Have you ever seen the abs of an Olympic Gymnast? Every four years we flip on our TV sets and watch these guys compete for the gold medal.
Each routine is full of inconceivable (to guys like me)… twists and flips that get more complex every four years.
And sure, you may not be in the backflip business but you can’t help but want a strong and ripped core just like those guys, right?
Which is why I’m giving you an Olympic Gymnast Core Workout you can do from home to help you build a bulletproof set of abs with superhuman midsection strength. Best part, you can even perform this floor routine in the comfort of your own living room while watching the Olympics!
Here’s four signature gymnastics moves you’ll use in this Olympic Gymnast Core Workout:
Hollow Body Hold
Lie flat on your back and contract the abs. While contracting your abs, pull your belly button in towards your spine. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed. Keep your body tight.
Lightly raise shoulders and legs off of the ground. The arms and head should be raised, as well as the shoulders. The lower back must remain on the floor, with a slight rounding in the small of your back.
Your goal is to find the lowest position you can hold the arms and legs, without them touching the floor and without your lower back raising off of the ground and creating an arch.
Here are some key take-away notes when performing this exercise:
Keep your body tight the entire time. Abs contracted, glutes flexed.
Make sure your lower back is rounded (no arch). Your arms are extended backward in alignment with your ears and your feet are together with your toes pointed slightly forward.
Hollow Body Rock
From the hollow body hold, you can easily transition to the next exercise in this olympic gymnast core workout – the hollow body rock.
From the hold position, you will then use momentum to rock your body slightly for massive core engagement. This exercise is deceivingly challenging and even looks funny…
But I promise you won’t be laughing when you’re performing this subtle movement.
Check out this video of the hollow body rock…
Similar to the hollow body hold, keep your body tight and together. Again…
Keep your body engaged the entire time. Abs contracted, glutes flexed.
Make sure your lower back is rounded (no arch). For this exercise, you can ry two different variations with your arms.
First variation, your arms can be extended backward in alignment with your ears.
Or variation #2 (as you see in the video), your arms can remain tightly against your side with your palms facing upward (also known as the supinated position). Choice is yours, variation #1 being the more challenging of the two.
At this point, your abs will be screaming. So we’ll give your hip flexors a break from holding the hollow position and move to an exercise where you can set your feet to the floor.
Be sure, when transitioning from one exercise to the next, you are maintaining core engagement. If you notice Olympic Gymnasts during their performance’s, never once do they loosen up. They keep their body tight, close together, and flexed. Make sure you do the same as you transition from one exercise to the next…
Here’s how to perform the next movement in the Olympic Gymnast Core Workout…
Slowly transition from the hollow body position, lowering your feet to the floor and keeping your abs engaged.
With your arms tight to your body and your hands pointing toward the ceiling, lift your shoulders and upper back slightly off the ground, reaching upward. Keep your neck in neutral alignment throughout the entire movement.
The best way to do this is by fixing your eyes on a spot on the ceiling as you perform each repetition. Be sure to keep your abs contracted the entire time…
To enhance your results, focus your mind on your muscles. Think of your abs like an accordion. Compressing as you reach upward toward the ceiling and extending as you release from the top position, back to the floor.
Side Plank Rotations
To cap off this Olympic Gymnast Core Workout, you’re going to attack the fat around your love handles and tighten up your obliques with the side plank rotations…
You’ll do this by transitioning to the side plank position as featured below.
Place on foot atop of the other. Have your elbow on the floor as a “kickstand” to support your upper body. And raise your hips off the floor.
Starting with your hand in the air and head turned facing upward to your hand, slowly bring your arm down in a circular-like motion (hollowing your hand with your eyes) and bring your hand through the gap near your armpit.
From there, slip your arm back out and slowly follow your arm back to it’s initial upright position.
After performing one set on one side, focusing on your oblique contraction. Transition over to the other side and perform the same movement, yet on the opposing side.
Do not over-extend your arm through your armpit. Instead, it should be a short follow-through without any twisting of the spine or reaching with your shoulder.
Here’s how you can add all of the above exercises into one at-home, Olympic Gymnast Core Workout:
Hollow body hold – complete for 30 seconds
Hollow body rock – complete 10 repetitions
Ceiling reaches – complete 10 repetitions
Side plank rotations (right side) – complete 10 repetitions
Side plank rotations (left side) – complete 10 repetitions
Complete as many rounds of these exercises as you can in four minutes. If you’re up for a greater challenge, double-it and complete as many rounds of the above exercises for eight minutes.