WTF is the stomach vacuum and how on EARTH can it help competitors with having tight abs and a ripped midsection?
Every day athletes and competitors do countless ab exercises including leg raises and crunches, yet they NEVER see any remarkable progress in their core development. Sound familiar? Have you been slaying away at endless sets and reps of crunches only to see the same distended gut and lower ab pooch?
I can show you a cool and easy ab training method to reduce your waistline in just 3 weeks flat! Yes indeed, you read that correctly.
Simply by using this easy training technique along with your usual ab workout and a clean diet, it will trim down your waist very quickly. In fact, it’s a secret the top IFBB competitors use to come in sharp and polished for their competitions.
Isn’t it absolutely thrilling to know that you can incorporate a simple ab technique to shrink your belly? However, it does some with some prerequisites:
A clean and healthy diet free of fast food and processed food
Low to moderate body fat percentage (12% to 15% is suitable)
History of the Stomach Vacuum Exercise (It’s Not New… Just Forgotten…)
First, let me tell you the reason why the stomach vacuum works so well. It’s not some crazy lap band or liposuction procedure.
This stomach vacuum exercise was commonly used in the early days of bodybuilding, executed often by Frank Zane, Lee Haney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other great bodybuilders of the 20th century. Sadly, this technique has become forgotten.
Take a look at the bodybuilders of today compared to the bodybuilders of yesteryear. Can you see how slim and trim the waistlines of the bodybuilders were in the 1970s to the early 1980s?
A lot of today’s top-level and professional bodybuilders have distended abs. This could quite possibly be due to the drug abuse problem and growth hormone, but it is also related to the fact that a lot of bodybuilders haven just overlooked and skipped a critical technique.
The Abs You are Use to Training (External)
Most athletes, bodybuilders, and figure competitors are use to training their abs in a one-dimensional approach.
It’s important to know that the abdominal wall is divided into 3 parts, the anterior, lateral, and posterior walls. However, the abdominal wall is typically referred to in the layers that make up the anterior wall which include the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the transversus abdominis.
The rectus abdominis (external abs) consists of one muscle. It’s the most well-known abs muscle, the one most refer to as the “6-pack”. This one muscle is divided into two parts that lie side-by-side to form the front wall. The external obliques are positioned on the side and the front of the abdomen, and the internal obliques are located just under the externals, running in the opposite direction.
Ab crunches flex the rectus abdominis. Crunching up 1/3 of the way targets the ENTIRE rectus abdominis. However, once you go beyond this active zone your hip flexors come into play, taking the stimulus off your abs.
The Abs You Probably Don’t Train, But Should (Internal)
The missing element in your ab training could be as simple as not working a key muscle you are probably not even aware. This muscle lies under the rectus abdominis and obliques and is called the transversus abdominis. It is the deepest ab muscle and it wraps around the spine for stability and overall protection
This muscle isn’t usually discussed and it is often neglected since it is out of sight. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”?
This internal abdominal muscle supports good posture and controls deep breathing during power exercises such as heavy squatting. This unique internal muscle is also responsible for back support.
However, since athletes, bodybuilders, and figure competitors rarely train it, it is often weak.
The good news is that you can EASILY build your inner neglected ab muscle to create a smaller waist, relieve back pain, improve your posture, and to include explosive power movements to your training program.
How to Perform the Stomach Vacuum: (Step-by-Step)
Wikipedia.com states, “The stomach vacuum exercise is an exercise which involves contracting some internal abdominal muscles, primarily the Transversus abdominis muscle, and not as much the diaphragm, the “six pack” muscles or “abs” which are trained through crunches, leg raises, or other core exercises.” To target the transversus abdominis you need to implement some inner core training.
This technique outlined below is designed to train the transversus abdominis. It is an isometric contraction of sucking in your gut as much as possible and holding it there for as long as possible. Here are the details:
To perform, stand upright and place your hands on your hips or behind your head.
Exhale all the air out of your lungs.
As you exhale expand your chest and pull your stomach in as far as you possibly can and hold it there. Don’t Hold Your Breath. Visualize trying to touch your navel to your backbone.
Hold this position for as long as possible. You may only be able to hold it for 15-20 seconds if you are a beginner.
One isometric contraction is 1 rep. (Example: One isometric contraction of 15 seconds is considered one rep.)
Relax and repeat.
The stomach vacuum is an isometric contraction, like flexing your biceps. You breathe normally while flexing your biceps and should also breathe normally while performing this vacuum technique.
Stomach Vacuum Workout Guide
|Week #1||3 days a week||15 second contractions||3 sets|
|Week #2||3 days a week||20 second contractions||3 sets|
|Week #3||4 days a week||25 second contractions||3 sets|
Keep progressing your training until you can hold it for a full minute 5-6 days a week for 3 sets.
Too Easy To Be Effective? (Important: Be Aware)
Many meat-heads think that since this exercise doesn’t require slinging hundreds of pounds of iron that it’s not effective. Nonetheless, the transversus abdominis IS a muscle and it NEEDS to be trained. Just because it doesn’t take a fancy machine or an ego-boosting exercise to do it doesn’t mean it is not effective. Effective training is about intensity and form.
This movement will strengthen and stabilize your core so you have more control over your abdominals and prevent the loose belly hangover from an underdeveloped transversus abdominis. Mastering this technique will also improve your posing on stage.
Again, this is one of the absolute BEST exercises you can do to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many figure competitors can knock an inch or two off their midsection in a little as 3-4 weeks with this technique, provided the prerequisites are met. Also, building this area of the abdominal muscle will help you gain more control over your abs, and assist you better in explosive lifts. This exercise takes practice, but it is extremely effective.
Once you perfect this exercise you can do it in a standing, kneeling, seated, and lying position. How cool is that? So now you will never have an excuse to not do your ab training if you are stuck in traffic or can’t get away from your desk.
Get The Upper Hand And Turn Heads
Now, if you want more abdominal workouts to really increase the intensity of your training program, you need to get a sneak peek at what the IFBB Figure Pro competitors are doing to crank their ab workouts through the roof.
Some of the best IFBB Figure Pros have used my Killer Abs Training Program to amp-up their intensity and transform their bodies. Join the top-level athletes and train smart to get results.
Karen Sessions NSCA-CPT
Thanks for reading over my article! I hope you found the information helpful. If you have any questions you can contact me directly using the “Contact Link” at the top of the page. I answer all emails.
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