Many lifters close out their workout with a punishing ab circuit, taking the opportunity to isolate their core after focusing on other muscle groups during their session. But that doesn’t have to be the only way you cap out your lifts—why only work one muscle group when you can double down?
This hollow body banded finisher from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. does just that. You’ll get that six-pack honing ab attention you’re going for while also challenging your triceps with a tough exercise band component.
“[The finisher] addresses an issue that many guys have on skullcrushers, a tendency to slip into thoracic extension, arching through the back and opening the ribcage to make up for a lack of shoulder mobility,” says Samuel. “The hollow body position doesn’t let you do that, forcing you to contract your abs and contain your ribcage throughout.”
To pull off the hollow body triceps band finisher, you’ll need an exercise band and a stable base to attach it, like a squat rack. If you don’t have a band handy, check out this option from WODFitters.
Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
- Attach a band to the squat rack at about knee height. Get down on the ground in front of the base, holding one end of the band in one hand. Make sure that you’re far enough away from the rack that you’re just starting to create tension in the band.
- Get into a hollow body hold position. Keep your off arm forward for balance, and bend your arm holding the band to a starting point near your shoulder. Press your lower back down into the ground.
- Squeeze your triceps to extend your arm straight out. Squeeze your core and glutes to keep your legs and torso steady and off the ground. Perform 8 reps.
- After those 8 reps, shift the shoulder of the arm holding the band back into a position perpendicular to the ground. Squeeze your triceps to extend your arm straight up. Perform 8 of these skullcrusher reps. Continue bracing the core and glutes to maintain the hollow body position.
To get the most out of the triceps work, Samuel says to make sure to really squeeze on every rep.
Don’t think you get a break during the second half of the finisher just because you’re shifting positions. “The band is now closer to its origin, so the resistance is slightly lighter,” says Samuel. “While the triceps load is lighter, the core challenge is tougher in this second position, because the arm lever in the hollow body has been extended.”
Use this finisher on arm days as a way to keep the pump party going into your core routine with 3 to 4 sets at the end of a triceps workout. Alternate arms back-to-back and make sure to rest for about 30 seconds between each set. According to Samuel, you’re gonna need it.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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