How to Do the Stomach Vacuum Exercise
Arnold Doing The Stomach Vacuum
A good bodybuilder is someone who not only knows how to isolate the different abdominals we all have, but more importantly they know what works and what does not work for them. Not everyone is the same but generally doing countless reps and sets of crunches, oblique twists and leg lifts will not stop your distended gut from hanging out.
Most bodybuilders know that doing a simple stomach vacuum technique on a regular basis is all it takes to get that tight mid-section that everyone is looking for. The stomach vacuum technique described below should be added onto your regular abdominal training and not replace it. It goes without saying that noticeable results from stomach vacuum will only be seen when your body-fat is below 15% or 12%.
Your abdominal region consists of both internal and external abdominal muscles. Your external muscles are called the Rectus Abdominus together with your External Obliques. When you do crunches your Rectus Abdominus flexes but when you crunch forward to only 1/3 of your way up, you'll target all your Rectus Abdominus muscles.
When you go past a third of your way up to the top of a crunch movement your hip flexors start working. Your obliques get targeted when a twisting action takes place, like twisting crunches, bringing your elbow to opposite knee.
Your inner abdominals consists of two muscle groups working together, your Lumbar Multifidus and Transversus Abdominus. These muscles lie underneath your rectus abdominus and your obliques and support your posture as well as control all deep breathing that you do.
These inner abdominals are responsible for giving you back support but this vitally important muscle group is rarely targeted and often weaker as a result. When you build up and strengthen your inner abdominal wall, you'll limit getting back pain, create a much tighter midsection, and increase your explosive power when training.
Stomach Vacuum Workout:
The Stomach Vacuum contraction is an isometric contraction, meaning when the Transversus Abdominus is tensed it does not move. Strengthening your Transversus Abdominus can strengthen your Valsalva Maneuver (that powerful exhale required to contract any muscle when working an intense workload).
If you add stomach vacuum to your abdominal routine you'll reduce your waistline in only a few weeks. Plus, when you build up your transversus abdominus you'll increase the control you have on your "abs" improving all your explosive lifts. Stomach Vacuums takes a lot of practice, but they're very effective.
Stand upright placing your hands on hips then, exhale all air out your lungs, completely. As you do this you expand your chest, sucking your stomach in as far inwards towards your spine as possible, and then hold it. Try to visualize your navel touching your backbone. Doing one isometric contraction for "X" seconds is just one repetition.
You'll notice that once the stomach vacuum technique is mastered it can be done while you're standing, seated, kneeling, and lying position. If you ever find yourself sitting in traffic you'll have no excuse to avoid your abdominal training. The more often you do it the better you'll get at doing it.
If you want predictable results then you should follow a similar increase in your stomach vacuum time practised to what is listed below. Get ready for developing a great set of abs that you can actually see:
Week 1: 3 sets doing 3 X 20 seconds
Week 2: 3 sets doing 3 X 40 seconds
Week 3: 3 sets doing 3 X 60 seconds