Thursday, October 20, 2011
Workout of the Day
NO BOYS ALLOWED! 🙂 This Sunday, October 23rd at 5pm will be the first ever CrossFit Atlanta Women's only class. This class will be taught by Bethanie G. This Sunday we will not only workout, but also discuss what day/time during the week will work best for most of the women interested and you can give feedback on what you would like the class to become. If you can't make it this Sunday just email [email protected] letting her know that you want to join another day and what day/time works best for you. Hope to see you ladies then!!
Competitor Magazine, to their credit, introduces one of our favorite ab exercises, the "hollow rock," to the running and endurance community in their recent issue. Go to page 28 to read the one page article. Or pick up a free copy at the gym. Unfortunately, the photo accompanying the article depicts incorrect form. The idea is to make your lower back rounded like the bottom of a rocking chair. The lady in the picture does not have her lower back rounded, and thus she will rock and roll like a square tire. Let's be charitable and assume she was just getting ready to assume correct position when the photo was taken.
The Hollow Rock,
From Three Important Ab Exercises, CrossFit Journal, May, 2003
A seemingly innocuous little exercise, the hollow rock is a staple of gymnastics conditioning and excruciatingly tough when performed correctly.
To perform the hollow rock lay face up on the ground with your arms stretched overhead and legs out straight. Raise your arms and legs about one foot off of the floor and attempt to assume the shape of a rocker on a rocking chair, then gently, slowly, teeter back and forth.
The critical part of this movement is to pull the lordotic curve (lumbar arch) from the back so that the entire back is rounded from shoulders to butt. Initially, you will find that the rocking is rough because of a flat spot in the lower back. This is a perfect measure of both a weakness in and inability to innervate the lower abs.
The role of the hip flexors is fairly insignificant in the hollow rock but the role of the lower rectus (lower abs) is dramatic.
For many people the hollow rock is so hard that no matter how hard they try they “clunk” on each rocking as they come to level and the flat spot caused by insufficient lumbar flexion smacks the floor. This “clunking” is a perfect measure of ones lack of lower ab recruitment.
Lower ab recruitment is the toughest part of ab training and never well developed by most athletes. It is so common as to be a visual cliché that the aerobics instructor who teaches “ab classes” at your local gym can do thousands of crunches but still has a lower abdominal pooch as though three months pregnant. Activation, full recruitment, and development of the lower abs require enormous concentration and focus over months if not years. The hollow rock is a near perfect tool to both test and develop low ab capacity.
The main progression that we use at CF ATL is to put one or both legs into a tuck position and/or bring the arms into the chest. This reduces the load on the lower abs and allows many people who cannot do the movement with legs & arms out low & straight to round their lower backs and get the benefit of the movement. They can then progress to the legs fully extended position.