Add These 5 Pike Exercises to Your Core Routine

Incorporating these unique moves will help you build a strong, stable core.

Strengthening your core will help you become fatigue-resistant on a run. These pike variations move up the difficulty of a typical abdominal move and work your entire core plus your quads and shoulders—important for stabilizing your posture and staying injury-free.

Kara Miklaus, NASM-certified trainer at WORK Training Studio in Irvine, California created this series of pike exercises that can be done as a circuit. Alternatively, you can add one of the pike variations into your regular core workout.

How to do it: Repeat each move for the recommended number of reps. If you’re doing the pike exercises as a circuit, repeat twice through. You’ll need an exercise ball, a suspension trainer, sliders (or a towel), and a bench. Each exercise is demonstrated by WORK Training Studio employee Cassie Nitz so you can learn proper form.

Suspension Trainer Pike

Kneeling on the ground, facing away from the anchor point, straps at mid-calf, place both feet into the foot cradles. With arms extended straight and hands under shoulders, lift knees off the ground into an elevated high plank position. Keeping core tight, keep legs straight as you lift hips up towards the sky. Slowly lower back to plank position.

If you don’t have a suspension trainer, you can use sliders or a towel to do a pike. In high plank position, place one foot on each slider. Engage your core to lift hips straight up as you roll the ball forward to your toes. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps.

Glider Saw to Pike

Start in forearm plank position, and place one slider underneath the feet (toes should be curled under, the balls of the feet on the slider). Engage your core and move backward 6 to 8 inches. In one motion, return to the starting position and continue into a pike—lifting hips straight up as your feet come forward to your toes. Return to starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps.

Exercise Ball Plank to Pike 

Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists, but instead of placing your feet on the floor, rest your shins on the exercise ball. Engage your core to lift hips straight up as your feet come forward to your toes. Return to starting position. Repeat. Complete 15 reps.


Lie faceup in a hollow-hold position, legs extended and arms reaching above your head—biceps by your ears. Lift your head, shoulders, and legs off the floor and into a V position—your hands and feet should meet as close together as they can. Return to starting position. Complete 12 reps.

Bench Leg Lift to Reverse Pike

Lie faceup on an incline bench, with arms overhead, biceps near your ears and hands gripping the bench for support. Engage your core and lift your legs. up so your body forms an L shape. Engage your lower abs to lift hips straight up, think about stamping the soles of your feet to the ceiling, then lower back down. In a controlled motion, lower legs back down to starting position. Repeat. Complete 10 reps.

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