How to Do Hollow Body Rocks Properly

Hollow body rocks are a great exercise to train your core and upper leg muscles.

This exercise requires full-body tension to resist loading and rotation forces acting on your spine.

If you’re a novice to this, it’s better to train for the hollow body hold then advance to hollow body rocks.

The exercise has simple steps and only relies on body weight.

To do this exercise:

  • Assume the hollow body hold starting position. Lie on your back with your arms at your side and your legs extended.
  • Raise your feet about half a foot in the air and your head two-three inches off the floor. Raise your hands toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly rock back onto your upper back until your lower back is off the floor.
  • Reverse the swing in the other direction until your tailbone is in contact with the floor. Your mid and upper back should not touch the floor.
  • Repeat for three sets for at least 20 reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO HOLLOW BODY ROCKS WORK?

Hollow body rocks primarily target the abdominal muscles. They also work on the quads and hip flexors.

1.      ABS

The abs contain four major muscles. The rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal obliques and external obliques.

The rectus abdominis is the muscles responsible for that stacked pack look.  It sits on the center front of the abdomen.

It extends from the bottom of your sternum to the bottom of your pelvis.

This muscle helps keep your internal organs intact.

The rectus abdominis helps with twisting the lower back and bending forward and sideways.

The transverse abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle. It is found under the obliques and rectus abdominis.

It wraps around your abdomen and spine and is activated by hollow body rocks when providing spinal stability and maintaining abdominal tension.

Obliques are large flat muscles located on the ends of your torso. They are made of the external and internal obliques.

The external obliques are found directly under the skin. They are responsible for twisting the body side to side and helping with lateral bending.

The internal obliques are located on each side of the rectus abdominis. They work opposite to the external obliques.

2.      QUADS

The quads are a group of muscles found in the anterior part of the thigh. The four muscles include vastus lateralis, which is the largest of the quads.

The vastus medialis runs along the inside of the thigh. The vastus intermedius is the deepest of the quads and lies between the other vastus muscles.

And finally, the rectus femoris crosses both the hip joint and knee joint. It flexes the thigh at the hip and extends the knee joint.

3.      HIP FLEXORS

These are a group of muscles responsible for the flexing of the hip. The primary hip flexors are called the psoas major and the iliacus. Together, they are called the iliopsoas.

The psoas originates from the spinal column. The iliacus originates from the pelvis. They meet and insert at the upper femur.

The hip flexors stabilize your body during lifting, pulling, pushing and help when you’re pulling your knees towards your chest.

HOLLOW BODY ROCKS BENEFITS

Using hollow body rocks to strengthen your midsection will have various advantages for your body.

1.      STRONGER CORE

The core is involved in twisting, bending, walking, running, twisting or exercises.

Having core strength when doing these daily activities makes it easier to do them.

It also reduces the risk of lower back pain.

2.      IMPROVE ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Many sports require swinging motion that engages the core muscles.

Strengthening your core makes it easier and more effective to transfer energy from your core to your limbs.

Adding this exercise helps you especially if you play tennis, swimming or golf.

Strengthening your abs also help you lift heavier weights for your other exercises.

3.      IMPROVE BREATHING

Your abs work in conjunction with the diaphragm and intercostal muscles.

These muscles help you breathe deeper easier.

The abs also help maintain the tension of the abdominal wall so that the internal organs are situated in the proper alignment which makes breathing easier.

ALTERNATIVES TO HOLLOW BODY ROCKS

1.      BICYCLE CRUNCHES

This is a great alternative to hollow body rocks. It primarily focuses on the rectus abdominis.

To do this exercise:

  • Lie down flat on your back.
  • Clasp your hands together behind your head.
  • Extend your right leg and bend your left leg bringing your left knee towards your right elbow.
  • Alternate each leg ensuring they don’t touch the ground for each rep.
  • Repeat for the desired times.

2.      FOREARM PLANK

The forearm plank is a great bodyweight exercise that works on your core as well as your other muscles.

When you’re an expert at hollow body rocks you can also do the forearm planks while raising a leg or a hand.

To do this exercise:

  • Get down in the push-up position. However, rest your weight against your forearms. Ensure they’re on the ground and your elbows are directly below your shoulders.
  • Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  • Keep your core engaged and your hips up so that your body is in a straight line.
  • Hold the position for as long as possible.

3.      BARBELL ROLLOUT

This exercise will require a barbell or a foam-roller. This exercise doesn’t rely on spinal flexion and can give your back a break should you need one.

To do this exercise:

  • Set up a barbell with equal weights on both ends.
  • Kneel and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Roll the bar forward while you keep your back and arms straight.
  • Go as far as you can without bending your back then squeeze your core to bring your body back to the starting position.
  • Repeat as needed.

HOLLOW BODY ROCKS MISTAKES TO AVOID

Avoid arching your lower back when getting into the starting position for hollow body rocks. This can add strain to your lower back and lead to lower backache.

Ensure your chin is tucked in toward your chest. If you can’t help but lower your head towards the floor, it’s a sign that you need a break.

Ensure that you choose separate workout days for other spinal load exercises such as deadlifts. If you do both on the same day you increase the risk of lower back injury.