Powerwheel pike with close-grip press using a weighted vest
Video on December 23, 2012
Resistance: 18 lb. weighted vest
The Powerwheel pike is primarily an abdominal exercise but also impacts all the muscles of the hip joint if done using prolonged holds engaging maximal contraction in the pike position. The close-grip press introduces an additional instability to the Powerwheel's roll and pitch with additional roll caused by the reduced base of support. In other words, you must negotiate two dimensions of instability with no stable base of support. A wide grip makes this movement much easier because roll is eliminated.
Mentally the primary focus is on an explosive concentric contraction to the pike position with the press and pike actions synchronized. Once at a maximal pike, the hip joint is not only locked down but also isometrically maximally contracted like a gymnastics hold: focus intensely on the hold. The eccentric movement back to the starting position is executed slowly with mentally-controlled contraction all the way down and with no momentum. Secondarily, the mind is focused on the press but failure will come from the inability to reach a maximal pike and gradual erosion of the ability to lock the hip joint in concert with loss of speed control of the descent to the floor. Repetition count is not that important; quality of the movement and lock duration and intensity is the essence of this exercise.
Once you can do the movement in good form for at least 45 seconds, use a weighted vest adding 5 lbs. per progression. The video displays what a 60 second maximal effort looks like.
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