Video Article

Retool your gymnastics skills with elite gymnast Carl Paoli, founder of Naka Athletics, coach at San Francisco CrossFit and creator of Through his Freestyle Connections Seminar, Paoli introduces athletes to advanced gymnastics skills using simple progressions and coaching points. In this two-part series, Carl Paoli teaches how to develop midline stability through the hollow-body position.

Paoli has his athletes lie down on the floor on their backs and point their toes with legs together. Then, he has them raise their legs into the air, followed by the arms and shoulders. From this flexed position, he has the athletes open up with their lower backs pressed flush against the floor.

“That is the beginning of ‘The Position.’ That’s your flexed global body position,” Paoli says.

He has the athletes regain that position and hold it in a more relaxed fashion.

“You should be able to breathe in this position,” Paoli says.

On the third try, Paoli has the athletes try to rock in the hollow-body position.

“Can I maintain this position without deviating? That’s the goal,” he says.

He says: “Everyone has a lot of room in the tank to keep working. The standard is to be able to do a hundred hollow-body rocks or a three-minute rock.”

Finally, Paoli shows how to scale the position with legs bent and arms at your sides for varying degrees of assistance in maintaining the hollow-body position.

8min 36sec

Video by Again Faster.

Additional video: Midline Stabilization Part 1 by Kelly Starrett, published Dec. 25, 2008.

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6 Comments on “The Hollow-Body Position With Carl Paoli: Part 1”


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Great video and instruction. I remember I asked you about a video like this on one of your gymnasticswod postings a little while ago. Thanks and keep them coming!


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Phenomenal coaching.


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Thanks for a great tutorial, Carl Paoli. In olympic lifting(pull), front/back lever in rings, I try to visualize the hollow position with
"aligning scapula and ilium in one plane" to achieve neutral spine. Specifically I activate consciously trapezius,subscapularis, latissimus dorsi to adjust scapula. I use transversus abdominis and internal oblique to align ilium in one big flat plane consisting of scapula and ilium(left and right).
Is this visualization correct or wrong?


wrote …

Carl's videos are the next best thing to his great seminars. I highly reccomend you all go to one of his semninars!

More Carl please!


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