How To Handstand Part 3: Hollow Body

Hollow Body Cover Photo

Kyle Weiger
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If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to do a Handstand properly, this Blog series is the place to be. The Handstand tips and drills in these articles will lead you to the strongest Handstand practice you’ve ever had. With that said, let’s get started!

This 3rd installment is the cure for “banana back”! It’s called Hollow Body and it’s a doozy!

Now, if you’re serious about learning how to do a handstand, Hollow Body is a must. It’s the shape that you see whenever you watch a Gymnast do a Handstand.

Follow Along this video as we go through the 3 main progressions of Hollow. You can think of these progressions as different layers to add to your Handstand arsenal as you get stronger.

Hollow Body 1: The Tuck

Ok. So this is the introductory and most basic Hollow position of the body. This position starts with you lying on your back, tucking your tailbone up and lifting your shoulders off the ground.

We deliberately don’t bring the arms or legs into the equation yet, since we’re only focused the shape of the spine. Remember, this is the OPPOSITE OF BANANA BACK…so think of it like that.

Whereas banana back has a slight arch, Hollow Body is creating the bend in the other direction. Lift tail bone. Lift shoulders. Easy enough 🙂

Hollow body tuck version

Hollow Body 2: Straight Legs

The next step in creating Hollow Body for your Handstand is to straighten out your legs. The tendency here to leave the legs lift in the air at around 45-degrees….Please do not do this. Train your body to lower your legs as close to the floor as you can without pulling your low back off the ground.

When you get upside down, this will be the difference between a long flat back and a banana back. Train the good habits while you’re on the ground and they will translate when you go vertical. I promise 🙂

Hollow Body Legs extended

Hollow Body 3: Full Hollow

While keeping everything you’ve already built: low back on the mat and legs straight out ahead of you, now raise your biceps past your ears like you’re mimicking the shape of Handstand on the ground.

Keep your shoulder blades off the ground and shrug your Deltoids (shoulder muscles) up near your ears. This is the full form of Hollow!

Remember to keep your lower ribs pushing toward the middle of your body ann continue to scoop your tail under. Get used to training longer and longer Hollow Body holds each time you practice.

Hollow body handstand prep

This is every student’s least favorite Handstand drill, and simultaneously one of the most effect…weird. Once you get comfortable with this shape, you are on your way to a very strong Handstand practice! The Hollow Body shape is the backbone of your Handstand….pun intended.

You got this.

Easy.

UP NEXT: How to Do Handstand Part 4: Hips