Retool your gymnastics skills with elite gymnast Carl Paoli, founder of Naka Athletics, coach at San Francisco CrossFit and creator of GymnasticsWOD.com. 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.
In Part 1, Paoli developed the hollow rock. In Part 2, Paoli has the athletes flip over onto their bellies and attempt the hollow-body position. He finds overextension is a common fault in this drill. To correct overextension, Paoli has the athletes stand and drill a squeezed butt and locked rib cage.
“We have to start learning how to address rib cage down, butt tight, everything connected. If I don’t understand that drive from the rib cage to the butt, I’m not gonna be able to get all the other stuff going,” he says.
Once the athletes can maintain a hollow-body position on their bellies, Paoli has them try push-ups.
“But the push-up is not gonna be through your shoulders and through your arms; it’s gonna be through your belly,” he says. According to Paoli, the load of the push-up is between your rib cage and your hips, not your shoulders.
“Every time you do a push-up, it’s not just a push-up—it’s a position movement. It’s a position reinforcing everything else you do,” Paoli says.
Additional reading: The Push-Up by Greg Glassman, published March 1, 2003.