The Pike Press
by Forest Vance, author, Body Weight Strong
A question I get asked a lot is “How do I work my shoulders with a body weight only movement?” The shoulders are a tricky body part to work if you have no other equipment. A lot of people think of overhead pressing movements to work your shoulders but if you have no weight another option is a handstand push up.
Now handstand push ups are great but are hard for a lot of people to do. I think it’s definitely something you should try to work up to though and there’s different progressions that can get you there.
In the meantime here’s an exercise you can do to get a good shoulder workout with just your own body weight:
There’s a couple of progressions to help you do this one. In the first one we’re going to get into a push up position. It’s the same angle as a handstand push up but we’re pushing the hips up and the hands are right under the head. Go down towards your hands and push yourself back up.
If you have really flexible hamstrings you should be able to get your legs pretty straight and your back flat. If you aren’t quite as flexible, you can have a little bend in your knees to get yourself into proper body position. The key is to make sure you’re pressing straight up like you would be if you were doing a handstand push up.
In the second progression, you can elevate your feet on a bench or something similar. In this position you are lifting more of your body weight so the exercise becomes a little tougher.
The pike press is a great exercise to work your shoulders if you are just using your body weight. There are lots of other body weight exercises with progressions and workouts in the Body Weight Strong program so be sure to check that out as well.
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Thanks, and train hard –
Master of Science, Human Movement
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