Core Training: The Hollow Body Hold
Updated: Nov 25, 2020
When it comes to core training, I like to keep things fairly simple and straightforward with my athletes. Sometimes, coaches and athletes get so preoccupied with doing complicated and challenging movements simply to push what the body can do that they lose perspective on the actual training goals. ⠀ ⠀ The purpose of core training is to increase the rigidity of the “core” in order to more efficiently transfer power between the upper and lower body. The key focus areas are stabilization and transfer of force. When I assess athletes, I look for inefficiencies such as areas of mechanical breakdown and subsequent energy wasting; those are the areas I begin to target in their training programs. ⠀ ⠀ For endurance and tactical athletes, I’m looking to increase core stabilization both statically and dynamically. The goal is to train the body to perform optimally through the efficient transfer of force through the kinetic chain.
Sports and tactical professions are not performed statically; they are highly dynamic, explosive, and often unpredictable. With tactical professions specifically, the goal is not to be ergonomically correct. While proper body mechanics are essential and important (I'm definitely NOT minimizing their importance), the reality is that they are not often possible. Tactical athletes are going to find themselves in less than ideal loading positions, utilizing heavy equipment or handling heavy patients, in unpredictable environments, and often, on unstable terrain. So, the focus shifts to building high levels of resilience within the body. You cannot change the nature of the job or sport, but you CAN develop resilience to ensure the body is prepared to tolerate and perform in less than ideal conditions and avoid mechanical breakdowns which can lead to injury. Hence, the importance of training stabilization and optimal generation, transfer, and absorption of force.
My training programs emphasize a lot of anti-rotational stability training with various movement progressions. I change the base of support for the body, apply force in multiple directions, and require the body to move in all three planes. For my athlete population, I prefer positions where the hips can remain relatively extended as endurance athletes (runners and cyclists, especially) already spend an excessive amount of time and miles in hip flexion. Remember: Never train your athletes further into dysfunction!⠀ ⠀ Key Tips for the Hollow Body Hold:⠀ -Maintain contact between the lower back and the floor, posterior pelvic tilt is essential. ⠀ -Maintain flexion through the torso, you should feel the contraction of your abdominal muscles and glutes. ⠀ -Do not compromise technique for a few more seconds! ⠀