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If you’re looking for an exercise that strengthens your front core, you’ve come to the right place. Foundational calisthenics exercises and even some advanced exercises you’ll be doing mostly requires an anterior pelvic tilt. This means that you’re not arching your lower back. From pushups to pull-ups, from dips to handstands, from front lever to planche, all of these exercises need a strong solid core that can stabilize your whole body while holding the positions.

Planking might now be too easy for you. If you can also do regular body hold for a minute or so then it’s time to take it up a notch and make it more challenging. By adding weight on your arms, as you extend your arms over your head, you’ll feel the weight stressing your arm and core trying to extend you and break your contact with your back from the ground. If you have a good hollow body hold, this would be a great progression for you to take to further increase your core strength.


A regular bodyweight hollow body hold is the only prerequisite of the exercise. Since you’ll only add a simple motion and weights to the equation, once you have regular hollow body hold, learning this exercise will be easy.


✅Summarized Benefits

Hollow hold weighted arm raises is a lateral exercise that strengthens the core and deltoids. Abdominals and obliques are contracted during the exercise while the deltoids work to raise and lower the weight. 

The exercise has tremendous core strength gains that translates well to other calisthenics exercises and skill work.

How to Perform💪

1.  Lay supine, holding one dumbbell in your hands straight above your chest.

  1. Squeezing legs together, contract your abdominals and lift your feet up off the ground a few inches, and shoulder blades up.
  2. Keep your back flat to the floor, no arching.
  3. Arms straight and holding each end of the dumbbell, lower weight towards your hips.
  4. Lift weight up above your head, keeping arms straight.
  5. Repeat for specified repetitions.

👉Keep in mind

Throw your ego out

There’s no reason for you to start training with heavy weights immediately. This will also put you at a higher risk for injury and break your form. When you extend your arms upwards with too heavy weights, your back will arch and you’ll lose the purpose of the exercise.

Take it easy and start with light weights and move up from there. 

Breathing is essential

While engaging your full body, this doesn’t mean you have to hold your breath for the duration of the exercise. Exaggerate your breathing. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly. This should already be second nature to you because you should already be practicing this habit from the basics of calisthenics or fitness rather.

Remember your basics

Hollow body holds rely so much on proper form. If you’re back is not flat on the ground, what’s the point of doing the exercise? Have your core engaged the whole time and your back flat in full contact with the floor. Actually, engage your full body as well as your extremities. After your rest, I can guarantee that your core will be stronger than ever.

Coaching Pointers

Starting Position:

Hollow body position

Shoulders and heels lifted 3 inches                        off the ground

Arms parallel to sides grasping                  dumbbell

Tight core

Back and glutes flat on the floor

Movement Position:

Hollow body position

Arms lifted with dumbbel behind                         the ears

Shoulders and heels lifted 3 inches                      off the ground

Tight core

Back and glutes flat on the floor

Finish Position:

Hollow body position

Shoulders and heels lifted 3 inches                       off the ground

Arms parallel to sides grasping                    dumbbell

Tight core

Back and glutes flat on the floor


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