Any bodybuilder will tell you that a fundamental component to a killer physique includes a smaller waist, and according to the most influential bodybuilder of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the stomach vacuum is the key.
What Is The Stomach Vacuum?
The stomach vacuum is a breathing technique that was made famous in the early days of bodybuilding, to help shrink your waist and tighten your abdominal muscles. Your abdominals are divided into four groups, the external obliques, the internal obliques, the transversus abdominis, and the rectus abdominis which together make up your core.
To understand how the stomach vacuum works, you first have to have a general understanding of the muscles you should be focused on, when performing stomach vacuums.
Transverse Abdominus – this is the deepest layer of muscle tissue and plays a crucial role in maintaining intrabdominal pressure and stabilizing your trunk.
Rectus Abdominis – commonly known as your ‘six pack’ which its main function to move the body between the ribcage and the pelvis.
External Oblique Muscles – your obliques are located on each side of your rectus abdominis. The obliques allow the trunk to twist to the opposite side of the side contracting.
Internal Oblique Muscles – the rectus abdominis and are located on the inside of the hipbones. They operate in the opposite way to the external oblique muscles.
Does The Stomach Vacuum Work?
Despite the off-putting name, there are no vacuums involved when you perform this technique. Let go of the Dyson and walk away. The stomach vacuum is an isometric contraction, which will help shrink your waistline, tighten your abdominal walls, and give you more control over your abs, for better and more explosive lifts.
Stomach vacuums utilize the muscles of the transverse abdominus, which is the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles and your core. The stomach vacuum technique works to tighten and contract these muscles inward, rather than adding bulk to the Rectus Abdominas or your six pack.
How To Stomach Vacuum
- Begin in a standing upright position.
- Place your hands on your hips and exhale all of the air completely out of your lungs.
- Expand your chest and contract your stomach inward as far as possible and hold., drawing in your naval to your backbone.
- Hold for a few seconds, and release.
It’s important to note that just because you start using the stomach vacuum, does not mean you’re going to magically lose inches off your waistline. Exercise and nutrition are fundamental in obtaining your desired physique and burning body fat. You have to have a low percentage of body fat for the stomach vacuum to even be truly effective, as a physique enhancing tool.
If you’re not sure where to start with your nutrition, my advice is to hire a certified nutrition coach, like those at The Swole Kitchen. A nutrition coach, will optimize your diet, with a customized meal plan, made specifically for you and catered to your goals. Not only that, but instead of making a ton of mistakes, trying to figure it out on your own, you get results right away, without enduring the frustration.
If you need a training program, we’ve got you covered.
Stomach Vacuum: Takeaway
If you’re relatively fit and looking for a way to help strengthen your abdominal walls, and enhance your shape and physique, adding in a few sets of stomach vacuums to your already scheduled programming, is a great way to shrink down your waist and get that hourglass body type you want.
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