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There are specific exercises where you will have muscular tension from the get-go, like deadlifting from the floor, squatting out of the hole, and the hollow hold exercise. The hollow what? The hollow hold. If you have difficulty feeling the tension in the abs, the hollow hold is for you because, with this exercise, the muscular tension is real.
Muscular tension is vital when making a lift, getting stronger, or adding muscle. Muscular tension is one or more muscles remaining semi-contracted for a prolonged period. Tension could be the missing link to your performance in and out of the gym.
Here we’ll dive into the hollow hold exercise, how to do it, muscles trained, the benefits and programming suggestions, and three hollow hold variations. Here you’ll experience the true meaning of simple but not easy.
At the heart of the hollow hold is ab shaking muscular tension. The hollow hold has you balanced on your behind with your legs and arms just a few inches off the floor. Extending the arms and legs away from the body decreases your stability, so your core works harder to keep you from collapsing on the floor. Think of it like a plank, but only on your butt. The hollow hold builds an isometric core and anti-rotational strength and makes you aware of muscular tension.
The muscles it works are apparent when you get into the hollow hold position. For the uninitiated, here are the upper and lower body muscles it works. All the muscles listed below work isometrically (muscle contraction without movement).
Have you ever heard of someone having too much core strength? Neither have I, which is why you should consider including the hollow hold as part of your routine for these four reasons (and probably more).
The hollow hold is simple to perform and not complex like deadlifts or a clean and jerk. But simple does not mean easy, and there are a few things you should watch out for when performing this exercise to get the best out of it.
Hollow holds are a versatile exercise that can be included in your warmup or as part of a core circuit before the barbell. For example:
1A. Hollow Hold 30 to 60 seconds
1B. Pullover Deadbug 6 reps on each side
1C. Single Leg Hip Extensions 12 reps on each side
Hollow holds supersetted with a strength movement that needs core stability but doesn’t take away from your strength exercise works well. For example.
1A. Barbell Bench Press
1B. Hollow Hold 30 to 60 seconds
The hollow hold is like many good exercises, as you can progress this when you want to increase your gains. When you master the hollow hold and need to be further challenged, take these progressions out for a spin.