Pike Push-Ups (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Pike Push-ups are a challenging variation of the traditional Push-Up that targets the shoulders, upper chest and triceps. This advanced bodyweight exercise requires you to position your body in a pike position, with your hips lifted high and your hands and feet on the ground.

By performing a push-up in this position, you increase the workload on your shoulders and upper chest while also engaging your core muscles for stability.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to perform pike push-ups with proper form and technique. I’ll also explain the benefits of Pike Push-ups, what muscles are worked and provide you with a few variations and alternatives.

How To Do Pike Push-Ups

Equipment Needed

  • None

Muscles Worked

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Triceps

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Start in a downward dog yoga pose, with your hands and feet on the ground and your hips lifted high.
  • Engage your core and slowly lower your head towards the ground, bending your elbows to perform a push-up.
  • Once your head is a few inches above the ground, push back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.

Coaching Points

The closer your hands are to your feet the more Pike Push-Ups will target the shoulders over the chest.

Increase the difficulty of this exercise by elevating the feet up onto a bench or box.

Benefits of Pike Push-Ups

Pike Push-Ups are probably most utilized as a part of a progression toward being able to do a Handstand Push-Up. Pike Push-Ups are a great way to build shoulder strength and begin to get accustomed to the body position needed to maintain Handstand Push-Ups.

Pike Push-Ups require zero equipment making them an extremely versatile exercise that can be done anywhere at any time.

Pike Push-Up Variations

With just a slight tweak you can change the difficulty of Pike Push-Ups.

Feet Elevated Pike Push-Ups

By elevating your feet onto a box, bench or even a weight plate, you can shift more weight towards your shoulders and increase the difficulty of the exercise.

If you are using Pike Push-Ups as a progression to Handstand Push-ups, elevating the feet is the next step once you’ve become proficient (10 to 15 reps in a set) at regular Pike Push-Ups.

Pike Push-Up Alternatives

Looking for an alternative for Pike Push-Ups? Here are a few exercises you may be able to use as a replacement.

Handstand Push-Ups

Handstand Push-Up

I’ve already mentioned Handstand Push-Ups so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see them listed here as an alternative. Handstand Push-Ups are much more challenging than Pike Push-Ups, so once you feel you’re ready for them go ahead give them a shot.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press is a simple, yet effective exercise for building upper body strength – specifically the shoulders.

If you want a good shoulder exercise that doesn’t involve having to be upside-down, Dumbbell Shoulder Presses can be a good option.

Shoulder Taps

Shoulder Taps

Shoulder Taps involve jumping into Plank Push-Up position and then tapping the opposite shoulder with the opposite hand.

This is a great movement for building balance, shoulder stability and core strength – all of which can help improve Pike Push-Ups.

More Links and Info

Need a training program? Coach Horton has 20 years of experience working as a Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach and Sports Scientist. Our Shop has a variety of programs ranging from Sports Performance to getting ready for the beach. So, whether you’re looking to dominate at your sport or just look good at the ocean, you’ll find something for you.

If you want to check out more upper body exercises, check out the Upper Body Lifts section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of movements for the chest, back and shoulders – all with complete detailed instructions.

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