Are you among the many who religiously train your abdominals, yet still find yourself fighting "distended gut syndrome"? By incorporating this simple technique, along with your regular abdominal training, you can carve out the sculpted midsection of your dreams.
But before we jump in over our heads, let's discuss the reason behind this specialized technique; the stomach vacuum. It was widely used in the early days of bodybuilding with Arnold and Cory Everson and helped contribute to the slim, hard, and defined physiques of the late '70s and early '80s. It's time for this training trend to make a comeback.
The Stomach Vacuum—How To Do It
Relax, we are not going to pump or vacuum your stomach. The stomach vacuum is an isometric contraction (tensing the muscle without moving it) of the transversus abdominis. A stronger transversus abdominis can create a stronger Valsalva maneuver (the powerful exhale necessary to contract a muscle during an intense workload). This is one of the best exercises you can perform to help shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many can knock 2-4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique. Also, building this area of the abdominal muscle will help you gain more control over your core muscles and assist you better in explosive lifts. Stomach vacuums take practice, but they are extremely effective.
To execute the stomach vacuum, stand upright and place your hands on your hips, and completely exhale all the air out of your lungs. Expand your chest, and bring your stomach in as much as possible, and hold. Visualize trying to touch your navel to your backbone. One isometric contraction of "X" seconds is one repetition.
Once mastered, the stomach vacuum can be performed in a standing, kneeling, seated, or in a prone position. Now you will have no excuse to avoid abdominal training if you are stuck in traffic. As an added bonus, you can also use the stomach vacuum when doing your regular abdominal work by focusing on pulling in on the transverse abdominis.
Training Guide for the Stomach Vacuum
Try incorporating the stomach vacuum into your training at least three times per week. An easy example to follow would be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Week 1: 3 sets, 20 sec.
- Week 2: 3 sets, 40 sec.
- Week 3: 3 sets, of 60 sec.
Get ready for the best abs of your life!