Pike Push Up - Form if No Handstand Goal?

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I've read quite a few debates that say the proper form for a pike push up is at a diagonal angle, as this is the proper progression towards a handstand push up.

Okay, fair enough.

But what if I don't have the goal of progressing to a hand stand push up?

Is a more vertical angle still inferior?
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

The more vertical you are, the more work you put on shoulders and triceps. If one uses less angle, there is more core work because you have to maintain a straight back while pressing down and up.

I do not think they are inferior. If perform with enough volume, they can increase your pressing strength.

If HSPU is not your goal and if you already do some sort of OVH work, then I would not 'bother' with PPU and would do OAP or OAOL

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

The more vertical you are, the more work you put on shoulders and triceps. If one uses less angle, there is more core work because you have to maintain a straight back while pressing down and up.

I do not think they are inferior. If perform with enough volume, they can increase your pressing strength.

If HSPU is not your goal and if you already do some sort of OVH work, then I would not 'bother' with PPU and would do OAP or OAOL

Kind regards,

Pet'

I'm already also doing "horizontal" push ups in various flavors.

Currently enjoying perfecting my Spider Man push up and ring push ups.

Not a fan of OAP, personally. I'd rather work towards planche.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I'd rather work towards planche.
If you want to work towards planche then the "Diagonal" version of pike pushups is what you want. It puts the shoulders through a much more similar range of motion for planche work. At the bottom of the motion, your hips should generally be over the same "plane" as your elbows, which should remain verticle throughout the motion. A straight up and down pike pushup is more like a strict military press.

~7 min mark has a great turorial
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

+1 @bluejeff
I would also add that planche require a lot of scapular strength, and has very specific progression. FitnessFAQs has excellent tutorials about that.

If one does not aim for HSPU, but is already working on OVH in some way, then there is not necessarily a "value" to work on strict PPU, from an athletic standpoint.

Once again, as @bluejeff said, a HSPU, done with full ROM (parallettes) will have the same dynamics than a regular OVH press, but with less core work.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
planche require a lot of scapular strength
Yep. And a strictly straight overhead motion tends to allow the scaps to retract a bit more (especially if one is used to Olympic lifts, unless I’m off base there). The “diagonal” pike push-up with strict ppt will pretty much force your scaps to stay protracted
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Yep. And a strictly straight overhead motion tends to allow the scaps to retract a bit more (especially if one is used to Olympic lifts, unless I’m off base there). The “diagonal” pike push-up with strict ppt will pretty much force your scaps to stay protracted

Your description matches the jerk pretty well.

But the snatch is a totally different shoulder mechanic, less "up", more "back", showing arm and elbow pits, chest forward, and extreme external shoulder rotation.

maxresdefault.jpg


I can't think of a bodyweight / gymnastic move that has similar positioning, but there probably is?
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello,

@watchnerd
Back lever with wide grip ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
The position may be similar, but the prime muscles working will be anterior, not posterior.

I can't think of a bodyweight / gymnastic move that has similar positioning, but there probably is?
Maybe a side lever, actually. That may be the closest. Even a wide (Japanese) handstand would have the shoulders in a more elevated position. But even for a side lever, you wouldn't be getting bilateral activation in the same manner, since one side has to push while the other pulls.

This is just a guess, but I'd bet that a more up and down (verticle) pike pushup would carryover more to Olympic lifting.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I would also like to echo myself from another thread (forget which) about pike pushups....

I would argue that the diagonal pike pushup with STRICT PPT will absolutely work your core. It is incredibly hard to maintain a strict posterior pelvic tilt and hollow position and press from that position. Your body's instinct is is to get your weight over your base of support (your hands) and so it will instinctually arch the lower back to do so. The PPT position puts all your mass behind your base of support, into a disadvantaged lever position, which you will likely acutely feel in the delts and upper back. This is why this style translates to planche work so well.
 
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