Almost every fitness lover has tried crunches for the core, but how many people know of the powerful trx pike?
Not many, certainly.
This exercise is perhaps the most underused core exercise in the gym, which is a shame because there are not many exercises that work your core quite like it does.
Unlike crunches, you do it with your legs suspended in air, which puts your core to work to keep you stable and solid.
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Here are the full details of the technique:
- Fasten suspension trainers to an anchor point higher than head level.
- Adjust the straps to about mid-calf length.
- Get into a plank position in front of the anchor point, with your feet looped into the trainer handles.
- Tighten your core.
- Get your body in a straight line from your head to your toe. Look down to the floor.
- Pressing through your palms, draw your legs inwards to your chest to lift your hips. At the top position, your body should look like an inverted “V.”
- Lower your legs slowly to push your hips back down and get back to the starting position.
WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE TRX PIKE WORK?
The trx pike works your entire core, but with particular focus on the rectus abdominis that extends from your ribcage to your public bone.
This muscle is responsible for flexing your torso to enable movement between the pelvis and the ribcage.
Other muscles that play a stabilizing role in this exercise are the serratus anterior, iliopsoas and the tensor fasciae latae.
The quadriceps, hamstrings, latissimus dorsi and triceps brachii also get involved in extending your limbs.
BENEFITS OF THE TRX PIKE
HELPS BUILD A STRONG CORE
Having a strong core goes beyond just having a six-pack.
It means having to go out of your way to work all the muscles in your core, including the ones that are often neglected by most exercises.
And that is what the trx pike does for you; it offers you an extensive core workout by leveraging your own weight as resistance.
CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR FLEXIBILITY
The trx pike helps stretch out your lower body by lengthening your hamstrings and the arches of your feet among other muscles.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE TRX PIKE
TRX ATOMIC PUSH-UP
This advanced push-up- crunch hybrid isn’t called ‘atomic’ for no good reason.
Anyone who’s familiar with a push-up and a crunch can tell you they are no child’s play, especially when done in quick succession and to add on to that, from a suspended position.
Beginners can take reduce the difficulty by doing the push-up on their knees instead of with their legs extended.
- Set suspension trainers to an anchor point above your head.
- Loop your legs into the handles and get into a push up position, with your entire body in a straight line.
- Position your shoulders directly over your hands and point your toes down.
- Make sure your core is tight.
- Bend your elbows and lower your torso slowly towards the ground.
- Then, drive through your palms to extend your arms and get back up.
- Immediately, draw both knees in and extend your legs out to return to where you began.
- Repeat the steps as many times as you want.
TRX HAMSTRING RUNNER
The hammer runner resembles a mountain climber, except you do it on your back.
As the name suggests, it primarily recruits your hamstrings but since it involves raising your hips throughout, it also engages your lower back, glutes and core.
If you don’t find it hard enough, you can move your feet further away from the suspension point to increase the resistance.
And if you’d like something easier, bending your legs in at the same time will do that for you.
- Secure the suspension to an anchor point above your head.
- Set the straps at about mid-calf length.
- Lie on the floor facing the anchor point and place your feet in the handles.
- Press your arms to the floor on your sides with the palms facing down, and brace your core.
- Push through your heels to lift your hips up.
- Contract the right hamstring to bring that knee towards your chest slowly.
- As you return that leg to the starting position, draw the left knee in towards your body.
- Repeat for the number of reps you desire.
TRX OBLIQUE CRUNCH
Doing crunches using trx trainers engages not only your major abdominal muscles but also the minor stabilizing muscles in the core.
This particular variation trains the oblique muscles on the sides of your abdomen.
- Set the trx trainers to a high anchor point.
- Get into a suspended plank, with your shoulders over your hands and your feet into the handles.
- Tighten your core.
- Bend your knees and draw them in towards your right elbow.
- Extend both legs outwards to get back to the plank position .
- Draw your knees in towards your left elbow.
- Stretch both legs straight out and get back to where you began. This completes your rep.
- Repeat the steps.
TRX PIKE MISTAKES TO AVOID
Fix your gaze on the floor from start to finish; looking forward could strain your neck muscles and even injure them.
NOT TIGHTENING YOUR CORE
The whole purpose of the trx pike is to strengthen and tone the muscles in your core. This can only happen if you keep it tight to fully activate the muscle fibres.
So, be sure to keep it braced and if you’re having trouble getting this done, drawing your navel in towards your spine can help.
Like every other trx exercise, the trx pike requires that you use taut trainers to provide maximum tension throughout the movement.
If the trainers get loose in the course of the workout, stop the rep and adjust them before you proceed.
The trx pike may not be getting as much credit as it deserves, but what it should get is into your core workout routine.
There are many benefits associated with doing it, most of which you can only find out if you give it a shot.
The instructions and common mistakes provided in here will guide you into using the correct form.