Why Gymnasts Use the Hollow Body Position
Video by Travis Ewart
The key position that needs to be established for most gymnastics movements is called ‘The Hollow Body Position’. In this video, Invictus Gymnastics Coach, Travis Ewart, discusses the hollow body shape and how it works in regards to artistic gymnastics as well as how that transfers over to CrossFit.
What is the Hollow Body Position?
Hollow Body Position on the Floor
The position calls for three main points touching the ground – your lower back, butt, and heels.
- Legs and arms straight and together with toes and arms pointed.
- Staying tight, your head & shoulders come off the ground with ears glued between your shoulders.
- Think about pushing your belly button to the floor.
Hollow Body Modification
If you can establish and hold this position you’re in a good place to move to the next step. If not, you should practice getting to the perfect position whether that be building awareness, strength, endurance or any combination of those. This can be done with a patient progression.
- Start with your legs straight and feet together laying on your back.
- Squeeze your big toes and heels together.
- Place your arms, palms down, at your sides.
- Lift your shoulders up off the floor while squeezing your ankles, quads, and gluteus.
- Hold for 20 – 30 seconds
- If you can hold for 30 seconds, go ahead and bring your arms overhead keeping your elbows locked out and rotating through your shoulders. Be sure to keep your shoulders off the ground.
Hollow Body Position for CrossFit
Although the range of motion for most gymnastics movements does take you through the hollow body position, and that change in position is utilized to create speed and efficiency in the movement, you don’t usually hang out there. It could be argued that there is only one movement that is benefited by engaging in a static hollow body hold. The ring swing. So how and when do you train a solid, powerful and explosive hollow body to Superman movement? Think about it and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
CrossFit Invictus Gymnastics
Looking for more progressions for some of the more complicated Gymnastics movements?
The Invictus Gymnastics Program is geared towards all levels of athletes. The program consists of drills to help athletes improve in skills often seen in CrossFit, like handstand walks, muscle-ups (bar and ring), handstand push-ups, pistols and more. Sessions are broken into three levels so you can choose which level best suits you.