The stomach vacuum is one of the best exercises for flat abs, slim waist, strong core, good posture and a pain-free back. The 3 easy ways to get started with the tummy vacuum exercise plus how to incorporate the vacuum exercise into other movement patterns in your weekly routine for better body makeover results.
There are countless ways you can do the stomach vacuum but the 3 best options whether you are a beginner or advanced are the ones from Corset Core Hourglass Waits plan; prone tummy vac, kneeling tummy vac, core activation tummy vac all featured on ybff facebook the other day.
The prone tummy vac is by far the most challenging because it requires complete isolation of your transversus abdominis which is not something the body really does. The goal with this version is to lift your belly button off a ruler or tubular resistance band(as shown in pic) by ONLY using your deep abdominal muscles.
This means you can not tense your neck your arms your back your butt or your legs when doing it which is not easy but once you practice and learn how to do this correctly you will feel a lot of power coming from your core when you exercise or just with regular daily activities.
Now if you're the type of person who has a very dysfunctional core due to injury or faulty movement patterns during exercise then the prone version is going to feel impossible. I speak from personal experience with this as well as experience training clients with non-functional core muscles. If this is the case for your then start with the kneeling version instead and be sure to avoid the horrible advice shown in pic here.
The tummy vac is NOT performed by holding your breathe and sucking in your stomach. It is a voluntary muscle contraction that uses breathing as a tool to get stronger so instead of "sucking it in" what you do whether kneeling or prone is breathe in and allow the abdominal wall to expand and stretch then as you breathe out being to contract your deep abdominals; (pic here) then hold the contraction for 10 seconds as you continue to breathe normally.
Not as easy as just sucking in your gut and holding your breathe but way more effective for strengthening your core because efficient breathing is key to a functional core.
Once you are able to perform 2 sets of 10 of both prone and kneeling tummy vacs you are ready for seated and standing versions as well as more dynamic versions that you've seen in various ybff videos including: standing core activation, seated reverse crunch tummy vac, plank knee-in to single leg downdog, tripod twist to scorpion press, rollover to alternating shinbox, low windmill, single leg ball knee-in, etc.
Some of these exercises are featured in the sexy dancer body video here. The full sexy burlesque dancer body workout is here.
So the stomach vacuum can be incorporated into every ybff exercise and into your daily activities like doing laundry, emptying a dishwasher, picking up a child or furniture or while driving a car or sitting on a plane. Just remember not to hold your breathe! The pilates workout video here is a great example of movement that relies heavily on a strong stomach vacuum and it also requires that you breathe the entire time. Details about this yoga pilates fatloss workout here.
The stomach vac is one of those subtle movements that you can do anytime anywhere and nobody even has to know you're doing it. Just don't get carried away doing too much isolation stomach vacuum exercises. Remember that the core does not work in isolation. It is a support system that is activated to perform more complex movement so once you get good at isolating it be sure to progress to more dynamic movement that takes advantage of your ability to vacuum that tummy!