Hollow Body for Core Strength
Hollow bodies are a favourite amongst gymnasts and are a great way to work your trunk muscles, learn about maintaining a rigid position and also act as a good assessment of someone’s ability to adopt a globally flexed position (become a tight, shallow banana). This global flexion is crucial if you want to perform various other exercises such as chin ups, which obviously you do.
How to do a Hollow Body
Lie flat on the ground with your head, back and glutes all in contact with the ground. Squeeze your glutes and abs and point your toes forward (away from your body)
Now bring your knees towards your chest and lift your shoulders off the floor.
Next, straighten your legs and then reach out to try to touch your toes.
Keeping your hands in this ‘toe touch’ position, lower your legs as low as they can go without letting your lower back rise off the floor (lower back should remain in contact with the floor). If your lower back starts to arch then move your legs back to where they were before the arching of your lower back occurred.
When your feet are approximately 6 inches from the floor, stop and hold this position.
Start moving your arms back until they are stretched out overhead. Your shoulders stay up off the floor and your glutes and abs remain squeezed.
Hold! Remember to breathe!
The aim is to maintain a tight and neutral position. If your position breaks, stop and reset.
This is a tough exercise but is one that can be scaled accordingly. Go through the sequence and if at any point you lose your position, go back to the stage before and make sure you're comfortable with it before moving on.
Once you’ve found your starting point you can then progress little by little until you are capable of reaching the full position.
Once you can position yourself in a full hollow body, aim to hold it for 10 seconds.
Gymnasts hold these positions for several minutes; you may not be a gymnast but there’s your target!
The positions of your arms and legs (how close they are to the floor) can vary. This will depend on your core strength, mobility etc. The key is to maintain a neutral and rigid posture with no breaks in the chain.