Exercises like hollow holds are crucial components of any fitness programme because they enhance body awareness, stability, and core strength. They not only assist in correcting posture but also in increasing the body's general strength and stability. The significance of hollow holds, their advantages, how to use them, and how they can enhance your general fitness will all be covered in this article.


The hollow body hold is an advanced to expert-level abdominal workout that works your core muscles.

This exercise concentrates on maximal tension via the abdominal muscles because of the force needed to press the lower back into the floor, making it a great motion for athletes.

By shifting the position of your arm or leg, you can change this technique if you're a beginner. The hollow body hold can be added to an abdominal and core circuit or used as part of a dynamic warm-up for intermediate to advanced levels.

What is a Hollow hold exercise?

An isometric workout called a hollow body hold requires you to contract your core muscles while standing still. Laying flat on your back, perform hollow body holds. Raise your shoulder blades off the floor while raising your upper body, including your arms. By tilting your pelvis backwards, you can raise your lower body off the ground. Hold yourself in this position for the predetermined amount of time while maintaining a strong core.

How to do a hollow body hold (Steps involved)?

Start by executing 2-3 sets of the hollow body hold for 20–60 seconds. Depending on your ability to maintain proper technique throughout each set, decide on the number of sets and the length of the holds.

  • With your arms overhead, lie face-up on a yoga mat.
  • Off the floor, raise your shoulders and arms.
  • Lift your legs 2-3 inches off the ground while keeping your legs together and pointing your toes away from your torso.
  • As if keeping an egg beneath your chin, your chin should stay tucked the entire time. You should keep your upper back, arms, and legs off the ground. Your ribs should be down, and your pelvis should be somewhat tucked.
  • Keep your entire body tensed and your core engaged.
  • Hold for the time you want.

Benefits of hollow hold workout

The core muscles can be strengthened and stabilised by performing hollow holds. There are several ways to perform this exercise, and it has several advantages, such as:

Better Core Strength: 

By making your core muscles stronger, the hollow hold exercise will increase the strength of your entire body as well as assist in stabilising your spine and torso.

Better Balance and Posture: 

When performing other exercises, the hollow hold exercise helps you keep your balance and posture in check.

Better Flexibility: 

The hollow hold exercise will strengthen and stretch your abdominal muscles, which will increase your flexibility.

Better Body Awareness: 

Exercises like the hollow hold can help you become more aware of your body, which is crucial for enhancing your general athletic performance.

Better Endurance: 

By strengthening your muscles and increasing the effectiveness of your breathing, the hollow hold exercise can help you increase your overall stamina and endurance.

Better Deep Core Muscles: 

The Transverse Abdominus, a deep core muscle that stabilises the spine, can be most effectively worked out in the drawn-in position using the hollow hold.

Lumbar Protection: 

A solid core provides a stable foundation of support that allows you to produce forceful torso and limb movements while simultaneously safeguarding your spine.

Muscles worked while performing hollow holds

The hollow hold strengthens your entire core while also working out several frontal deltoids. It may work some deep core muscles more effectively than standard ab exercises.

Rectus Abdominis: 

It aids with boot flexion and maintaining abdominal wall stability during the hollow hold because it is located in the anterior abdominal wall.

Transverse Abdominis: 

It helps to maintain the pelvis, compress the abdominal contents, and prevent spinal extension during the hollow hold. It is located in the lateral abdominal wall.

Internal Obliques: 

It aids in flexing the boot and preventing spinal extension during the hollow hold because it is located on the lateral abdominal wall.

External Obliques: 

It assists during the hollow hold to compress the abdominal contents, twist and flex the boot, and oppose spinal extension. It is located on the lateral abdominal wall.

Hip Flexors: 

They are responsible for flexing the hips, which is necessary during hollow hold workouts. They are situated near the front of the hip joint. The body may maintain a tight, hollow hold position by using the hip flexors to push the knees up to the chest and the glutes and hamstrings to extend the hips.


The rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius are the four muscles that make up the quads, a muscular group in the front of the leg. In hollow hold exercises, the quadriceps' main job is to stabilise the body, especially the lower back and core, while maintaining the legs and hips extended. The quadriceps also help with movement control and positioning changes.

Erector Spinae: 

It works to prevent spinal extension during the hollow hold since it is situated along the posterior spine.

