I like to use the term “Hollow Body Position” to describe the way I want you to brace your core during heavy lifts because that’s the name given to it by Gymnasts, who I’ve spent a great deal of time around.
You can watch my video on HOW to do the Hollow Body position HERE.
Unfortunately, there is another group of fitness-folk out there who use a similar sounding term, “Hollowing”, that means almost the opposite! So just in case, I want to make clear what I do NOT mean when I tell you to get into a Hollow Body Position.
Hollowing: What I Do NOT Want
Take a look at this rather nice picture of Frank Zane. He’s “Hollowing” his stomach by pulling his belly button back towards his spine.
That’s a fine way to make your tummy look tinier in a bodybuilding contest, and who knows, there may be other reasons to practice it just from a muscle-control standpoint.
But if your goal is to move heavy barbells or lift heavy objects, then don’t do that while your are lifting.
Hollow Body: What I DO Want
Instead, I want you to BRACE your core, which means flexing everything in your core down TIGHT. Notice how in the photo at the top, Eli is going a gymnastics move called a front-lever. He has to use his abs to keep his legs up like that.
Now notice this pic of Eli doing a squat. His abs are doing the exact same thing as when he was hanging from the chin-up bar.
Now notice how Bruce Lee looks:
Ooops, not that one! This one:
See how he is in the same braced position with his core. That’s the identical position of the gymnast hollow body, or the strength athlete’s squat bracing.
So while I’m certainly OK with you walking around like Frank Zane, remember that he only did that in competition to look cool. He didn’t lift that way! He lifted by bracing his core, and consequently developed the kind of body that hollowing might look good on.
- Hollow body = gymnast, martial artist, strength athlete, etc
- Hollowing = something else, entirely.
Now go lift something heavy,