Basic Gymnastics Skill: Hollow Body And Rock

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This was originally an email to a group of gymnastics parents…

The Hollow Body Rock is a serious core exercise that has a great carryover to correctly performing gymnastics skills.

To perform, first you need to learn the gymnastic Hollow Body position:


How to do it:

  • Lie down flat on your back and push your belly button down towards the floor, your lower back should be touching the ground
  • Keep your abs and butt tight at all times, and with your arms pointed straight overhead and legs straight with toes pointed
  • Slowly raise your legs and shoulders off the ground
  • Your head should come off the ground along with your shoulders, with your ears glued between your shoulders
  • Stay tight with your abs and butt and find the lowest position you can have your arms and legs without them touching the ground AND without breaking your lower back (where it begins to arch off the ground)
  • To develop your hollow, you can start with your arms and legs higher (1-2 feet high off the ground) and slowly build up strength until they can be held lower (just inches off the ground) without breaking the position

Your next step is to add in a rocking motion, here’s how:

  • Lower back touching the ground
  • Legs straight and tight together with toes pointed
  • Arms straight and glued to your ears
  • Start rocking back and forth without allowing the shape to break at any point
    (Note: If your hollow body shape breaks you are too extended and still need to work on building strength)

Add gymnastic hollow body training into your workouts in place of normal core work, during your warmup, during your cooldown, or in-between sets of other exercises.

This exercise is not only a drill, it is a gymnastics skill that will carry over to handstands, ring work, flags, etc.



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