Common mistakes associated with hollow holds

To target the right muscles and avoid damage when performing the hollow hold, it's crucial to maintain perfect form.

Not having the correct posture: 

Be sure to maintain straight legs, close-toed feet, and outstretched arms in front of you.

Not focusing on the core: 

Pull your belly button towards your spine and keep your spine in a neutral position because a hollow hold requires an active core to keep the position.

Hyperextended neck: 

When doing the hollow hold, overextending your neck might strain your neck and irritate your cervical spine. Headaches and other symptoms, as well as neck pain and discomfort, may result from this. Also, it can lead to vertebral misalignment, which can result in additional issues like pinched nerves and degenerative disc degeneration.

Arched back: 

The hollow hold's main function is to balance out your lower back's propensity to arch, or lordosis, which can put stress on your lumbar vertebrae. While performing this exercise, be careful to maintain your lower back near the floor. A lordosis is an unnatural inward bend of the lower back's spine. It might make it difficult to stand and walk, as well as cause lower back pain and stiffness. Moreover, it could lead to issues with posture and balance.

Incorrect breathing: 

Breathing should occur naturally during workouts that include movement, such as inhaling as you raise and exhaling as you lower. Since static hollow holds have no obvious cues to breathe, some people may inadvertently hold their breath. If you already have high blood pressure, it's not a good idea to make it even worse by doing this. To avoid fainting during the hollow hold, pay close attention to breathing deeply into your stomach.

Hollow hold variations

Dead bug hold and movement

  1. Start on your back with your feet off the ground and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. With your chin tucked towards your chest and your arms extended straight above you, point your fingers in the direction of the ceiling. Using your hands, make "blades" by keeping your fingers close together. Your hand's blade should be facing your head with the thumb side out.
  3. Squeeze your abdominals and slowly lower your back towards the floor while actively thinking about bringing your ribs slightly into your pelvis.
  4. The dead bug is the name of this place. For 30 to 1 minute, maintain the braced position with your lower back flat on the floor and your abs tight. Hold the position for three cycles.
  5. To make the dead bug more difficult, you can also do it with your legs straight up in the air. If the bent-knee option gets too simple, try the straight-knee variant.
  6. If you can hold the posture without discomfort, you can add mobility by lowering your leg and the arm to your opposite side until they are 6 inches (15 cm) off the ground, then raising them back to the beginning position.
  7. Continue for three sets of 10–12 repetitions. Throughout your entire movement, keep your abs tight.

Standard hollow hold

  1. Start on your back with your feet off the ground and your knees bent towards your chest.
  2. Hold your arms straight out in front of you, chin slightly tucked in against your chest, fingers pointing up towards the ceiling. Using your hands, make "blades" by keeping your fingers close together. Your hand's blade should be facing your head with the thumb side out. To have your top palm facing the ceiling, you can also position the back of your hand on top of the other palm.
  3. Squeeze your abdominals and slowly lower your back towards the floor while actively thinking about bringing your ribs slightly into your pelvis.
  4. Extend your legs straight, point your toes, and start bringing your heels down towards the ground.
  5. Drop your arms overhead towards the floor as you lower your legs.
  6. Keep lowering your arms and legs until they are approximately 6 inches (15 cm) off the floor. Make sure your upper back and shoulders don't touch the floor. Try to maintain the posture for three cycles of one minute each.

Safety and Precautions

As long as you are employing good form, the hollow body hold is generally a safe exercise for most fitness levels. However, this exercise may not be recommended if you suffer from lower back problems, neck or shoulder pain, or physical limitations that make it difficult to lie on the floor.

Try the modified version of this exercise first if you are new to it. You can progress to the entire movement. Stop the workout if you experience any pain while performing the activity.


The hollow hold and its variations are the best exercises for boosting stability and core strength. As long as the appropriate form is upheld, you should reap several advantages, including better balance, better posture, and relief from lower back pain.

This exercise should be a part of your core workout routine if you want to increase your strength, improve your headstand, and strengthen your abdomen to get that desired six-pack.

Frequently asked questions

How long should you hold a hollow hold?

For 30 seconds to 1 minute, maintain the braced position with your lower back flat on the floor and your abs tight. Hold the position for three cycles.

Are hollow holds good for abs?

The hollow hold is an intense core exercise that strengthens and stabilises your back and abdominal muscles. Total-body motions that need you to shift weight from your upper to lower body will be easier if you have a strong and stable core.

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