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BUILD YOUR CORE: Hollow hold lesson #1

I’m not a gymnast but I love the hollow hold exercise and incorporate it to my yoga classes and exercise routines. It’s a great way to build core and upper body strength.
Hollow holds are a great way to train for your hand stands, planks, L sits, pull ups and muscle ups (which I have yet to conquer lol)

If you have back pain, are pregnant, or experience any other discomfort pls refrain from this exercise and see a professional

* Lie down flat on back with legs up, and push belly button down towards the floor, your lower back should be touching the ground. Arms by your side
* Keep your abs and butt tight at all times, legs are straight and toes pointed
* Start slowly lowering your legs towards the floor and lifting your shoulders off the ground
* Your head should come off the ground along with your shoulders, reach the hands towards feet. Don’t lift with your neck
* Stay tight with your abs and butt and find the lowest position you can have your arms and legs without them touching the ground AND without breaking your lower back (where it begins to arch off the ground). Bring arms beside ears if possible.
* To develop your hollow, you can start with your arms and legs higher (1-2 feet high off the ground) and slowly build up strength until they can be held lower (just inches off the ground) without breaking the position

Do these 5 times for 10-15 seconds each
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Another way to enter a hollow hold is to start in navasana/boat pose.

Ensure your back is straight, chest is lifted and shoulders are back. If you experience lower back pain, then stop. Be comfortable in boat pose first

Then start to lower the legs and round the back from the lumber spine to the t spine. Basically layering each vertebrae down at a time.

Tighten your core, glutes, and don’t let the lower back lift. Arms beside the ears and don’t lift with the neck

Do these 5-8 times

BUILD YOUR CORE: Hollow hold lesson #3: THE CURL UP AND DOWN

A third way I like to work on my core strength and hollow holds is curling up and down slowly, one vertebrae at a time

Laying flat on your back with arms reaching back, biceps beside ears, reach the hands to the sky and start to lift the shoulders, upper back and head off the floor, slowly curling up. Imagine you’re peeling yourself off the floor

Keep the legs straight and tight. Once you get all the way up, extend the spine and come to an easy forward fold

Reverse the process, sit up tall, then curl the spine from the lumbar to the thoracic, to the cervical, think “cat back” from cat/cow

The challenge is to maintain the fluid and controlled movement without crashing into the ground

Do these 5-8 times

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