Move of the week: how to strengthen your abs

If plank pose feels too easy, the hollow body hold is sure to put the fire back in your belly (pun intended). It is a gymnastics core exercise designed to strengthen the muscles on the front of your body (particularly your abs). In terms of its level, it counts as intermediate to advanced, because it’s an isometric exercise (you hold rather than “move”), so it can be a great intense but low-impact option.

a) Lie down on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended above your head.

b) Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lift your shoulders and legs off the floor, forming a dish-like shape with your body.

c) Draw the lower ribs down, suck in your stomach and activate your leg muscles to help you hold the position. Make sure you keep your spine flat to the ground and your chin tucked towards your chest.

d) Hold this position for 20-40 seconds, repeating for two or three sets.