Pike pushup is a great bodyweight exercise you can do for your shoulders. You can do this wherever you want, and it does not require any equipment. But this might not be a more straightforward exercise for everyone. I have seen people struggling with pike pushups, especially the beginners. But that doesn’t mean that there are no other better alternative options.

So what can you do if you can’t do pike pushups? Today we will find those exercises here.

In this article, I have shared some of the best alternatives to pike pushups that are easier and better. These exercises are compound movements that target your shoulders and other smaller muscles, similar to pike pushups.

But before starting to explore the alternatives, let’s first discuss the muscles that are worked during pike pushups.

Muscles Worked During Pike Pushups

Pike pushup is a compound exercise that targets the front and lateral sides of the delts. It also activates the triceps and upper chest. Here, you need to be in an inverted V push up position. This also engages the core and other stabiliser muscles. So if you are at home, you can easily do this exercise.

Now let me share some of the best alternatives to pike pushups.

Pike Pushup Alternatives

1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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The study conducted by ACE showed that the dumbbell shoulder press was one of the best exercises to target the anterior/ front part of the deltoid.

Also, there are fewer chances of injury because you can move your arms freely either by keeping them to the side or bringing the weights to the front and then pressing it up. The dumbbell shoulder press is the perfect alternative to the pike pushup.

How to do

1. Pick two dumbbells and sit on a bench with your head and back supported on a bench. Your dumbbells should be on your thighs.

2. Lift each dumbbells up with the help of your thighs to bounce it up over your shoulders.

3. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height. Your palm should face forward. This will be your starting position.

4. From this position, lift both the dumbbells up and focus on squeezing your delts at the top.

5. Return to the starting position and then repeat the movement.

Before lifting, make sure that your wrist is in line with the elbow. Your arms should go back and overhead like an arch rather than going straight up.

Always keep the dumbbells on the lap after completing your set to avoid any injuries. Don’t just throw the weights away!

You can also do this exercise while standing with both feet at about shoulder-width apart. This is more athletic and is generally preferred.

2. Arnold Press

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This is another excellent alternative to the pike pushup. You can do this as a prime compound exercise to add size and roundness to your delts. This is a much safer exercise that you can do easily at home. You just need dumbbells, and you are good to go.

How to do

1. Grab two dumbbells and sit down on a bench, or a flat chair if you are at home.

3. Now start moving the dumbbells up by rotating your wrist and then squeeze your shoulders at the top.

4. Slowly return back to the starting position the same way you went up.

Arnold presses are very effective to build big and strong shoulders. You can go heavy on this. But do not overarch your lower back as you lift heavy as this can injure your lower back.

3. Standing Military Press

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The military press is one of the popular compound exercises for your shoulders. It will give you that big and broader shoulders. You can use it as an alternative to pike pushups.

The military press will engage your core more and will be a great exercise, to begin with. Do this as a compound exercise for your delts and then isolate with the other exercises like front and lateral raises for maximizing growth.

How to do

1. Grab the bar and bring it up towards your shoulders. Your hands should be slightly wider than the shoulders. Your elbow should be under the wrist and this will be your starting position.

2. Start pushing the bar up while contracting your shoulders and fully extend your elbows at the top.

3. The bar should be in line with your ears when you reach the top. Don’t stop when the bar is in front of the head.

4. Return back to the starting position and the repeat the movement.

Your core should be engaged throughout the exercise to keep the lower back in a stable position. If you had any shoulder injury or impingement then consult the physical therapist before doing any overhead exercise.

4. One-Arm Overhead Press

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This is probably one of the best exercises you can do with a dumbbell. The single-arm overhead press will not only hit your broad shoulders but will also engage your abs and other core muscles to stabilize your body during the movement. Therefore you are using more powers with this single exercise which is a plus! So try this in place of the pike pushup.

How to do

1. Grab a dumbbell with one hand and take it up, just above the Shoulders. Keep your neck and back straight. This will be your starting position.

2. Lift the dumbbell with the help of your shoulders without bending your back. Make sure to engage your core throughout the movement.

3. Stop until the dumbbell is at the top and come back slowly down to the starting position.

4. Do the same with the other hand and that will be your complete set.

You can also do the dumbbell push press which is similar to this. The only difference is that you will use your legs at the beginning to push the ground to generate force and power. Watch this video and you will understand better.

You can do this exercise very easily at home. Having dumbbells at home is always beneficial as you can perform various exercises at home without traveling to the gym.

You can use heavyweights but make sure that you don’t bend your lower back too much and always engage your core during the movement.

5. Landmine Shoulder Press

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Another great alternative to pike pushup. It’s a functional movement that engages your core more in action. It also requires balance, stability, and coordination. So if you have difficulty doing pike pushups, you can do landmine press.

How to do

1. Place one end of the bar at the corner of the wall and sit down at the half-kneeling position.

2. Hold the bar and pull it up towards the shoulder height, and this will be your starting position.

3. With your back straight and abs tight, start pushing the bar up and extend your elbows at the top. Your hips should be engaged during the movement.

4. Bring the bar down towards the starting position and repeat the movement.

This exercise requires a landmine base which you can get easily at a cheaper price. You can do many landmine exercises with the setup at home. So investing a small amount will be an advantage for you.

6. Single Arm Dumbbell Clean And Jerk

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This is another excellent full-body strength-building exercise. Here, your core muscles will also get stronger with your shoulder as it is a compound exercise. Do this exercise at the beginning of the workout after some active warm-ups.

Targeted Muscles – delts, trapezius, and abs

How to do

1. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand straight at a shoulder-width stance. Keep your arm down at the middle while holding a dumbbell.

2. Raise the dumbbell with your arm and bring the dumbbell toward the shoulder.

3. Lift the dumbbell by pressing your feet to the floor to generate force. Fully extend the elbow at the top and then gently bring the weights down.

4. Then switch your hands and repeat the movement with the same form mentioned above.

You can go heavy on this. If you haven’t done this exercise before, then start with lighter weights and once you learn the form, then go heavy.

Final Words

So these were some of the best alternatives to pike pushups. You can replace pike pushups with any of the exercises discussed above. Make sure that you don’t just randomly add all of these exercises. You should be selecting the best practice according to your goals and fitness level.

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