Advanced Body Shapes - Hollow, Arch and Straight
Kindergym and classes 1 - 4, we spend a good amount of time teaching
students the correct terms and technique for different body shapes -
tuck, pike, straddle, etc. A child's ability to change shapes in a
technically correct manner often determines how quickly he or she can
learn new skills. The shapes that are most important in high-level
gymnastics are hollow, arch, and straight. Experienced gymnasts can hold
these shapes laying down, standing up, hanging, and in a handstand!
Shoulders rounded, abs contracted in, and pelvis tucked under; the back
should look rounded and the body forms a "scoop." It takes a lot of ab
strength to hold a hollow on the ground!
Arch: The opposite of a hollow, also called a “superman/supergirl” or “banana”; requires lower back and shoulder strength.
With arms overhead, standing in a straight line from fingertips to
toes, with no curve in the shoulders or back. I tell kids to make the
seam on the side of their leotard as straight as possible.
Advanced skills like back handsprings and giant swings on bars require gymnasts to quickly change between these three shapes!