Hollow body hold position
The hollow body hold exercise is another major abdomen core blaster which can help you get rid of your belly fat. This exercise is actually the plank exercise inversion. This means that rather than supporting your body with your legs and with your arms, you are actually flipped around fighting against the gravity force to stay in the position.
Other names for this core exercise:
- hollow body position
- hollow body plank
Step-by-step instructions for the hollow body hold
In order to do this exercise, you lay down with your lower back area against the floor. Once in this position, you slightly hinge at your hips in order to tuck your knees gently into your chest.
As you do so, you are also raising your shoulders at the same time. Once done, you gently extend your legs completely straight and hold that position.
At this point, you also stretch your arms behind your head and you squeeze your abdomen core to hold the position.
You hold this posture for thirty seconds. Once you get comfortable, you can hold this position for up to one minute.
Key points & helpful hints
The hollow body position is one of the most important positions to understand and master. It is also one of the hardest to do correctly. Here are some helpful hints to produce and maintain a hollow body position correctly.
- Tilt your pelvis forward.
- Suck in your belly button.
- Tighten your gluteus.
- Tilt your shoulders slightly forward.
- Allow only your lower back to touch the floor.
- The final hollow-body position is to have both your arms and legs extended.
In the illustration above, the hollow body position is highly exaggerated. In a cartwheel, your body should be straight, with very little hollow body position. However, the hollow body position is overemphasize so that you get a better idea what to do. If we would show almost straight body you may not even notice what are the key points here.
These are the common errors we usually see when people performing hollow body hold position.
- The first and the most common mistake is the neck position. People will tent to adopt one of two positions. The first one are those that look down to their feet. They are having unnecessary amount of neck flexion. On the other hand, when fatigue sets in, the goose neck happens. This is a compensation people adopt to make up for a lack of hollow body alignment in their trunk. This is a great way to cheat yourself into thinking you’re into hollow body position when in reality you’re not even close. A great set up cue is to slide the back of your head up the floor and then your chin will naturally compress and the head will lift of the floor. Keep in mind that you need just a small range of motion and you’ll feel a vague egg in front of your throat.
- The second biggest mistake is resting the shoulders against the floor which makes this exercise way too easier. The core does not have to work very hard to maintain this position because you’ve got a large contact area of support. Instead, hoover the shoulder blades off the ground. This places the core in more shorten position, forcing you to work harder.
- Shallow breathing or, even worse, holding the breath throughout the entire duration of their set. Instead, breathe deep into the stomach. When you do this you’ll get much better contraction in your abs and sustaining tension throughout the entire body will seem more easier.
- Arching the lower back with a large space between your back and the floor is a massive error. Therefore, posteriorly tilt the pelvis and flatten the back against the ground.
- Neglecting lower body tension. Having floppy, flabbily legs is a massive error. You need to remember that the adductors tie into your pelvis and actually help generate core stability. Be forcefully squeezing your legs together throughout the entire set you’re going to increase your core stability, full body tension, and you’ll have easier time holding your hollow body hold position.
Make it harder (Hollow hold variations)
Here’s how you make the hollow body hold exercise even more challenging.
- Weighted hollow hold.
- Uneven hollow hold.
- Hollow body rock.
- Gator roll.
This scooped position is created by a co-contraction of all four of your abdominal muscles. The transversus abdominis stabilizes your ribs, spine, and pelvis. The internal and external obliques add to this stability and create the scooped position by pulling your ribs down and in toward your center while flexing the spine. Finally, the rectus abdominis assists in posteriorly tipping the pelvis to further flex the lumbar spine and create the rounded shape. The majority of the work to hold the hollow body position is performed by the transversus abdominis and obliques.
To continue the movement through the hips, the gluteus maximus contracts and extends the hips while the deeper gluteals and hip external rotators stabilize the femoral head at the pelvis.
Closing thoughts about the hollow body hold position
The hollow body is one of the foundational positions in gymnastics. It’s one of the first a young gymnast learns because it’s integral to many other movements. The hollow body hold is an exercise in abdominal bracing and total-body tension that will allow you to properly transfer force from your upper body to your lower body without any energy leaks in the kinetic chain.