Dish it Up! – How To Perform Dish Holds


Christa - dish

The dish is an integral exercise for developing overall core strength and improving straight body exercises such as handstands and push-ups. Previous low back injury may be a limitation for starting on this exercise but age is not – 71 year old client Christa (pictured) shows proper form for a 1 minute Dish Hold. Here are the steps to follow to build good core strength whilst avoiding injury:


1.Commence the movement by squeezing your stomach and drawing your sternum to your pelvis. Bring the arms and legs off the ground so that only the lower back muscles are in contact with the ground – there should be no arching of the back and gap between your lower back and the floor. Think of drawing your belly button towards the floor throughout the whole exercise to engage the core.

2.Legs and arms are straight, toes are pointed, and the arms are reaching towards the toes so that the shoulders are off the ground.

3.Hold the engaged position described above for as long as possible. It’s important that the low back does not come off the ground during this time – if fatigue forces the lower back off the floor, terminate the hold and rest 2mins before repeating


If you are struggling to keep proper form with this exercise, begin with the legs vertical (everything else remaining the same) and seek to increase the difficulty by lowering the legs down gradually over time. You should be able to maintain a position for a hold time of one minute before progressing to a lower and more leveraged position with the legs.