Are you a rock ‘n’ roller? If you have trained with me you will at some point have been coached on the ‘Hollow Body Rock’ or one of the easier progressions. Here’s a short video of me demonstrating three progressions.

But what is it? Why should YOU be a rocker?
The ‘Hollow Body Rock’ is a basic gymnastic foundation exercise that teaches you to brace your abdominals and create total body tension. In fact, if I had to pick one exercise for anyone to learn it would be this. It’s a position of contraction and stabilisation that trains the deep core muscles, such as the transverse abdominis and multifidus. Think of it as a position of stability that transfers across into almost every functional movement, for example squats, press-ups, pull-ups, handstands and more.

‘My strength comes from my abdomen. It’s the centre of gravity and the source of real power’
Bruce Lee

As a stand alone core exercise it is much more effective than all of your regular crunches and planks, which generally make up the staple of most peoples abs routine. It is also a lot harder to screw up when compared to planks, and a hell of a lot more beneficial.
Nothing we tend to do in life involves being in a static position, we, as humans, are designed to bend and twist. We are designed to move. So don’t you think you should train your core muscles in this way?
Being able to hold a plank for x-amount of time basically means nothing. There is no transference to other exercises or movements. It just means you are simply good at planks. You are in turn, a plank! 🙂

Instead of asking…
Why should I be rocking?
What you should be asking is…
Why aren’t I rocking?

Let me ask you a few questions.
Do you want to be to able lift more weight?
If you answer yes, you should be implementing Hollow Body Rock into your training.
Do you want to move better, with greater stability and mobility?
If you answer yes, you should be implementing Hollow Body Rock into your training.
Do you suffer from frequent or recurring injuries?
If you answer yes, you should be implementing Hollow Body Rock into your training.
Can you see where this is heading.

Hollow Body Rocks will help to strengthen and stabilise your core. Without a stable core your legs and arms have no base of support to work from. Which among other things will likely mean at some point you will undoubtedly develop back pain. Without that strong, and stable core absorbing force when you move more pressure is placed on the surrounding connective tissues, leaving you highly susceptible to injury.

Think of a lift like the Clean and Jerk. You generate a lot of force and power through the legs and hips to move the weight, that you then proceed to transfer overhead. Without being able to recruit a strong set of deep lying core muscles you will lose a lot of energy in the transfer. In short, you will miss the lift. All day. Everyday.
Squats are another good example. How many times have you seen someone, usually a guy ego lifting, bail and collapse on a squat. They appeared to go all jelly like in the mid-drift. They basically lost that tension in the core causing the back to collapse. The core wasn’t strong enough or stable enough to lift the weight. I would put money on that there ab routine consists of crunches and planks.

There is slightly more to it than that, but you should be getting the point that I am trying to make.

The Hollow Body Rock will potentially bulletproof your core. The stronger and more stable your core is under movement. The stronger and more powerful your whole body will be.

The video at the beginning of the post shows three progressions of the Hollow Body Rock. Start with progression one (Bent Hollow Body Rock), once you can perform 4-5 sets of 60 reps move onto the next progression. If progression one is to difficult, and trust me on this 60 reps burns…..alot! Simply start by just holding the position with no rocking movement. Master this for 4-5 sets of 1 minute holds and then move onto the rocks.

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