Sadly, we aren’t talking about a six-pack of cold ones. Rather, we are talking about abs, girly abs. In my opinion, there just 1 foundational core exercise you will ever need for your entire ab training career. It’s versatile so you can change angles and add resistance, but trust me, it’s hard enough to do normally.
Let me introduce my nemesis, the cradle (a.k.a., rocking hollow body position).
It’s capable of sculpting amazing washboard abs and building a core that is insanely strong. The end of this post includes a tutorial on how to master the cradle. But first, we need to gawk and envy the ab goddesses of our day before getting started on our own (soon to be) six-packs.
Okay, now that those pics have ruined my desire for this six-pack (Ha! Sike!), we can get on with our tutorial.
The Cradle (Rocking Hollow Body Position)
Step 1: Lay on the floor and bring your knees up so your thighs are at a 90 degree angle to your body. Curl your head up off the floor, tuck your chin and look at your belly button. Keep your shoulders back and arms straight in line with your body about 3 inches off the floor (your hands should pull towards where your feet would be if you were lying down normally). Your lower back should stay flat on the ground with your upper back inching off the floor. Tip: Imagine pushing your belly button into the floor, it will help keep your lower back on the ground.
Step 2: Extend your legs straight and slowly lower them, keeping the other aspects of the Step 1 position perfect. When your feet are about 6 inches from the floor, hold the position.
Step 3: Raise your arms up and straight over your head so that your biceps are inline with your ears and hold this fixed position. Now you are in the hollow body position and you will stay here without breaking! You no longer have joints, you are a single unit.
Step 4: Flex your core as hard as you can and keep it flexed. Now, slowly and with immense control, rock forward leading with your legs keeping the integrity of the hollow body position. Your upper body will come up slightly and your legs lower to the floor. Do not let the heels of your feet touch the floor. When the heels of your feet are about 1 inch from the floor, rock back leading with your hands and upper body until your upper back comes just shy of touching the floor (that is 1 repetition). You should NOT be rocking with momentum. All movement is coming from your core and should be slow and controlled.
3-5 sets of 10 to 20 reps of cradles (1 rep requires moving in both directions).
Be sure to follow the exact steps above to get into hollow body position. While it may look easy, it’s not. Form and technique are EVERYTHING here and you won’t get the full benefits of this exercise if your form is even slightly off. Trust me.
Variations are a plenty, check this one out to really get your abs going!
To a fresh six-pack (chiseled or just cold)!
Party Smart. Sweat Smarter.