Gymnasts at all levels, from 6-year-old beginners to elite competitors, use the Hollow Body Hold to obtain iron cores. It's a very challenging and effective move, but anyone can use the Hollow Body Hold or its easier variations to reach new levels of core strength.
The Hollow Body Hold is similar to an upside down Plank. It forces your entire core to become stronger. You get a brutal burn in your abdominals by simply holding the position, and the position doesn't compromise lower-back health.
Although it appears relatively easy to perform, it's important to learn the basics before you start blasting your core with Hollow Body Holds.
Beginner Hollow Body Holds
The main rule for this move is to keep your lower back pressed against the floor. There should be absolutely no space between you and the floor.
Straight-Leg Holds: Keep your legs straight and raise them about a foot off the ground. Adjust your feet until you can keep your low back against the ground.
Upper-Body Half Holds: Hold your arms straight in line with your ears, crunch up and raise your shoulders off the ground.
Bent-Leg Holds: Combine the first and second moves, but bend your legs so your shins are parallel with the ground.
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Intermediate Hollow Body Hold
The standard Hollow Body Bold is a relatively simple move, and it's easy to get the hang of it. But it's a great and challenging move for anyone, from beginners to advanced athletes.
Hollow Body Hold: Combine everything you learned from the beginner variations. Raise your legs straight up, bring your arms overhead and crunch your shoulders up. Tighten your abs as if bracing for a punch, and make sure your lower back is flat against the floor. Hold this position, making sure to breathe throughout the hold.
Advanced Hollow Body Holds
Hollow Body Rocks: Assume the standard hollow body position, but move your legs up and down to slightly rock your body. Just be sure to maintain the hollow body position.
Weighted Hollow Body Holds: Use the same setup as Hollow Body Holds, but hold weight between your arms and/or legs. I like to use dumbbells, med balls or wrist/ankle weights.
Weighted Hollow Body Rocks: Combine the previous two variations to create the ultimate Hollow Body exercise.
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