Hollow Hold

Hollow Hold

The hollow hold is a foundational core exercise known for its ability to significantly enhance overall stability and strength. By engaging the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors, this isometric position becomes a staple for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. It’s lauded for building a robust core, crucial for boosting performance across various disciplines such as gymnastics, weightlifting, and general fitness training. The hollow hold challenges your muscles to maintain balance and resist gravitational pull, resulting in improved endurance and a solid foundation for more complex movements like pull-ups and handstands.

As a versatile exercise, the hollow hold can be easily adjusted to accommodate varying fitness levels, allowing for progressive development in core strength. Its ability to reinforce correct posture and functional movement patterns makes it an effective tool for injury prevention. Whether you’re seeking peak athletic performance or simply aiming to fortify your midsection, the hollow hold is an essential exercise. It enhances core endurance, promotes functional strength, and serves as a reliable benchmark for tracking core stability progress. Adding it to your training regimen will yield significant improvements in your overall fitness journey.

Equipment Needed

Open floor or yoga mat

Instructions for the hollow hold:

  1. Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pushing the low back into the floor. The arms and legs should be held straight out from the body with hands and toes pointed.
  2. Slowly raise shoulders and legs from the ground. The arms and head should be raised along with the shoulders. The lower back must remain in contact with the floor. 
  3. The goal is to find the lowest position that you can hold the arms and legs, without them touching the floor and without breaking lower back contact (the point at which the lower back begins to arch from the ground).

Common Errors

Allowing your low back to round, losing contact with the floor.

Hollow hold Progressions / Regressions:

If this is too challenging:

  • Try starting with arms and legs tucked like a cannonball, extend one limb out at a time maintaining your core position. 

If you want more of a challenge:

  • Hold for a longer period
  • Attempt hollow rocking- hold the hollow position while rocking on your lower back

Related Exercises

Prone Angel

Prone Angel

Prone AngelProne Angel The prone angel is a powerful exercise designed to improve upper back strength, shoulder stability, and overall posture. Performed while lying face down, this movement mimics the motion of making snow angels. It specifically targets the scapular...

Band Pass Through

Band Pass Through

Band Pass ThroughBand pass through The band pass through, also known as the band shoulder pass through, is an effective exercise designed to improve shoulder mobility, flexibility, and stability. This exercise involves using a resistance band to perform a controlled,...



BowStringBowstring exercise The bowstring exercise is an excellent movement for enhancing thoracic and shoulder mobility. This exercise mimics the action of drawing a bow, providing a deep stretch to the muscles around the spine, shoulders, and hips. It's particularly...

Related Posts

Building Accessory Programs – Part 6

Building an accessory program is a great idea if your training isn't well balanced or if you have specific goals that aren't being met. This article is the final part of a series all about how to build and implement accessory programs for functional training like...

Unilateral exercises: accessory programming part 5

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding unilateral exercises into your training with accessory...

Lateral movements: accessory programming part 4

Functional training programs are intended to make your body move well as a whole, not just as individual parts. Unfortunately many programs still lack movements that are helpful in sport and in life.  Adding lateral movements into your training with accessory programs...

Horizontal Pulling Movements – accessory programming part 3

Functional fitness programming often has a great deal of pulling movements.  Unfortunately programs like Crossfit neglect horizontal pulling in favor of vertical pulling.  For this reason, we recommend adding horizontal pulls to your accessory programming. To learn...

Rotation exercises – crossfit accessory programming part 2

Rotation exercises are key to generating power in movements like throwing or swinging and they also play an important role in muscle balance and healthy joint mechanics.  Unfortunately, they are often missing from many functional fitness programs like Crossfit.  If...

Anti-Rotation Exercises: Accessory Programming Part 1

Crossfit is a constantly varied fitness program that focuses on intense functional movements but it lacks some that may help you stay healthy. This post will help you learn how to program anti-rotation exercises into your accessory programs for Crossfit. Doing this...

The best mobility programs use these elements

Just like a diet needs a caloric deficit to make you lose weight, a mobility program needs certain things in order to help you move better.  In this article we will explore the top 5 things that the most effective mobility programs should have to be as effective as...

Banded Ankle Mobilization: Improve your ankle mobility

Banded ankle mobility mobilizations are simple and effective drills you can use to improve ankle range of motion.  Most of us could use more ankle mobility, especially those of us who sit most of the day and then try to train functional exercises like the squat....

Thoracic Extension Mobility: The Ultimate How To Post

Thoracic spine extension is a crucial spinal movement that is required for shoulder, neck, and low back health as well as athletic performance. In this article, I will discuss what thoracic mobility is, how to assess thoracic mobility, and what thoracic mobility...

Push Pull Ratio: Prevent Shoulder Injuries

What is a push-pull ratio? The push-pull ratio can help prevent shoulder injuries by helping you maintain a balance in the muscles around the shoulder girdle. It is exactly as it sounds- a ratio between how many pushes you are doing compared to how many pulls you are...

Follow Us On Social