The Stomach Vacuum Exercise

By Elizabeth Chaplin

Getting rid of belly fat can be extremely difficult, especially when people aren't sure which exercises actually work. One of the main problems is not knowing how to target your stomach area with exercise. Stomach vacuum breathing exercises are a good way to focus on your target area, namely the transverse abdominal muscle. The transverse abdominal typically isn't targeted in most exercises, such as sit ups or crunches. Stomach vacuum exercises are a great way to target this muscle, which can lead to a flatter belly.

Getting Started

Find a comfortable, quiet area on a mat or a carpet, where you can focus more on your breathing rather than your surroundings. Make sure a chair is handy. Stomach vacuum exercises are low-impact, and focus more on breathing than heart-pumping cardio. These breathing exercises are a great solution for people with heart conditions, or for people with bad joints who can't perform high-impact exercises like jogging or crunches.

Exercises

The first exercise is called the four-point, transverse-abdominal stomach vacuum. Get on all fours, making sure your spine is straight and parallel to the floor. Take a deep breath of air, then exhale. While exhaling, pull your belly towards your spine, tightening the muscles. On the next inhale, release your stomach. Repeat this exercise eight two twelve times.

Elevators are another type of stomach vacuum exercise. While sitting in a chair, imagine that your belly is actually an elevator that is moving up. Take a deep breath, inhaling through your nose, and imagine this step is the first floor. Exhale through your mouth, pushing your belly inwards towards your spine, and imagine that you're moving up to the fifth floor. Exhale rapidly five more times, forcing out any last remainders of air in your lungs; squeeze your abs every time you expel air. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

Contractions also require a chair. While sitting, inhale through your nose, but only fill up your lungs halfway. When you release, exhale through your nose, pushing your belly towards your spine. Contract your abdominals and hold for about ten seconds. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

Standing pelvic tilts are another stomach vacuum exercise. Stand with your legs about hip-width apart, and your knees slightly bent. Take a deep breath through your nose, then exhale through your nose, pushing your belly towards your spine and rolling your hips out in front of you. Repeat at least five times.

If you can't feel your abdominals burning while doing any of these exercises, you're not tensing your muscles enough, or you're rolling your spine instead of contacting your belly muscles. These exercises can take some practice, so don't worry if it takes a couple of tries to get it right.

References

About the Author

This article was written by the Healthfully team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Healthfully, contact us here.

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