The stomach vacuum is a hypopressive abdominal exercise, and one of the most effective ways to flatten your belly.
The meaning of “stomach” here is clear enough, but what about “vacuum”? It’s vacuum in the Latin sense! Meaning: “empty space, without matter.” The trim waistline of your dreams. If you think it’s impossible, read on!
If this doesn’t make sense yet, don’t worry: in two minutes, all will become clear, and you’ll be trying this waist-slimming exercise yourself.
A brief overview of the stomach vacuum
In short, the stomach vacuum is a hypopressive abdominal exercise. It’s a very gentle breathing exercise. It’s not a matter of sweating it out this time!
We work the transverse abdominis. It’s the muscle you feel when you burst out laughing, sneeze, or cough.
To engage the stomach vacuum, try to empty all the air from your body. Making your body a vacuum, a void. I’ll explain how it’s done, step by step, in a little bit.
This technique is popular with top bodybuilders, who use it to help chisel their form. By tightening the waist, it brings out that alluring hourglass shape.
The stomach vacuum’s other benefits
Esthetically, the stomach vacuum helps you slim your waist, giving your body that hourglass appearance – but this exercise offers many more benefits as well:
- It improves digestion (in other words, less bloating and easier bowel movements).
- It helps you maintain your perineum/pelvic floor,
- It reduces postpartum diastasis,
- It considerably reduces the risk of organ prolapse and urinary leakage,
- It strengthens the abdominal region,
- It reduces stress,
How do you do the stomach vacuum exercise?
- Have an empty stomach
- Empty your bladder
- Empty your colon
Don’t do this exercise after eating. The best time to do it is in the morning, before eating breakfast. Don’t forget to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder before doing this exercise. If you have a strong urge, don’t hesitate. You will be much more at ease!
Stomach vacuum positioning:
Choose whatever option is most comfortable for you.
- Lie on your back and bend your legs, with your feet flat on the ground. It’s important that your entire back is touching the floor. This places your pelvis in retroversion.
- Get on your hands and knees (in a doggy position). Round your back to retrovert the pelvis.
- Sit on a chair with your hands on your thighs. Don’t arch your back. Slightly round your back to retrovert your pelvis.
- Kneel, placing your hands on your thighs, and being careful to retrovert your pelvis.
- Stand, with your hands on your thighs or knees, pelvis retroverted.
Stomach vacuum breathing, in three steps:
- Inhale deeply, inflating the belly, and then exhale fully.
- Once you’ve expelled all the air, try to suck your navel toward your lower back (without taking a breath). For the moment, you are in apnea. Later, with more experience, you can take very small breaths. But for right now, practice this exercise with an empty body (no air).
- Hold this position for as long as possible. At first, 5 seconds is plenty difficult. Rest for a minute, and then repeat – 5 to 15 times, depending on your patience!
Note: It’s not just about tucking in your belly. It’s a pulling of the naval as close as possible to the lower spine.
Not everyone can do the stomach vacuum
If you suffer from a hernia in your groin, avoid this exercise, as it increases intra-abdominal pressure.
If you are pregnant, don’t do this exercise.
If you experience pain when you perform this exercise, get advice from a coach, doctor, or other professional.
The limits of the stomach vacuum
This exercise is a great way to slim your waist, provided your lifestyle is consistent (diet, exercise, wellbeing, etc.). If not, you can suck in your navel as much as you like – not much will happen.
How long does it take to see results?
If you have a healthy lifestyle, you can slim down your waistline pretty quickly. Every body reacts differently, but on average you’ll start to see small changes after about 3 weeks.
Read the article: Improving your lifestyle
Read the article: How to flatten your tummy