Hanging Pike: Phenomenal Advanced Body Weight Core Exercise

Are you having trouble perfecting your hanging pike? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many fitness enthusiasts struggle with nailing this challenging exercise. The cause could be a lack of core strength or limited shoulder mobility. But fear not, with the right approach, you can master the hanging pike and strengthen your entire body. In this post, we’ll break down step by step how to perform the hanging pike and provide some tips to help you tackle the exercise with confidence.

Hanging Pike Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Iliopsoas (Psoas Major & Iliacus)
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Pectineus, Rectus Femoris, Sartorius, and Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • Equipment: Pull Up Bar
  • Mechanics Type: Isolated
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Hanging Pike Instructions

  • Grab and hang from a pull-up bar.
  • Swing your legs up with bent knees to the bar with your abs and arms.
  • Swing your knees back until your waist, hips, and knees are down.
  • Do your Hanging Pike for 6-12 repetitions.

Video Tutorial

How To Do A Hanging Pike | Exercise Guide

Hanging Pike Muscles

Target (Agonist)


  • Adductor Brevis
  • Adductor Longus
  • Pectineus
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Sartorius
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the hanging pike exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Hanging Pike

The Hanging Pike exercise is a great way to target the iliopsoas muscles (psoas major and iliacus). This exercise will engage your core and hip flexors, strengthening these muscles to create a more powerful and stable lower body. The Hanging Pike will also help improve posture, as it strengthens the abdominal muscles, which are responsible for maintaining proper alignment of the spine. Additionally, this exercise can help increase flexibility in the hips, as well as improve balance and coordination. It can also help with balance in other daily activities, such as running or playing sports.

Tips for Performing Hanging Pike

You’ve come at the right location if you desire to advance your ability to conduct hanging pike. These tips can help you get more from of this amazing workout, while helping you receive all the benefits it has to give. You can develop your core muscles, and even reduce your risk of experiencing an injury. So let’s begin now and discover what these tips may accomplish for you.

  • Warm up your back and shoulder muscles before performing the hanging pike. This will prevent injuries and help you to get the most out of your exercise.
  • Keep your legs slightly bent throughout the exercise to avoid overstretching and straining your muscles. This will help to maximize your gains.
  • Make sure to keep your core tight while performing the hanging pike. This will give you better control of your body and help you to keep proper form.

Benefits and Tips Video

30 Seconds Of Hanging Everyday Will Have These 7 Benefits To Your Body

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

Staying away from errors can be the difference between a productive training session and a painful injury when performing hanging pike. From improper form to not engaging your core, these errors can diminish the productiveness of the exercise and can even put you at risk for injury. Not only can avoiding these mistakes make you stronger, but it can also assist in you feeling more confident and inspired when at in the gym. So it is time for you to maximize your results from this exercise and experience the advantages of a successful workout.

  • Not engaging the core properly: Not using the core muscles to keep the body in a straight line while performing the hanging pike can lead to poor form and strain on the lower back.
  • Holding onto the bar for too long: Holding onto the bar for too long can cause fatigue in the arms and shoulders, making it difficult to perform the exercise with good form.
  • Not keeping the legs straight: Keeping the legs bent while performing the hanging pike can put unnecessary strain on the back and hips, leading to injury.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

There are a variety of exercises that can be used to target the same muscles as the Hanging Pike. While this exercise is a great way to build core strength and stability, sometimes it can be beneficial to switch things up and try different variations, complementary, or alternative exercises to mix up your routine and achieve the same result. Here are some options:

Hollow Hold

Graphic image of Hollow Hold.

The hollow hold is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the hanging pike. It works the core and lower back muscles in a similar way, but without the need to hang from a bar. To do the hollow hold, start by lying on your back with your legs together and arms extended overhead. Engage your core and press your lower back into the ground as you lift your feet, legs, and arms off the ground. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds before slowly releasing back down to the floor. The hollow hold is an effective way to strengthen your core muscles and improve your stability, balance, and posture.

Reverse Sit Up

Graphic image of Reverse Sit Up.

Reverse sit up is a great complementary exercise to the hanging pike. It involves lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. To perform this exercise, you need to lift your torso off the floor by engaging your core muscles, and then lower your torso back down to the floor. This exercise works the lower abdominals, hips, and lower back muscles, which are all important for overall core stability and strength. Additionally, it can also help improve posture and balance. Reverse sit up can be a great alternative to the hanging pike if you don’t have access to a pull-up bar or if you want to target different muscles.

