Stomach Vacuum – Exercise for flat stomach

Need flat stomach and strong core, Stomach Vacuum is the exercise for you.

Stomach Vacuum, it sounds bit silly. But this is one of the best exercise to get flat stomach and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

This exercise is originally originated from ancient yoga practices. Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger also used to do this workout to shrink his waistline and attain a defined physique.

What is this exercise about

Stomach Vacuum excercise uses the principle of breathing out air, while holding the stomach in.

The abdominal region has four important skeletal muscles (refer the image below), which should be trained well to get flat abs. Regularly training those muscles will  make your belly more and more flat naturally, even in a relaxed state. abs

This breathing and contraction exercise focuses on strengthening the transverse abdominis, the deepest abdominal muscle. That is why plays an improtant role in tightening the midsection of the body.

Not only the flat stomach but Stomach Vacuum exercise also stabilizes the spine, improves posture and prevents common ailments like lower back pain, etc.

It seems an easy and useless exercise, but if you start doing it every day you will see huge changes in your waist line.

It hurts !! Just to give you heads up, this exercise is not easy at all. If you are not feeling pain/burn inside your abs while doing this that means that you are not doing it right.

How to do this exercise

This exercise uses the principle of breathing out air without letting any air inside, while holding the stomach in.

It is advisable to do this exercise on an empty stomach, say first thing in the morning. You can perform this exercise standing, sitting, in a tabletop pose or lying on the back. Standing is easiest as compare to other poses.

frank-zane-stomach-vacuum
Frank Zane doing standing stomach vacuum

Follow the below steps :

  1. Start in standing position with your hands on a table or you can hold your hands together in front of your chest. It is important that your back stays slight curved to facilitate the vacuum (do not make it too much curved).
  2. Focus on your navel and try to pull it towards your spine.
  3. Slowly inhale as much air as possible and start to exhale as much as possible while not releasing your stomach; hold this position for 10-15 seconds .
  4. Keep exhaling during the hold but do not inhale (it will happen automatically). Focus on exhale only.
  5. Pull your navel more inside (towards your spine) with every exhale. Feel your stomach squeezed against your spine Basically you have to do exhale, exhale and exhale.. through out the hold.
  6. Relax (release belly button) and breath normally a few times.
  7. Repeat the exercise.

You can increase holding time as you build the strength. You can do this exercise with different positions (standing, sitting, lying down) and schwarzenegger-stomach-vacuumstick with what feels better to you.

I am repeating again, that this is not an easy exercise, stomach vacuum is painful (it hurts) but it is the only ab exercises that gives you a flat belly if you do it regularly. You should feel burn inside.

Train your internal abdominal muscles to stay tight. With regular practice after a while you will notice that you belly starts to look more flat even if you do not hold it tight on purpose.

Combine it with your regular exercise routine and a healthy diet, if you want the best results in a few weeks.

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