Fitness Tips

Want a Stronger and More Stable Core? Do This Move on Repeat

Your core is key to everything you do. When you walk, it holds you upright. When you bend over to pick up groceries or hug your kid, it brings you back up. When you reach up to grab that dish from the top shelf, it supports and extends the top of your body. So anytime you strengthen your core, you technically strengthen your ability to move well throughout your lifetime.

One trainer-favorite way to do just that? The hollow hold. Though it may seem simple at first glance, done correctly, the hollow hold is a great way to create controlled tension in all 360-degrees of your core and throughout your whole body. It's also a functional movement, so the strength and stability that it teaches you won't just help you in the gym, it will also make those aforementioned day-to-day activities easier and more accessible. In this episode of The Right Way, trainer Traci Copeland is going to teach you how to do the hollow hold with the perfect form.

To do the hollow hold, all you have to do is lie face up your mat with your arms extended straight above your head and your legs extended straight out, keeping everything aligned. While keeping your lower back pressed into the floor and your core engaged, raise your arms, legs, head, and shoulders up to about 3 inches off the ground in one fluid motion. Hold for a few seconds, then return to your starting position.

As with any exercise, proper form is important both to prevent injury and reap the benefits of the move. Today, Copeland breaks down the three most common mistakes people make when performing the hollow hold. Then, she demos how to do the move properly and a few modifications to make the exercise a little more challenging. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.

Common mistakes when doing a hollow hold

1. Extra tension in your neck

Since the point of the hollow hold is to work your core, hip flexors, and back, it's important to be aware of your alignment through all of these body parts. Stay neutral from your head to your toes, and don't crunch your neck into an uncomfortable position.

2. Having an arched back

If your back isn't flat on the mat, you can cause strain in your lower spine. Make sure to keep a neutral spine that isn't arching off the ground to prevent injury while you lift.

3. Bending your knees

Bending your knees is another mistake that Copeland sees that messes with your alignment. Make sure to keep your arms and legs both straight as you lift. If that means you have to lower your lift a little bit while you learn the movement, that's ok.

Now that you've learned the biggest mistakes, watch the video above to see Copeland demo a hollow body hold with proper form.

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