Hanging Knee Up

Graphic image of Hanging Knee Up.

Hanging Knee Up is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to Hanging Pike. It is similar to Hanging Pike in that it requires you to use your core muscles and engage your upper body, but instead of piking your legs towards the sky, you bring your knees up towards your chest. This exercise focuses more on the lower abdominal muscles, while still providing a great core workout. It also helps to strengthen the hip flexors, which are important for maintaining proper posture and balance. With Hanging Knee Up, you can challenge yourself by increasing the number of reps and sets, or adding weight for extra resistance.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises


Graphic image of Crunch.

Crunch is a great exercise for those looking for a complementary or alternative exercise to the Hanging Pike. The crunch focuses on targeting your abdominal muscles, which are the key muscles used during the Hanging Pike. It does so by having you lie down on your back with your knees bent and your hands either behind your head or crossed over your chest. Then, you lift your torso off the floor, using your abdominals to do so. This is an effective exercise that can help you strengthen the same muscles used in the Hanging Pike while also avoiding any potential strain or injury associated with hanging upside down.

Tuck Crunch

Graphic image of Tuck Crunch.

Tuck Crunch is an excellent complementary exercise to the Hanging Pike. It is a bodyweight exercise that develops core strength and stability, and targets the abdominal muscles. The movement involves lying on your back and bringing your knees to your chest while tucking your chin to your chest. This exercise helps build strength and stability in the abdominal muscles, which is beneficial for the Hanging Pike. Additionally, Tuck Crunch helps to improve balance, coordination and proprioception, which can help make the Hanging Pike easier to perform.

Superman Plank

Graphic image of Superman Plank.

The Superman Plank is a great complementary exercise to the Hanging Pike. This move targets the same core muscles that the Hanging Pike does, but it also works on the shoulders, chest, and back. The Superman Plank requires you to hold your body in a plank position, with your arms and legs extended and your head looking forward. You then lift one arm and the opposite leg up into the air and hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. This exercise is great for building strength and stability in the core muscles while also engaging the upper body.

Find More Legs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

Since Hanging Pike works the core muscles, it’s important to also target opposing muscle groups to create balance in your workout. To do this, try incorporating the following exercises into your routine.

Cable Pull Throughs

Graphic image of Cable Pull Throughs.

Cable Pull Throughs are an excellent complement to Hanging Pike, as they target the opposing muscle group. This exercise focuses on strengthening the posterior chain, which includes the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. The Cable Pull Throughs are performed by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and gripping the cable handle behind you. You then pull the cable handle through your legs until it is in front of you, keeping your arms straight and your back flat. This movement strengthens the muscles in the posterior chain, which helps to offset the muscle work of the Hanging Pike. As a result, you will gain a more balanced body and improved core strength.

Plate Hyperextension

Graphic image of Plate Hyperextension.

Plate Hyperextension is a great complementary exercise to the Hanging Pike as it works the opposing muscle group. This exercise targets the lower back and helps to strengthen the spine and core muscles. Plate Hyperextension is done by lying on a flat bench with a weight plate held securely at chest level. The legs are then lifted off the bench until they are parallel to the floor, and then lowered back down. This exercise helps to increase flexibility and stability in the lower back, providing balance for the hanging pike exercise. The combination of both exercises can help to improve overall strength, stability and mobility in the lower back and core.

45 Degree Hyperextensions

Graphic image of 45 Degree Hyperextensions.

The 45 degree hyperextension is a great complementary exercise to the Hanging Pike as it works the opposite muscle group. This exercise is performed on a hyperextension machine and targets the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. This exercise is great for increasing core strength and stability as it forces the body to stabilize itself while in a bent position. The 45 degree hyperextension is beneficial because it works the opposing muscle group to the Hanging Pike, which focuses primarily on the abdominal muscles. This helps to ensure that all muscle groups are receiving an adequate amount of attention during your workout.

Elevate Your Core Workout with the Hanging Pike!

If you want to take your core workout to the next level, try the hanging pike! This exercise is challenging but incredibly effective at targeting your abs and obliques. By suspending your legs in the air and crunching your torso towards them, you’ll engage your entire core and build strength and definition. Just make sure to master the basics of hanging leg raises and crunches before attempting the hanging pike, and always use proper form to avoid injury.

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov | Comprehensive List of Legs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for hanging pike post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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