Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeIsometric
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
Target Muscle Group


Abs Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Hollow Body Hold Overview

The hollow body hold is a more advanced variation of the dead bug and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the abs.

The hollow body hold stems from the plank exercise family tree and trains the abs utilizing an anti-extension movement which forces the core to stabilize the spine through isometric tension.

Hollow Body Hold Instructions

  1. Setup in a supine position with your legs straight, hips flexed, and arms reaching towards the ceiling.
  2. Slowly lower your legs as you extend your hips and allow your arms to reach overhead. But, ensure you only lower them to the point where you can keep your lower back pressed into the floor.
  3. Hold for the desired length of time.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Hollow Body Hold Tips

  1. Do not hold your breath, you shouldn’t be using respiration to compensate for a lack of stability. Learn how to move while maintaining position without having to rely upon your breath.
  2. If you can’t maintain neutral spine despite the positioning of your arms or legs, then look to regress to something like a dead bug or a wall press abs variation.
    • You can also regress the movement by bending your knees, hovering your feet just off the floor, and reaching your hands out diagonally towards your feet to help cue more of a “hollow” position. All of these modifications will essentially shorten the lever which you’re trying to overcome while completing the exercise.
  3. Keep your head off the ground and point your toes.
  4. Hollow body holds take time to master and should be the foundation for any gymnastics work. Similarly, if you’re struggling to maintain handstands or other bodyweight work, it would be worth improving your hollow body hold.