When it comes to bodyweight exercises, Pike pushups are an age-old favorite, cherished for their ability to tone the chest, shoulders, and triceps. But there’s more to pushups than just the standard version; one compelling variation to explore is the pike pushup. This particular exercise primarily targets the shoulders, upper chest, and triceps, making it a great choice for those seeking a well-rounded upper body workout with an added touch of balance and stability.
What Are Pike Pushups?
Pike pushups are an intriguing fusion of yoga and traditional pushups, aptly named for the pike position they involve. In this exercise, you begin in an elevated “V” shape, much like the yoga pose called the downward dog. Your hips are raised, forming an angle between your upper and lower body. The motion involves lowering your head towards the ground and then pushing your upper body back up.
How to Perform Pike Pushups:
Let’s break down how to perform pike pushups step by step:
- Start in a plank position, positioning your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your feet hip-width apart.
- Raise your hips upward, creating the distinctive “V” shape with your body – much like the downward dog in yoga.
- Maintain a straight line in your arms and back, all while engaging your core to ensure balance.
- Slowly lower your head toward the ground by bending your elbows, aiming to touch your nose or forehead to the ground.
- Pause for a brief moment of exercise at the bottom of the movement.
- Push through your hands to elevate your upper body back to the starting position.
- Perform the desired number of repetitions.
Benefits of Pike Pushups:
- Shoulder Strength: Pike pushups are a powerful tool for targeting the shoulder muscles, particularly the anterior and lateral deltoids. This exercise can significantly enhance your shoulder strength and stability.
- Triceps Development: Pike push-ups actively engage the triceps, which contributes to increased arm strength.
- Core Activation: To maintain balance and the pike position, your core muscles come into play, thus strengthening your core and improving overall stability.
- No Equipment Necessary: Pike pushups require no special equipment, making them an accessible exercise that can be performed anywhere, be it at home or in the gym.
- Body Awareness: This exercise enhances body awareness and balance. It requires focus and control, which helps to fine-tune your mind-body connection.
Advancing with Pike Pushups:
Pike pushups can be demanding, especially for beginners. To make them more manageable, consider beginning with a modified version. Place your hands on an elevated surface, like a bench or a step, to reduce the angle between your upper and lower body.
As you become more comfortable, you can gradually lower the surface you use for hand placement until you can perform a full pike pushup on the ground. For an added challenge, try raising one leg while doing the exercise.
Incorporating Pike Pushups into Your Routine:
To reap the benefits of pike pushups, consider including them in your regular exercise regimen. You can add them to a full-body workout or dedicate specific workout sessions to shoulder and triceps training. A good starting point is 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for a well-rounded strength-building routine.
Pike pushups offer versatility and a host of benefits, including shoulder and triceps strength, core engagement, and improved balance. These exercises can be easily adapted to your fitness level and integrated into your regular workout routine. Whether you’re aiming to build upper body strength, enhance your yoga practice, or boost overall stability, pike pushups are a valuable addition to your fitness repertoire.