If so, you’re in luck: there’s a little-known version of abs that can kick you into high gear! This version can help you strengthen and tone not only your abdominal muscles, but also those around them.
Not only will this unique approach make your ab exercises more effective, it may even help reduce lower back pain or discomfort associated with traditional crunches. So if you’ve had enough of your usual routine and are looking for a better way to get awesome abs, read on!
An effective method to get a well-sculpted six pack.
The hollow hold, also known as the hollow body hold, is a powerful exercise that works your upper body and core. It involves lying on your back, then lifting your arms, legs, and head off the floor to form an arc. This position should be held for about 20 to 30 seconds while working the abdominal muscles in order to strengthen them effectively.
It may sound easy, but make no mistake: this workout can be very intense! Don’t be discouraged if you can’t keep up the pace right away; it takes time to master this move and with practice you will see progress in no time! As it is a great way to work the whole body, this exercise is beneficial not only for improving muscle strength, but also for increasing flexibility and endurance. Also, since we are talking about a low impact exercise, it is ideal for people of all physical abilities.
Several muscles are used at the same time.
The hollow hold is an exercise that primarily targets the core muscles. More specifically, it works:
- The rectus abdominis muscle (the “chocolate bar” muscle).
- The transverse abdominis muscle (the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles).
- The oblique muscles (found on the sides of the torso).
- The spinal muscles (the muscles of the lower back).
The gluteal muscles are also challenged during this exercise, as they help stabilize the body. Also, although this is not the focus of the movement, your hips and shoulders will remain tight and active throughout the exercise, engaging the underlying musculature of these joints.
To properly perform a hollow hold, you need to engage all of that core musculature to maintain a rigid stance. By doing so, you can train your deep stabilizing muscles to support your spine in daily activities and movements, reducing the risk of low back pain or injury.
Hollow Hold: How to master it?
- To perform a hollow grip correctly, it is essential to start with the correct posture.
- Start by lying on your back with your arms stretched above your head and your legs straight resting on the mat.
- Engage your core muscles and, while controlling the movement, lift your arms, head, shoulder blades and legs off the floor.
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Be sure to maintain proper form throughout the exercise.
- After returning to the starting position, pause for 10 seconds before starting again if desired.
- Try to include it as three successive or spaced sets in your training program.
It’s important to understand that when performing a hollow hold, there’s no need to push yourself too hard or go beyond what feels comfortable to you. While holding this position for longer may seem to yield better results, that’s not necessarily true. In fact, maintaining incorrect form for too long can lead to injury instead of improvement. Therefore, be sure to adjust as necessary until you are sure you are performing the exercise correctly before trying to increase the duration or intensity.