Places You’ll Find Hollow Body:
Now that we have cemented the fundamentals of the hollow body position, let’s discuss why this position is so important. The sport of gymnastics is SHAPES in motion. It’s essential to understand and strengthen the basic gymnastics shapes, then apply them to skills. If you can’t hold a shape, the skill will be inefficient, if not impossible. Hollow body is simply one of these shapes. Hollow body is fantastic because the two parts, posterior tilt and closing the ribcage, connect your upper body to your lower body, allowing you to move as one piece rather than a series of parts. Here are some skills for which you need a strong hollow body.
Pushup Position: In pushup position, with the shoulders over the wrists, we use two cues: tuck your tail and use your turtle shell. Tucking the tail means the same posterior tilt we discussed in the previous post. It means tilting the pelvis down towards the floor. As soon as you do this, you should feel your core stabilizing. The second cue, the turtle shell, simply means pushing into the floor until your rib cage closes and your thoracic spine rounds into what we consider our “turtle shell.” This should intensify the abdominal effort considerably. Once you’ve mastered these cues, you have the perfect pushup position which can be applied to several more advanced skills- pushups, planches, planks, casts on a bar, etc.
Hanging/Pulling Movements: To find your hollow body on a bar or hanging on the rings, compress your knees to your chest until you have found a posterior tilt. Then, start to straighten the legs towards the floor maintaining the tuck. Once you’re able to do this, you’re in a hollow hanging position. This is your base for all pullups, levers, toes to bar, muscle ups, kips, etc.
Handstands/Inversions: To find your hollow body in a handstand, start in pushup position facing away from a wall with your toes at the crease of the floor and the wall. From here, lift your belly button as high as possible, until you lift up onto your toes and your shoulders cover your ears. You should look like the letter ‘U.” From here, maintain your torso position and put your feet on the wall. You should still feel your belly button lifted. You are now inverted in a hollow body position. This can be applied to handstands and headstands, and you can easily see it in gymnastics skills such as layout flips and giant swings on bars.
Where else in the gym can you find a hollow body position? Let us know!