The pike press is a popular muscle building exercise. It is a great way to work your upper body muscles, especially your shoulder and arm muscles. To do a pike press, start by warming up your wrists, arms, and shoulder muscles. Then, do a pike press to get a feel for the exercise. You can add variations to the pike press to make it more challenging.
EditWarming Up Your Wrists, Arms, and Shoulders
- Warm up with ten minutes of cardio. Start by warming up your entire body with some quick cardio. Go for a ten-minute run on a treadmill or outside in your neighborhood. Do ten minutes of jumping rope or jogging in place. Hop on the elliptical or the row machine for ten minutes.
- Warming up your body before doing exercises like the pike press will ensure you are not working your muscles when they are cold and tight. This will reduce your chances of injury.
- Stretch your wrists. Bend your hand back with your palm facing away from you. Use your other hand to gently press your hand backward to stretch your wrist. Then, do this on the other hand.
- You can also position yourself on all fours on a mat and flip your hands around so your fingers are facing your knees. This will stretch out your wrist muscles.
- Stretch your arm muscles. Bend your arm at the elbow and place it behind your head. Use your other hand to gently press your elbow down to stretch your arm. Repeat on the other side.
- You can also lace your fingers together over your head and stretch to the right side. Then, return to center and stretch towards the left side.
- Do shoulder stretches. Stand with your legs hip width apart and interlace your fingers behind your back. Pull your fingers behind you towards the floor and raise your chin and chest to the ceiling. You can also bend at the waist and let your fingers fall forward to stretch your shoulder muscles.
- Another exercise you can try is holding either side of an open doorway and taking one step forward into the doorway with both feet. This will stretch your shoulder muscles.
EditDoing a Pike Press
- Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and your legs are straight. Spread your legs wider than your hips. Squeeze your abdominal muscles to tighten your core.
- Having a tight core will ensure your upper body is supported when you do the pike press.
- Put your hands flat on the floor. Spread your arms wider than your shoulders. Make sure you have equal weight in both hands. Do not lean back on your hands so the weight is on your wrists, as this can lead to injury.
- Turn your hands so they face each other slightly, with your fingers facing one another.
- Lean your weight into your hands. Tip your weight forward at your hips and put most of your weight into your hands. Your feet may come off the floor and you may be on the balls of your feet, which is fine.
- Keep your spine straight. Do not round your lower back or spine.
- You should feel tension in your shoulders and arms. This means your muscles are working.
- Lower your head to the floor. Slowly lower your head to the floor. Keep your weight in your hands. Keep your spine straight as you lower down to the floor. Inhale as you lower your head to the floor.
- Only lower your head so it lightly touches the floor. You should feel your shoulder, arm, and wrist muscles working.
- You can place a towel on the floor so your head has some cushioning when it touches the floor.
- Push yourself back to the starting position. Exhale as you put weight into your hands and push yourself back to the starting position, with equal weight in your arms and legs. Move slowly and with control. Do not try to use momentum to help you push back up, as this will not work your muscles.
- Repeat the same motions to do a set of pike presses. Try doing two sets of five or two sets of ten.
- Pace yourself between sets and take a ten-second rest break so you do not overexert yourself.
- Practice a handstand. Position your arms and legs as you would in a pike press, with your hands flat on the ground. Keep your core tight. Then, slowly raise one leg off the ground, followed by the other leg.
- Try to align your hips with your shoulders when your legs are above you. Maintain equal weight in your hands and use your upper body muscles to support yourself.
- You can try doing a handstand against a wall for the first few attempts. Face away from the wall when you do the handstand. Use the wall as a support for your legs when you are upside down.
- Once you feel comfortable, try doing a handstand without the wall.
- Do a supported handstand press. A handstand press is when you lower your head towards the ground while you are in a handstand. Once you get into a handstand against a wall, bend your elbows and lower your head towards the ground. Inhale as you lower your head. Make sure your head lightly touches the ground. Then, exhale as you return to a handstand.
- Use the wall as support as you do the handstand press. Take your time, as this is a challenging exercise.
- You can also ask someone to spot you and act as a support. They will stand to one side of you and lightly hold your legs in place.
- Try doing a regular handstand press. A regular handstand press is when you do the exercise with no wall or support. You will need to get into a pike press starting position and then transition into a handstand position. Keep your core tight and activate your arm and shoulder muscles as you lower your head towards the ground.
- Only lower your head as low as you can manage. Then, with control, press yourself back up into a handstand.
- This is a difficult exercise and may take some practice to master. You may need to do a few rounds of pike press to warm up your muscles before attempting a handstand press.