When it comes to stomach exercises, you may groan at the thought of crunches and planks. But did you know that one of the best exercises for toning your abs and shrinking your waistline is stomach vacuum exercise? Additionally, it has many great benefits, especially for women.
While the name may sound weird, and the exercise looks even weirder, stomach vacuums are definitely worth adding to your routine. They’re easy to do and only take a few minutes per day. You can even do these exercises in the car while you’re on your way to work!
Here is a description of what stomach vacuum exercises are, the benefits of them, and specific instructions on how to do them.
What Is Stomach Vacuum Exercise?
Technically speaking, the stomach vacuum exercise is an isometric contraction of the Transversus Abdominis muscle. The idea is to increase postural strength by building muscles that help to pull in your internal organs. This helps give you a slimmer waistline and more defined abdominal muscles.
Stomach vacuum exercises are done by “sucking in” and contracting the muscles in your abdomen specifically while you are exhaling your breath.
Benefits Of Stomach Vacuum Exercise For Women:
The stomach vacuum exercise has a history that dates back centuries, originating with yoga. In addition to toning your muscles, it improves digestive functions. There are many other benefits, especially musculature and support advantages.
1. Works deep core muscles
Just like many of the poses from yoga, stomach vacuum exercises use muscles that increase your core strength. The phrase “core strength” or “core stability” relates to muscles that directly attach to the spine or pelvis. These muscles contribute to your posture and strength.
2. Slims your waist
A distended midsection can occur even when you work out religiously. When this happens, your belly has more of a barrel shape instead of an hourglass shape.
So, when you are able to strengthen the core muscles using stomach vacuum exercises, they pull all of the muscles closer together and this slims the waistline.
3. Helps correct Diastasis Recti
Diastasis Recti is a common issue for postpartum women. It happens when the space between your left stomach muscles and right stomach muscles become stretched out. This condition leads to a “pooch” that many women suffer from pregnancy.
However, doing stomach vacuum exercises can help. As a matter of fact, if you suffer from this particular issue, traditional exercises like planks and crunches can make DIastasis Recti worse.
Stomach vacuum exercises target the Transverse Abdominis muscles, which help strengthen and pull the ab muscles back together.
4. Stabilized spine and hips
As previously stated, working your core muscles means that the muscles that attach directly to your spine and pelvis are what are being strengthened. When it comes to correcting your posture, these are the muscles you need to work on the most.
As these core muscles are strengthened, it also helps to stabilize your spine and hips. Stomach vacuum exercise is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to do this.
5. Improves digestion and elimination
Poor digestion causes lower energy levels and can cause you to feel uncomfortable all the time. This is because digestion is how we process and break down the food that we use for energy and nutrition. Working on the muscles that help to hold in the organs in your abdomen by doing stomach vacuum exercises can help to improve digestion and elimination.
How To Do Stomach Vacuum Exercises:
There are many different ways to do stomach vacuum exercises. We are going to start with the easy way, and then describe variations later in the article.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor or bed.
Exhale deeply, pushing as much air out of your lungs as possible.
Pull in your stomach towards your spine as hard as you can.
Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times.
How long to hold the stomach vacuum pose:
When you first begin doing stomach vacuum exercises, you will want to hold your pose for about 15 seconds. Then slowly work your way towards being able to hold the pose for about 60 seconds.
Repeat this process 3 times and work up to 5 sets for best results.
Eventually, as you practice this pose it will be easier to do. You will be able to do it as you drive your car to work, or while you are watching TV.
Additionally, there may be other poses that may be more comfortable, so you should try different poses.
Stomach vacuum pose variations:
Standing – Stand straight, exhale, and pull in your stomach.
All Fours – This works muscles even lower in the abdomen. Remember to exhale as you pull your stomach towards the spine.
Seated – Your back should be straight, exhale, and pull the navel towards the spine.
The stomach vacuum exercise should be practiced daily for about 3-5 minutes. You should be able to see results in about 14 days.
Stomach vacuums might feel strange at first, but they should become second nature with a bit of practice and the benefits are totally worth it!
This exercise is effective at reducing your stomach and shaping the midsection for that hourglass look. Stomach vacuum exercises are gentle, highly effective, and they don’t require any special equipment.