Hollow Body Hold

The fundamental core gymnastics exercise for developing mid-line stabilisation.

Primary Muscle Abdominals
Secondary Muscle(s) None
Difficulty Beginner
Also known as Hollow Body Position, Hollow Body Plank

How to do the Hollow Body Hold

  1. Lie down flat on your back and contract the abs, pulling the belly button towards 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).


  • Keep the abs and butt tight at all times.
  • Position: Back is rounded, pelvis tucked under. The arms are extended next to the ears and the toes pointed slightly in front of the body. The lower back should be against the floor at all times.
  • Increased strength in the abs and core body muscles.
  • Aids in development towards basic gymnastics exercises (such as handstand or support hold)


  • Aim to develop your holllow body hold for 3 continuous minutes.

Mastering the hollow body is a key gymnastics position. The hollow body hold is an exercise that can easily be practiced anywhere, and is an excellent way to build up core strength.

Developing core body strength is an essential part of gymnastics training and a fundamental requirement if you're to progress with rings, high bars, parallel bars, the pommel horse or other disciplines that require you to support raised legs during training.

Beginning the Hollow Body Hold

Tips to develop the hollow body position -

  • Begin with the arms and legs held higher from the floor (1-2 feet) and slowly develop strength until they can be held lower without compromising form.

Advanced Hollow Body Hold

When you can hold the basic position for three minutes, consider advancing by -

Once you have acheived the goals above you should have a strong core body that will serve you well in developing such exercises as the handstand, support holds, or l-sits


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise.