Inverted Push-Ups: A Complete Guide to This Challenging Exercise
Inverted push-ups, also known as upside-down push-ups or pike push-ups, are a challenging exercise that can help build upper body strength and muscular endurance. This exercise is performed with the feet elevated and the hands on the floor, creating an inverted “V” shape with the body. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about inverted push-ups, including proper form, benefits, variations, and tips for getting started.
What Are Inverted Push-Ups?
Inverted push-ups are a variation of the traditional push-up that require more upper body strength and shoulder stability. This exercise is performed with the feet elevated on a stable surface, such as a bench or box, and the hands on the floor, creating an inverted “V” shape with the body. Inverted push-ups primarily target the shoulders, chest, and triceps, but also engage the core and upper back muscles for stability.
How to Perform Inverted Push-Ups
To perform inverted push-ups, follow these steps:
1. Begin in a plank position with your hands on the floor and your feet elevated on a bench or box.
2. Walk your hands in towards your feet until your hips are lifted up and your body forms an inverted “V” shape.
3. Lower your head towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body.
4. Push back up to the starting position.
5.Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Benefits of Inverted Push-Ups
Inverted push-ups, also known as pike push-ups or upside-down push-ups, offer numerous benefits for upper body strength and overall fitness. Here are some of the benefits of inverted push-ups, backed by research studies:
Increased Shoulder Strength: Inverted push-ups place a greater emphasis on the shoulders than traditional push-ups, making them an effective exercise for building shoulder strength and stability. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that inverted push-ups activated the shoulder muscles to a greater extent than traditional push-ups. The study also suggested that inverted push-ups could be an effective exercise for shoulder rehabilitation and injury prevention.
Improved Upper Body Strength: Inverted push-ups engage not only the shoulders but also the chest, triceps, and upper back muscles, leading to improved overall upper body strength and muscular endurance. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that inverted push-ups were a highly effective exercise for improving upper body strength in male gymnasts.
Core Activation: Inverted push-ups require a strong core for stability, making them an effective exercise for improving core strength and stability. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that inverted push-ups activated the abdominal muscles to a greater extent than traditional push-ups, suggesting that they could be an effective exercise for improving core strength.
Greater Range of Motion: Elevating the feet during push-ups allows for a greater range of motion, which can help activate more muscle fibers and promote greater muscle growth. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that increasing range of motion during exercises can lead to greater muscle activation and hypertrophy.
In addition to these benefits, inverted push-ups also offer a challenging workout that can help improve overall fitness and athleticism. By incorporating inverted push-ups into your workout routine, you can challenge your muscles in new ways and achieve greater strength and fitness gains over time.
Variations of Inverted Push-Ups
There are several variations of inverted push-ups that you can try to add variety to your workout and challenge your muscles in new ways:
1. Pike Push-Ups: Pike push-ups are similar to inverted push-ups, but instead of lowering your head towards the floor, you lower your forehead towards the ground between your hands. This variation places even more emphasis on the shoulders.
2. Feet-Elevated Push-Ups: Feet-elevated push-ups are a less challenging variation of inverted push-ups that can still provide many of the same benefits. To perform this exercise, place your feet on a bench or box and your hands on the ground in a traditional push-up position.
3. Wall Walks: Wall walks are a challenging variation of inverted push-ups that require you to walk your hands up a wall from a plank position until you’re in a handstand position. From there, you can perform inverted push-ups by lowering your head towards the floor and pushing back up.
Tips for Getting Started
Inverted push-ups are a challenging exercise that require strength and stability, so it’s important to start slowly and progress gradually:
1. Start with Feet on the Ground: If you’re new to inverted push-ups, start by practicing with your feet on the ground and your hands on a bench or box. As you get stronger, gradually increase the height of the surface your feet are on.
2. Use Proper Form: Keep your core engaged and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement to ensure proper form and prevent injury.
3. Focus on Control: Inverted push-ups require control and stability, so focus on controlling your movements and keeping your body stable throughout the exercise.
4. Don’t Overdo It: Inverted push-ups are a challenging exercise, so don’t overdo it in the beginning. Start with a small number of reps and gradually increase as you get stronger.
Inverted push-ups are a challenging exercise that can help build upper body strength, shoulder stability, and core strength. By elevating your feet during the exercise, you increase the range of motion and engage more muscle fibers for a more effective workout. As with any exercise, it’s important to start slowly and progress gradually, focusing on proper form and control throughout the movement. Incorporating inverted push-ups into your workout routine can help add variety and challenge your muscles in new ways, leading to greater strength and fitness gains over time.