Home workouts can be great if you can find a way to progressively make the work harder. If not, they stop working. This is particularly the case with core work.
People forget to increase the resistance once they've mastered an exercise with a gazillion reps. The same moves using the same rep schemes eventually cease to challenge you... or change you.
And then there's the whole sitting thing. With jobs that have you planted in a chair most of the day, poor pelvis and spine positions can cause pain from neck to hips.
The hollow hold is one effective way to neutralize this. You lay on your back, arms stretched overhead, legs elevated and straight, and your pelvis tilted so that your whole spine is pressing against the ground.
Posteriorly tilting your pelvis fires up the glutes and brings your spine to better natural positioning. Conventional core exercises don't do this as well as the hollow hold or dead bug variations.
While most traditional exercises provide that "burn," weighted or resisted versions are the key to making them pop.
What To Do
All you need is a resistance band. Go through 3-4 sets, resting 60 seconds between each exercise. Your abs will be reminding you what you did for a few days.
1. Resisted Hollow Hold Pull Down
Starting further away from the body creates a greater lever of resistance. This move directly hits the anterior core and makes it much more brutal than the normal version.
Focus on trying to "pull the ribs down" to help you engage your core and get your abs stabilized and braced.
Do 10 reps, then move to the next one.
2. Resisted Reverse Crunch with Slow Lowering
Adding resistance and a slow eccentric can really change the dynamic of this exercise. Focus on "curling" your ribs and lowering very slow. Don't use momentum or roll up so far that ab tension is lost.
Do 10 reps, then move to the next exercise.
3. Resisted Alternating Dead Bug
Neutralizing the pelvis helps bring poor posture into better positioning. The resistance here will increase core tension while working obliques and improving neuromuscular efficiency.
Do 10 reps, take your 60-second rest, then move to the next one.
4. Resisted Hollow Hold Semi-Circles
This will fire up your serratus and obliques while you're in the hollow hold position. Do a few reps and you'll see what I mean.
The serratus is one of the most overlooked muscles of the core and one many have a hard time working. Fun fact: The serratus is a key component to the strength of a boxer's punch!
Do 10 reps, then hit the last exercise.
5. Resisted Hollow Hold Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks are great for hip flexor strength. Adding them to the end of the circuit will give you a bit of metabolic work to finish off each round. If you want to know why your hips matter when it comes to your core, check out The Hip Flexor Fix.
Kick for 30 seconds. As your progress with this circuit, make it harder by shortening your rest periods or slowing the tempo.