position. Ensure your fingers are spread wide to create a stable base of support.
  • Execution: While maintaining the piked position, bend your arms and also lower your head toward the floor, aiming to bring it within an inch of the ground. Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body as you descend.
  • Push Back Up: Press through your palms to straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Ensure a smooth, controlled movement throughout the exercise.

Tips for Perfecting Your Pike Push-Ups:

  • Experiment with Hand Position: Find the most effective hand placement for your shoulder engagement by trying different widths.
  • Engage Your Core: Try and keep your abs tight throughout the exercise to stabilize your body and also maintain proper form.
  • Focus on Breathing: Inhale as you lower down, exhale as you push back up. Consistent breathing enhances performance.
  • Controlled Tempo: Lower yourself down for three seconds, pause briefly, then return to the starting position over another three-second count for optimal range of motion.
  • Modifications: Use props like yoga blocks to increase the challenge or elevate your feet for a more intense shoulder workout.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Avoid Overexertion: If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, take a break to prevent injury.
  • Maintain Elbow Alignment: Keep elbows close to your body to protect your shoulders and ensure proper form.
  • Stay True to Form: Resist the urge to arch your back or use momentum. Focus on controlled movements all the while engaging your core.
  • Minimize Hip Involvement: Concentrate on using your shoulder muscles to lift your body, avoiding excessive leg or hip movement.
  • Watch Your Elbows: Ensure elbows remain directly over your wrists to prevent joint strain and maintain stability.

Read more : Can pull-ups cause lower back pain?

18 Pike Push-Up Alternatives

But let’s face it, pike push-ups can be quite challenging! Whether you’re battling an injury, just starting your fitness journey, or simply seeking variety, there are times when pike push-ups might not be the best fit for your workout routine. Luckily for us, there are a few options that can help us achieve just as much. Let’s take a look at 18 pike push-up alternatives in this section. 

1. Barbell Overhead Press:

Adjust the barbell height in a squat rack, stand beneath it with elbows forward, and press the bar overhead while moving your head away. This exercise increases pressing strength and mobilizes shoulder joints. Maintain proper form and adjust the rep range according to your goals.

2. Incline Bench Press:

Set the incline bench height, align your shoulders with the bar, and drive your shoulders into the bench while unracking the bar. Lower it to your upper/mid-chest and press upward to target your upper chest. Control the descent for muscle engagement and adjust your grip width as needed.

3. Push Press:

Set the barbell height, grip it with feet hip-width apart, and create tension by bending hips and knees. Drive through the midfoot to press the bar overhead, extending hips, knees, and elbows fully. Focus on explosive movement and engage your core throughout.

4. Bottoms-Up Kettlebell Press:

Hold the kettlebell upside-down and press it overhead, extending your elbow. Now, lower the kettlebell back to the starting position. This exercise increases shoulder stability and targets stabilizing muscles. Start with a lighter weight and then focus on grip strength.

5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press:

Adjust the incline bench angle, lie back, and hold dumbbells at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells upward while slightly flaring your elbows. Lower them to your upper chest and repeat. This exercise builds chest and shoulder muscles, targeting the upper chest.

6. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press:

Sit down on a bench and hold dumbbells at ear level. Press the dumbbells overhead, extending your elbows, and then lower them back to the starting position. This exercise strengthens shoulders and engages the core for stability. Keep your wrists straight, and avoid arching your lower back.

7. Barbell Z Press:

Sit on the floor with your legs extended, grip the barbell, and press it overhead. Maintain a straight back all the while engaging your core, then lower the barbell to the starting position. This exercise develops core stability and targets shoulders. Start with a lighter weight to master the form and maintain an upright posture.

8. Push-Ups:

You can begin in a plank position, lower your body down till your elbows are at 90 degrees, and then press your body upward until your arms are fully extended. Repeat for desired reps or to failure. This exercise builds chest, shoulder, and triceps strength. Maintain straight body alignment and control the descent.

9. Hammer Strength Shoulder Press:

Adjust the seat height on the machine, grip the handles, and press overhead while controlling the movement throughout the range. This exercise isolates shoulder muscles and reduces the risk of injury. Use the full range of motion and avoid locking your elbows.

10. Banded Shoulder Press:

First, stand on the resistance band, grip the handles, and press them overhead while maintaining tension in the band. Lower the handles back to the starting position. This exercise adds resistance to the shoulder press and improves stability. Experiment with band thickness for the desired resistance.

11. Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press:

Sit on a bench and hold dumbbells at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells overhead while rotating your palms outward, then lower them while rotating your palms inward. This exercise targets shoulders from different angles and engages the core. Focus on a full range of motion and maintain controlled movement.

12. Landmine Press:

Hold a barbell attached to a landmine and press it overhead while controlling the descent. This exercise develops shoulder strength and stability while reducing strain on the lower back. Maintain a stable posture and adjust your grip width if necessary.

13. Wall Walks:

Start in a plank position facing a wall and walk your feet up the wall, moving into a handstand position. Pause briefly, then walk your hands back down to the plank position. This exercise builds shoulder strength, improves balance, and coordination. Keep your core engaged and move slowly and deliberately.

14. Handstand Push-Ups:

For this, you can start in a handstand position with your hands on the ground, lower your head toward the ground while keeping your body straight, and then press your body upward until your arms are fully extended. This exercise builds shoulder and triceps strength and improves balance. Start with partial reps if necessary and progress to a full range of motion.

15. Feet Elevated Push-Ups:

Place your feet on a bench or box and hands on the ground, then lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees and press your body upward until your arms fully extend. This exercise increases the difficulty of push-ups and targets shoulders and chest. Maintain straight body alignment and control the descent.

16. Single Arm Dumbbell Shoulder Press:

Hold the dumbbell in one hand at shoulder height and press it overhead till your arm is fully extended, and then lower it back to the starting position. This exercise builds unilateral shoulder strength and engages the core for stability. Keep your core engaged and avoid excessive leaning or twisting.

17. Dumbbell Curl and Press:

Curl dumbbells to shoulder height and press them overhead until your arms fully extend, and lower them back to shoulder height. This exercise targets shoulders and arms and adds variation to your workout. Use controlled movement and avoid swinging weights.

18. Kneeling Single Arm Press:

Kneel with one knee up and the other down, hold the dumbbell in one hand at shoulder height, and press it overhead until your arm fully extends. Lower the dumbbell back to shoulder height. This exercise targets the shoulders and engages the core for stability. Maintain a stable posture and control the movement throughout.

Read more : The Benefits Of An Online Personal Trainer

Final Thoughts

We have finally covered the ins and outs of pike push-ups, including their benefits, drawbacks, and proper form. Now, pike push-ups offer a challenging workout that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them an excellent addition to your routine if you’re up for the challenge. However, they may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with shoulder or core issues. Always bear in mind to prioritize proper form and listen to your body to avoid injury. 

Hopefully, these18 alternative exercises offer similar benefits while catering to various fitness levels and preferences. 

For more information and to talk to some of the best fitness trainers in India, do call 9076306262. 

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.