3 Variations to Achieving the Hollow Body Position
What is the hollow body position?
The hollow body position provides alignment for your spine, protecting you from injury and gaining maximum efficiency in both gymnastics and weightlifting movements. Practicing the hollow body position is one of the most effective exercises you can do because of its transference to other movements. It also requires strength from your entire trunk, not just your abdominal muscles.
Variation #1 – Hard
1. Begin by laying flat on your pack and pull your knees into your chest. In this position, you should feel the small of your back pressed against the ground. You want to maintain this contact throughout the entire movement.
2. Keeping your knees tucked into your chest, take both arms and raise your arms straight over your head, making sure to keep your shoulder blades off of the ground as if you’re doing a crunch.
3. If this position is challenging, work on maintaining this position. Over time, you can work on slowly straightening your legs while pointing your toes. If the small of your back is not firmly pressed on the ground at any point, bring your knees back into your chest.
Variation #2 – Harder
1. Begin by laying flat on your back with legs straight up and pointing your toes to the ceiling. Take both of your arms and bring them over your head while lifting your shoulders off of the ground, similar to variation #1.
2. Keeping your legs straight throughout the entire movement, slowly lower your feet to the ground. If the small of your back lifts off of the ground, bring your toes back up towards the ceiling and maintain the correct position.
Variation #3 – Hardest
1. Begin by laying flat on your back with toes point and arms outstretched overhead in a relaxed position.
2. Squeeze your abdomen and tuck your rib cage down towards your spine. You should not initiate this movement by raising your arms and legs, Instead the movement of your arms and legs should begin as a result of the movement in your core.
3. Hold the hollow body position, keeping your shoulder blades off of the ground, toes pointed, and the entire spine against the ground.
The hollow body position is much more effective to strengthening your core than many other common abdominal exercises, since it involves significantly more muscle groups. Try these three variations anywhere from 10-30 seconds at a time, 3-5 times per day.