2 Ways to Get Strong and Fit, According to Top Gymnasts

  • Gymnasts have a very strong core, the central part of the body consisting of the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen.
  • American student champion KJ Johnson recommends the “hollow grip” exercise and its variations to develop your core.
  • Team USA gymnast Fred Richard says consistency and steady progress are important, rather than trying to do too much at once.
  • Read also: 4 Ways to Stay Fit Without Going to the Gym – Tips from the Blue Zones

With a few simple exercises, you can make your core workouts more efficient, according to top gymnasts.

For gymnasts, the core, the central part of the body that consists of the pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen, is essential to success, says gymnast KJ Johnson, who was part of the team that won this year’s U.S. Student Championships.

“When you start gymnastics, the core is the most important thing,” she says. “The coaches always tell us to keep our core strong.”

By training your core the right way and doing the right abdominal exercises, you can build strength and muscle efficiently, even if you’re not an elite athlete.

The Hollow Hold exercise ensures a stronger core, without having to go to the gym.

“The life of a gymnast is an intense training schedule,” Johnson told Business Insider. “You’re on it 24/7.”

In addition to training her gymnastics skills, Johnson also lifts weights passionately to improve her performance and make herself more resilient to tough training and competitions.

But one of her favorite core exercises is one you can do at home in just minutes, without any equipment.

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The “hollow hold” exercise is a simple exercise where you lie on your back and tighten your abdominal muscles so that only your lower back touches the floor while keeping your legs above the floor and your arms extended above your head.

Try it and you will feel your abs toning in 30 seconds.

Once you’ve mastered this basic exercise, you can try some more challenging variations, such as:

  • Hollow Body Pose: After assuming the “hollow body” position, slowly move forward and backward while keeping your abdominal muscles contracted.
  • V-ups: Lift your feet above your hips and move your hands toward your toes so that your body forms a V shape.
  • Scissor Kicks: From a hollow hold position, cross one leg over the other, return to the starting position and lift the other leg. Repeat several times.

Johnson makes hollow changes during her training sessions.

“Whether it’s upper body, lower body, or cardio day, I always do core exercises last,” Johnson says.

Be consistentR

Team USA gymnast Fred Richard says he sometimes trains for seven hours a day.

According to gymnast Fred Richard, consistency is more important than any specific exercise. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

In addition to his technical training, Richard trains for an extra hour every day to improve his performance. This extra time is mainly spent practicing yoga, which helps him maintain his flexibility and prevent injuries.

But there is no specific workout that is the key to his success: Richard says good planning is essential to achieving the desired results. “The most important thing I have learned from my sport is that the first step should always be to devise a system to achieve what you want.”

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A common mistake is that people train hard for a short period of time to achieve a certain goal, but they can never maintain it for a longer period of time. Instead, Richard says you need to develop habits to make progress over months rather than days.

“It’s not like, ‘Hey, I want to get stronger, let’s do a really intense workout today,’” Richard explains. “That’s not going to solve the problem. If I want to get stronger and more flexible, I have to figure out what I can do every day for the next six months.”

Read also: The 4 best exercises to train your lower body muscles when you are short on time, according to a top trainer

Winton Frazier

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