How to Do a Hollow Hold

Published August 17, 2019
<article> <section> <p>Whether you’re new to working out or a seasoned athlete, there’s one area of the body you absolutely must work in order for the rest to function properly: the core. One of the most core powerful moves we use is a gymnastics staple called the <i>hollow hold</i>. </p> <p>But don’t worry! You don’t have to be the next Simone Biles to make the hollow hold part of your fitness routine. First,we’re going to teach you how to do the hollow body hold with perfect form. Then we’ll show you how to incorporate the hollow hold into your <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">workouts</a> for a strong, stable core.</p> <p>Let’s jump in by learning the perfect form for a hollow hold.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <header>What Is a Hollow Hold?</header> <p>The hollow hold is an <i>isometric exercise</i>. This means you hold one static position for a period of time rather than contracting and extending a particular muscle group like during a squat or pushup. Sounds easy, right?</p> <p>Actually, we add isometric moves to our workouts because of how challenging they are and how well they build strength. Hold the hollow pose for even a few seconds, and you’ll see what we’re talking about.</p> <p>Here’s how to do the perfect hollow hold:</p> <ol> <li>Lie flat on your back with your arms stretched over your head.</li> <li>Squeeze your legs together and point your toes.</li> <li>Lift your legs off the floor slightly and squeeze the glutes to hold them in place. Tuck your pelvis to press your lower back flat into the ground.</li> <li>Lift the shoulder blades off the floor so your legs and arms are parallel.</li> <li>Hold the position for an allotted period of time.</li> </ol> <p>There are a few important things to note. The benefits of this move come from contracting and holding the muscles in place. Make sure that you squeeze your abs, legs, and glutes tight for the duration of the move to get the most out of this exercise. </p> <p>Keep your <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">lower back</a> in contact with the floor throughout the move, otherwise, you’ll shift the focus off of the main core muscles. Before you try the hold, lie down and place your hands on your rib cage then cough. The way your ab muscles contract as you cough is the exact position you want to maintain during the hollow hold.</p> <p>If the hollow hold is too challenging at first, you can make any of the following modifications:</p> <ul> <li>Hold your arms at your sides instead of over your head.</li> <li>Bend one knee at a time while keeping the other straight. Alternate between the two positions for the duration.</li> <li>Lift the arms and legs higher off the ground.</li> </ul> <p>Just make sure to keep your lower back on the ground, and you’ll be golden! </p> <p>For the most challenging version of the hollow hold, keep your arms and legs as close to the ground while maintaining form for the full duration of the move.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="abdomen-abs-dark-torso"> </picture> <header>What Muscles Does the Hollow Body Hold Work?</header> <p>Now we know how to do the hollow hold, but why the heck are we doing it in the first place?</p> <p>The primary focus of the hollow body hold is, of course, the core. There are two particular core muscle groups that power the hollow hold. One is the <i>transverse abdominus</i>—the very deepest layer of <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">abs</a> that wraps around the sides of the core to the spine. The other is your <i>rectus abdominus</i>—the main “six-pack” muscles of the abs. </p> <p>When done correctly, you’ll get much more than a powerful ab workout from this move. As you squeeze your legs tight, you’ll work your glutes, quads, and hip flexors<sup>1</sup>. With your arms reached overhead, your lats will get a workout as well.</p> <p>One of the major benefits of this move is that it develops core <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">stability</a> to improve full-body <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">fitness</a>. The hollow hold trains your <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">core</a> muscles to work together. This comes in handy for core-centered workouts and moves like sit-ups, <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">pushups</a>, and, if you’re extra ambitious, handstands.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="young-woman-stretching-group-workout"> </picture> <header>How to Use in a Workout</header> <p>You can incorporate the hollow hold the same way you would other isometric moves like <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">planks</a>. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, then rest and repeat.</p> <p>We find <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">intervals</a> are a great way to improve your core strength and endurance, especially if you’re new to the hollow hold. Here’s how we like to make the hollow hold into a workout:</p> <ol> <li>Perform the hollow hold for 20 seconds.</li> <li>Rest for 10 seconds.</li> <li>Do another hollow hold for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest.</li> <li>Repeat this for four cycles.</li> </ol> <p>As you build up strength, increase the duration of your hollow holds to 30 seconds or more. You can do the hollow hold as a warm-up or you can incorporate them into your regular workouts.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="woman-exercising-full-body-arm-leg-core-outdoors"> </picture> <header>The Bottom Line</header> <p>Don’t let the simplicity of the hollow hold fool you! This exercise is the basis of so many other moves—sit-ups, crunches, V-ups, and more. That’s why we recommend that our Warrior Made <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">tribe</a> members use this move regularly in their <a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">core workouts</a>. </p> <p>Remember to keep your glutes, quads, and abs squeezed tight and your lower back glued to the floor to make sure you get the most out of this intense core move!</p> <div class="sub-head">Resources</div> <ol> <li><a target="_blank" href="" rel="noreferrer">Why Doing a Hollow Body Hold Like Blake Lively’s Trainer Is So Challenging</a></li> </ol> </section> </article>

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