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The Key to Stronger Pull-ups: Hollow Body

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It can easily be said that the goal of everyone in the gym revolves around some form of a pull-up or gymnastics movement.  Whether it’s strict, kipping, butterfly, chest to bar, bar muscle-up, muscle-up, handstands, etc….at some point all athletes have set their training goals on this gymnastics movement.  But broken down into a simple position we talk about often – hollow body – can be the gateway into stronger and more efficient pull-ups and other gymnastic variations.

Hollow body refers to the athlete’s position on the bar (this position can also be replicated on the ground).  Check out the pictures below.

Hollow body tip #1: Hang from bar with lats engaged, feet and legs together and active, toes pointed down, mid-line tight

Hollow body tip #2: If you’re having trouble hanging from the bar or just want to reinforce the position, try it on the floor.  Keep the arms close to the ears, feet about 6in. off the ground with toes pointed forward, make sure to keep the lower back is pressing into the ground by tightening the mid-line (think like someone is punching you in the stomach).

Hollow body allows for the athlete to push through planes of motion while staying controlled.  It also allows them to lever into the more complex movements such as muscle-ups.  By training the hollow body position, the athlete will strengthen the mid-line and develop the mobility needed to achieve their gymnastics goals.