How to Do a Hollow Body Hold: Tips, Technique, Correct Form, Benefits and Common Mistakes

Hollow holds are a great isometric movement (Image by Scott Webb)
Hollow holds are a great isometric movement (Image by Scott Webb)

Do you want to put your entire core to the test? Obliques and abs? Then a hollow hold is a good choice for you. It is one of the finest home exercises and it doesn't require any special equipment. Your abs will be on fire with this isometric workout, which is not as easy as it looks.


What is a hollow hold?

The hollow hold is an isometric core exercise that improves your spine-stabilizing abdominal muscles. Beginners and experienced fitness lovers alike can safely practise this exercise and gain the benefits of a stronger core with perfect form.

The hollow hold also develops the foundational core strength required for advanced bodyweight and gymnastic routines. Hollow holds also improve your abdominal stabilizing abilities. Engaging your abdominal muscles to stabilize your lower spine is known as abdominal bracing. A good abdominal brace will draw your ribs slightly into your pelvis. The natural arch in your lower back will softly flatten as your abdominal muscles flex.


Who should do the hollow hold exercise?

Regardless of fitness level, anyone can effectively perform the hollow hold exercise. As a result, the hollow body hold is beneficial for beginners and experts alike. Because it's a compound action, it uses shear and compressive force to strengthen the muscles that surround the spine. It's an excellent workout for athletes since it gives them better control and prevents injuries.

The hollow rock motion targets the rectus abdominis, sometimes known as the six-pack, to achieve an aesthetic look. This benefit of this execrcise makes it ideal for bodybuilders who want to strengthen their abs more effectively than any other activity.

The hollow hold may be more effective than typical ab exercises in activating particular deep core muscles. The muscles which get activated in this movement are internal and external obliques, hip flexors, quadriceps rectus, and transverse abdominals.



The hollow body hold works the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, obliques, quads, hip flexors, inner thighs, and erector spine muscles. It also aids in the development of the core and lowers back muscular stability and strength.

The hollow body hold, when done properly, can help you improve your alignment. This motion can also strengthen the muscles needed to prevent lower back pain when the lower back and abs are in the proper position.

This exercise develops your core to resist arching your lower back from a functional standpoint. When you do a hollow hold, you're teaching your body to develop the abdominal muscles by pressing your lower back against the floor.

The type of position required during the hollow body hold is yet another motivation to include it in a core workout or full-body regimen. You will do an isometric or static contraction after your legs and arms are in the proper posture and your back is pressed to the floor. This contraction necessitates holding a muscle group in place for an extended time, making it an excellent exercise to add to your workout regimen.


How to do a hollow hold

Start with 2–3 sets of 20–60 seconds. Choose your sets and time durations based on your ability to keep proper form throughout each set.

  • Place your arms over your head and lie face-up on an exercise mat.
  • Raise your arms above your head.
  • Lift your legs 2-3 inches off the ground and toes directed away from your body while keeping your legs together.
  • As though you were clutching an egg under your chin, keep your chin tucked throughout the movement. Keep your upper back, arms, and legs off the ground. Your ribs should be down, and your pelvis should be somewhat tucked.
  • Maintain full-body tension by engaging your core.
  • Hold for as long as comfortable.

Common mistakes to avoid

There aren't many steps in this exercise. In reality, the movement's overarching purpose is to maintain an isometric contraction for a set amount of time before returning to the beginning position. As a result, the most important aspect of this exercise is your form during the hold.There are a few typical faults to avoid when practising the hollow body hold.


Not burying the lower back in the ground

The ability to press your lower back into the ground is the cornerstone of this manoeuvre. It would help keep your core engaged the entire time.

Maintaining shoulder blade contact with the floor

Your shoulder blades must leave the ground when doing the hollow body hold. It may be tough to lift your shoulder blades off the floor if you cannot contract your core sufficiently. It would be best to elevate your shoulder blades high enough to create core tension.

Keeping your chin tucked

Avoid the temptation to tuck your chin into your chest. This shifts the neck out of the neutral posture, increasing the risk of neck pain and relaxing your core muscles.


Once you've mastered the basic hollow body workout, attempt a few variations to push yourself further. Dumbbells or kettlebells can add weight to your exercise. This increases their complexity while also increasing stability.

To perform and balance the weight by rocking forward, you will need additional core tension. Here are some variations:

  • To the hollow hold ab workout, add a flutter kick. It will strengthen the legs as well as the abs.
  • Place your arms behind your head and interlace your fingers to do a hammock. This will provide better body support and relieve pressure on the neck muscles.


When done correctly, you will notice a reduction in back pain, increased body balance, and better posture. You can incorporate the hollow hold into your current core-training routine or do it separately.

Edited by Sabine Algur
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