Recently, we’ve written a piece on the importance of the hollow hold (you can read it here) and how the hollow position allows us to rotate, twist and lever with power and momentum. Well, the counterpart of the hollow position is the arch. The arch or sometimes called “superman” is the starting position that allows us to generate the power and momentum we control in the hollow.
It is not within the two separate positions that we build momentum, but within the rapid transfer from arch to hollow.
Here is a great demonstration of a correct arch hold or superman by Jessica Gray at a CrossFit Gymnastics Trainers Course:
Something to note about this video is the drastic difference in the students' arch hold before and after she instructed them to keep tension in the core. At first you can see all the flexibility variances between the students' arch hold. However, when she asked them to hold the position again after giving the cue, their positioning looked uniform and you can see less flexibility limitations.
Without core tension in the arch hold, the lower back becomes compressed and the transition to the hollow can leave you in a piked position instead of hollow. The hollow and arch positions are aerodynamic whereas piked and hyper-extended positions are not.
As mentioned in the post about the hollow hold, the hollow and the arch positions are both important components of the muscle up. By not developing a solid false grip, you restrict yourself from hitting all of these important positions. A weak grip is where we see athletes miss the arch and the hollow by having to use a huge kip to compensate. Our product, False Grips, is inclusive to important positions such as the arch and hollow by eliminating an all-to-common weak grip barrier. Check out our latest product offerings to learn more.