Here’s the thing. This one’s not brand new; in fact, the exercise has been around the circuit, diligently being employed by yoga practitioners, body builders, and athletes, too.
While us mortal folk rely on ab crunches and heavy gym equipment to get even just a hint of what may look like ripped abs, the art of stomach vacuuming is so simplistic, you almost won’t believe its effects until you try it. To put it simply, you suck your tummy in to create a hollow. And no, this one is not like when you hold your breath before taking a picture or during sex to look thinner. Let us explain.
- Stand, sit, kneel, whatever you please, so long as you are in a comfortable position.
- Take a deep inhale through the nose, until you can go no more; hold, and count to two.
- Exhale completely and slowly, through the mouth, while simultaneously pulling your stomach in toward the spine, as much as you can.
- Hold for five counts. Start over.
While in the beginning the sight of your flab being tucked in may not look very pretty, over time (about three weeks), you will notice significant body tone in the area. Keep in mind that this exercise is for the abs; not the back fat or love handles.
To put it extremely simply, there are two layers of abs (the inner and outer), and when you hit the gym, most exercises tend to focus on the outer, more visible layer. It’s the reason why you’ll see your belly pooch make a comeback if you stop working out for a while. Stomach vacuuming works on the inner layer, or the transverse abdominus, which acts as a support structure for your ribs, diaphragm, pelvis, and spine.
Make note that while this exercise is a great way to get ab definition without the dreaded crunches and heavy weight lifting, it must be accompanied by fat-burning exercises for best results. The reason is that this one’s more about body tone than calorie torching.