“Vacuum in the stomach” is considered one of the most effective exercises to increase the tone of the internal transverse abdominal muscles and give it a flat shape. However, the effectiveness of the vacuum is not scientifically proven. It is believed that thanks to this exercise, you can significantly strengthen the internal abdominal muscles, which will lead to a decrease in the waist size and improve not only the shape of the press itself, which will become flatter, but also the figure as a whole. The exercise is also found in yoga.
The following benefits are attributed to this exercise::
- getting rid of a stretched stomach (its falling forward), which occurs due to an underdeveloped transverse abdominal muscle;
- narrowing of the waist;
- visual chest enlargement;
- developing the strength of the transverse abdominal muscles;
- stronger forced exhalation with the mouth and nose closed (Valsalva test);
- better control of the entire abdominal area;
- helps to stabilize the spine and reduce lower back pain;
- prevents omission of internal organs;
- promotes normalization of intra-abdominal pressure;
- it can be performed in a home/office environment without special equipment.
In addition to activating the abdominal muscles, there is no reliable evidence of other effects of the vacuum exercise.
Will the vacuum exercise really make my stomach flat?
The transverse abdominis (TVA) is a deep-lying muscle and is key to a narrow waist and flat stomach. It acts as a natural corset with the function of tightening the abdominal wall, when the TVA muscles are strengthened, the “waist belt ” is tightened, as a result of which the stomach becomes flatter and tighter. However, the vacuum exercise itself will not remove the stomach and burn fat from the waist area, this requires aerobic exercise (cardioIn addition, dietary adjustment is an even more important tool than local exercise. Therefore, only a set of measures can achieve the tasks of flattening the abdomen and narrowing the waist.
What is the secret of a vacuum in the stomach and how often to do it?
Vacuum is a breathing exercise that is aimed at isometric contraction of the transverse abdominal muscles, as a result of its execution, the muscles burn, but no movement occurs in the joint. Studies have shown that TVA muscles respond best to isometric contractions with a long time of exertion (from 1-2 minutes) and 2-3 sets of exercise. Internal muscles are slow-twitch fibers that respond well to daily training, so it is optimal to do a vacuum up to 5 times a week.
Given that this is primarily a strengthening exercise, you should do it as often as possible, or at least 5 times a week. You should get used to the fact that the transverse abdominal muscles should be constantly strained – in just a few weeks they will become toned, and you will no longer have to make an effort to control it.
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips-this is the starting position.
- Slowly and under control, take a deep breath through your nose, drawing as much air as possible into your lungs. Make a powerful exhalation, as much as possible bringing the walls of the abdomen to the back, so that the navel, as if glued to the spine. Lock in this position. One isometric contraction time should be 15-20 seconds. After the time has elapsed, inhale and return your stomach to normal. Repeat the specified number of times.
Options for beginners:
- vacuum sitting on a chair/half-sitting;
- vacuum while standing on all fours;
- vacuum lying on your back.
- Starting position-lying on your back, arms along your body, legs bent at the knees, legs on the floor, muscles relaxed. Exhale slowly, gradually releasing the air from your lungs, without straining any muscles in your body.
- After releasing the air from your lungs, start straining your abdominal muscles, trying to draw it in as much as possible. Breathing is stopped. At the bottom point, fix the position of the abdomen for 10-15 seconds, then take a small breath, continuing to draw in the stomach.
- After taking a small breath, do not rush to relax the stomach-tighten the abdominal muscles and freeze for another 10-15 seconds, then pull the stomach back in, while maintaining the tension of the abdominal muscles. If you find it difficult to hold your breath, take small breaths.
- Exhale, relax your stomach, take a few free breaths,then release the air from your lungs again, and pull your stomach in as much as possible. Pull in, try to tighten your abdominal muscles, and then push your stomach up without inhaling.
Subtleties and secrets
To get the maximum effect from the exercise, it is recommended to follow the tips below:
- as an initial practice, use the “standing/recumbent” version of the exercise;
- use the bodyflex breathing technique — after a full exhalation, take a quick and full breath through your nose, then a sharp exhalation through your mouth;
- make a powerful forced exhalation through your mouth completely emptying your lungs;
- take short breaths through your nose as needed as the contraction time increases;
- try to bring the navel and spine together (sticking one to the other) by pulling the stomach under the ribs;
- draw in your stomach as you exhale;
- to keep the transverse abdominis working throughout the exercise, don’t throw your stomach down with a jerk when inhaling, but do it slowly and not completely;
- hold the shortened position for at least 10-15 seconds;
- perform the exercise in the morning on an empty stomach and in the evening before going to bed;
- in numerical terms, focus on the number of sets of 2-3, repetitions of 10-15 and the value of one isometric contraction of 15 seconds or more.