The abdominal vacuum is one of the most valuable exercises to work the internal abs.
Unlike dynamic abdominal exercises, which strengthen the upper layer of the abdominal muscles, the vacuum trains the transverse abdominal muscles at a deep level.
When done every day, this exercise changes the proportions of the body: in particular, it helps reduce the waist and obtain a flatter and more elastic abdomen.
Below you can find results with photos of regular abdominal vacuums for a year.
What is meant by abdominal vacuum?
In bodybuilding, it is used to develop the diaphragm and increase the tone of the transverse abdominal muscles. These muscles surround the body like a belt, in contrast to the rectus abdominis muscles located vertically.
It is believed that if you perform a stomach vacuum regularly (for example, every day or every other day), you can improve the abdomen’s neuromuscular connection, making it easier to activate specific parts of the middle zone consciously.
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What happens if I do a stomach vacuum every day?
Below is an annual photo report of the stomach vacuum exercise performed by a Canadian athlete. You can see the full video on his channel, The Hungarian Experiment. (1)
In the first month, the results are not incredible. However, the athlete has already generated the ability. Note that the athlete is a big fan of intermittent fasting, which is why he has a low level of subcutaneous fat. Essentially, the abdominal vacuum experiment was to study the effect on muscles, not weight loss.
If in the first photo the athlete can barely pull his stomach inwards, the internal abdominal muscles are much more mobile as time passes. In addition, the ability to tighten the central line of the abdomen appears.
In the sixth month of doing a stomach vacuum every day, you can see a noticeable improvement in elasticity, especially in the lateral area. The central line and the upper insertion point of the rectus abdominis muscle are also drawn more clearly. Furthermore, the lower part of the midzone also begins to change, becoming flattened.
After nine months, the ability to pull the abdomen under the ribs has improved significantly, not to mention the change in the rectus abdominis muscle. The lower abdomen visually decreased in size, while the chest expanded due to the increased volume of the lungs).
It was hard for the athlete to believe that under the influence of the emptiness of the abdomen, his transverse muscles would change so much – looking at the photo from “before,” he could not believe that this was the maximum point he could reach.
How to do it right?
There are several ways to do the stomach vacuum exercise correctly. It can be lying down, on all fours, or standing up. Starting bent over with a knee stand or lying down is more accessible for beginners, as shown in the photo above.
The advantage of this position is that it allows you to focus all your attention on your abdominal muscles. The goal should be to bring the navel close to the spine (and, therefore, in the same direction as the ground). To check the work of the abdominal muscles under the ribs, you can tap them lightly with your fingers; This helps to tighten them more.
Beginners are recommended to start with 3-5 sets, each 15-20 seconds. It would help if you tried to reach one minute of full breath-hold as time passes. To ensure the same results, it is necessary to perform the abdomen vacuum reasonably regularly, at least 2-3 times a week or even daily.
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Does the vacuum help to reduce abdominal fat?
Since the abdomen vacuum does not expend significant calories, this exercise is not the best for burning fat. Despite improving muscle tone, a noticeable effect on reducing belly fat should not be expected.
However, if you have a low level of subcutaneous fat, the vacuum improves the appearance of the muscles. In addition, doing it every day enhances the shape of the tummy.
The abdominal vacuum is one of the most effective exercises for developing the internal muscles of the abdomen.
Doing it every day improves the ability to consciously control these muscles and significantly improves the shape of the belly.