In this blog post, we’re going to cover a topic that may be a bit outside of your comfort zone. We’ll be taking a look at the Hollow Body Hold and what it can do for you.
The Hollow Body Hold is a flexibility exercise, so it’s important to have a high degree of hamstring mobility before trying this stretch. If you are unsure about your current degree of hamstring mobility, feel free to get checked out by your doctor before trying any stretching exercises like the Hollow Body Hold.
But what is the Hollow Body Hold and why is it important?
The Hollow Body Hold, when performed properly, can be one of the best strength-building exercises you can perform for your spine. This exercise develops strength in your erector spinal muscles (the muscles that run along your spine). By strengthening these muscles and increasing their flexibility, you can help prevent low back pain and increase overall spinal health.
#1 How to Perform the Hollow Body Hold
Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head.
Step 2: Flex your toes, lift your hips and take a deep breath in through your belly.
Step 3: On the exhale, draw both knees towards you and try to get them as close to your chest as possible. Keep your shoulders down for support and elbows by bent.
Step 4: Return to starting position. Take another breath in when you return to the start position. This will be one rep of the exercise.
Steps 3 – 4 constitute one set of Hollow Body Holds. Try doing up to 5 sets of 15 reps.
After you’re finished, make sure you roll out your spine with a towel, foam roller or some other form of self-myofascial release tool.
#2 Points To Remember While Doing Hollow Body Hold
- Keep your upper body flat on the floor. Do not raise your shoulders or neck.
- Contract the abs to keep your lower back stable, to stabilize and protect it in a neutral position.
- Form is very important with this exercise. The goal is to flex and strengthen the lower back muscles, NOT the hips or glutes!
- Don’t hyperextend at the wrists while you’re holding your legs up near your chest, otherwise, you could be doing serious damage to your wrists and forearm tendons.
- Don’t rush through reps or sacrifice form for speed! Be patient as you work up to higher rep ranges with this exercise.
- Don’t use this exercise as an excuse to max out your back muscles.
- Don’t use this exercise with weights unless you have someone who can spot you and help you with form.
- If you have lower back pain, talk to a professional about using the Hollow Body Hold. Some people may not be ready for this exercise because of their current condition.
- Talk to a professional if pain persists after doing the Hollow Body Hold. Be careful and think twice before starting any fitness program that involves spinal flexion just in case you have an underlying condition that could worsen because of the motion of flexion.
Hollow Body Holds can be performed with or without weights, and by changing the exercise in various ways to change its application. Just remember to keep your form intact at all times and you’ll have a safe yet effective exercise that doesn’t put too much stress on your body.
#3 Mistakes People Do while doing Hollow body hold
- -Locking their elbows inflexion
- -Rocking the pelvis forward too far and putting unnecessary stress on the lower back
- -Lifting their hips too high into flexion
- -Jerking their legs up and not engaging the lower back muscles properly.
- -Failing to recover from reverse hyperextension.
- -Sticking their head in the air, making it harder to engage their erector spinae muscles.
- -Lifting their hips too high into flexion.
- -Concentrating too much on their hips and not engaging the lower back muscles properly.
#4. How To Fix These Mistakes
- -Elbow must be fully extended, flexed only when in the up position.
- -Lack of flexion in the lower back will lead to a rounded, hunched over position.
- -Raise hips too high and you’ll lose the strength curve of your spine, causing your hips to be much lower than your upper torso.
- -Contracting erector spinae muscles (lower back muscles) will stabilize your pelvis, keeping it from moving too far forward and putting unnecessary stress on your lower back.
- -Engage glutes and hamstrings by squeezing them together – this will help elevate the hips rather than letting them grind on each other.
#5 Variations Of Hollow Body Hold
- -Single-Leg Hollow Body Holds – Can be done on the same or different leg. Keep your feet flat on the floor and work with one leg or both at the same time.
- -Single Arm Cave Hold (Trunk Twister) – Works the lower back, core and abdominals as well as strengthening and stretching your grip.
- -Plank Hollow Body Holds – This is a great variation of the Hollow Body Hold that focuses more on building strength in your abdominal muscles while performing reverse hyperextension in your hips.
#6 Benefits Of Hollow Body Hold
The benefits from the Hollow Body Hold will greatly depend on whether you’re using it primarily for its spinal health benefits or for its flexibility benefits.
- -Builds endurance, strength and flexibility in the “deep core” muscles.
- -Helps prevent low back pain.
- -Improves posture.
- -Has the potential to change your physique for the better.
- -Chisel your six-pack! Hollow Body Holds will help tone up and firm your lower abs. (If you have time to do this every day, it could transform your abs!)
- Benefits of Hollow Body Hold:
- -Helps you get back into proper form after a big lift like Deadlifts or Squats, by putting less stress on the spine and relieving pressure in compressed vertebrae.
- -Builds strength in the lower back region without stressing joints or aggravating injuries.
- -Strengthens and tones the muscles around your hips and spine.
- -Improves posture by strengthening the erector spinae muscles.
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