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Training30th December 2019

Tutorial: Abdominal hollow

There is a broad consensus about the abdominal hollow. People consider it a foundation movement for the development of a strong core and body shape control. Not only that, this exercise will increase core strength and postural control. Here is how you should perform it.
WHAT
  • The abdominal hollow is a foundation movement for the development of a strong core and body control.
  • Although it’s considered a foundation skill in almost every gymnastics training approach, it is an excellent addition to any gym-based training program.
HOW
  • Lie on your back on a lightly padded exercise mat.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles – this will flatten your back into the floor. Hold this flat-back position – this is the abdominal hollow start position.
  • Raise the arms and legs just a few inches off the floor, while maintaining the flat back. Your body shape should look like a ‘dish’.
  • Hold this shape and breathe comfortably for 10s – building up to 30s as your abdominal strength and control improve.
WHY
  • The abdominal hollow is considered a foundation movement in gymnastics training and is taught from a very young age. Many gymnastic movements require tight control of the core and limbs, for example, during both apparatus and floor work. Without this high level of body control, both the aesthetics and efficiency of the movement will be lost.
  • Several modern training programmes have been strongly influenced and inspired by gymnastics - e.g. Crossfit. As such, it’s now common to see exercisers performing highly skilled bodyweight movements such as handstands and muscle ups in most gyms, and outdoors. Unfortunately, this growing popularity in gymnastics often lacks proper foundation training in basic static strength and shape control
  • The critical skill to the abdominal hollow is flattening the low back – the arm and leg reach only challenges your ability to hold the flat back position. If you are new this exercise, merely flattening the low back (without reaching the arms and legs) will be enough – just practice holding this position for up to 30s. Once you can do this, you can then raise the arms off the floor; then raise the legs off the floor; finally, progress to both arms and legs raised.
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