Mastering the Hollow Hold Position
Never suffer from a lack of core strength again! Thanks to our hollow hold progressions, you can quickly overcome this commonly overlooked area of the body. Many athletes make the mistake of attempting exercises that are too advanced without first establishing a proper base of core strength. As Coach Christopher Sommer often says in GymnasticBodies Seminars around the globe, "Take care of first things first." For most adults this advice breaks down into two categories: 1) regaining lost mobility, and 2) building a solid foundation of core strength.
We are going to detail one aspect of core strength in this article: the hollow hold position. The benefits of mastering a proper hollow hold position are endless when it comes to Gymnastic Strength TrainingTM.
The Hollow Hold Position
First and foremost, hollow hold work helps you build core strength-endurance, something which is absolutely necessary for more advanced work of any kind. In addition, learning the hollow hold teaches you how to shape your entire body as one unit. This is an absolute prerequisite for attaining more advanced bodyweight strength and even better posture.
To begin learning how to perform hollow hold holds, lie down on your back with your arms by your side and legs bent. For this bent hollow hold shape, press your lower back into the floor by drawing your belly button "down" and "in." With your midsection tight, lift your shoulders off the floor by elongating your spine and actively contracting your abs. Also, lift your legs and keep your knees bent or legs straddled apart, ensuring that your feet are just a few inches above the floor. Note the details: elbows are locked, legs are bent or straddled, and toes are pointed.
Our Foundation One Course will expertly guide you towards complete hollow hold core strength!
How long can you hold this position? Do not let your lower back come up off the floor! The entire purpose of a hollow hold is to challenge all the muscles in the front of your core: diaphragm, abdominals, hip flexors, quads, and more. Any weakness in this anterior chain will result in a loss of shape: shoulders too low, back arching, or legs lifting too high. Push yourself! There is very little risk of injury when performing hollow holds, so really dig deep and focus on developing work capacity through willpower and discipline!
If you can hold the bent or straddled hollow hold position with excellent technique, then it is time to try a full hollow hold. Keep everything the same from the previous drills, but this time extend your arms straight and overhead, keeping your legs straight and together. You should feel the workload effectively double on your core, and now you really have to fight to prevent your back from arching or your legs from dropping. Stay up! This is the exact kind of core strengthening that pays huge dividends for your future training.
- Just like you need to learn to count before you can add, hollow holds are a mandatory prerequisite for more advanced bodyweight gymnastic strength.
- Begin in a bent hollow hold shape by bending your knees or straddling your legs. Be sure to keep your arms down by your side.
- Challenge yourself further with the full hollow hold positions with arms overhead and legs straight.
GymnasticBodies hollow holds form the basis of a beginner GSTTM program, and, as such, they should be absolutely mastered by anyone and everyone looking to reach higher heights in their training.