If you want to get ripped abs, you need to be ready to rock.
Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., uses some extra motion to mix up his core workouts with weighted hollow rocks. The variation of the more standard hollow body hold (seen below) gives your abs even more bang for your buck.
“Typically, the hollow body hold and the hollow rock have you focusing on just maintaining abdominal tension as you press your lower back into the ground,” Samuel says. “We introduce weights in the first part of this circuit, and these force your abs to contract that much harder to maintain the hollow body position as you rock.”
To perform the exercise, just grab some open space on your gym floor and a mat for your backside if you want some extra support. To ramp up the difficulty, snag some light dumbbells — Samuel advises that everyone start out with about 2kg, with 4.5kg being the ultimate goal. You won’t need a ton of weight to reap the benefits that come with the motion.
- Start laying on the ground, holding the weights in each hand.
- Lift your legs up a few inches off the ground and hold.
- Squeeze your core to lift your lower back off the ground, extending your arms behind your head and holding the weights parallel to each other.
That’s the starting position. Listen in on the video for more detailed instructions:
To change the demands on your core, you’ll take turns shifting both arms to 90-degree angles to create an imbalance.
“When you extend one arm out to the side, you’ve suddenly introduced an anti-rotation element into the hollow body hold (and the hollow rock),” Samuel says. “Your entire torso wants to rotate down to the side with the weight, and twist that way; you really have to turn on your obliques on the opposite side to prevent that from happening as you rock.”
Perform 8 reps (rocks) from each position to finish the set. For a real burner of a circuit, complete the series 3 to 4 times.
By Brett Williams