(This is an advanced exercise. As always, perform this exercise and think! Consult your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.)
The pike strengthens the rectus abdominis (commonly referred to as the six pack) and the hip flexors. It enhances scapular stability – a crucial element to a strong upper body. The chest and arms are also worked through an isometric contraction.
This exercise can be performed at a high rate of contraction or a slow rate of contraction. Most of the time the athlete will perform this as a slow contraction exercise. The muscles of the abdominal wall are long and thin, and an abdominal injury can debilitate an athlete.
Make sure you have enough room to perform this exercise. The easiest way to get into position to begin this exercise is to “walk” out over the ball with your arms. Your intention is to fold your body into a pike like a competitive diver would.
1. Assume a plank position that has your knees just forward on the ball and settle your body like in the picture below. This exercise should be performed smoothly with the body in control at all times.
2. With concentration, like in the picture below, fold at the waist.
3. Gradually work toward being able to complete 3 sets of ten.