The vast majority of people engage in countless sets and repetitions of abdominal exercises such as crunches, leg lifts, and twists. Many fail to see dramatic improvement, as if something is lacking. Are you among the many who religiously train your abdominals, yet still fights the distending gut syndrome?

I can teach you a simple technique to reduce your midsection in as little as 3 weeks. By incorporating this technique, with your regular abdominal training, it will give you a carved midsection!

This is exciting news, but it does come along with some pre-requisites which are pre-established clean eating habits, adequate water intake, and a low to moderate bodyfat percentage. Depending on how you hold your weight, anywhere from 12 to 15% and less is acceptable.

Before we jump in over our heads, let's discuss the reason behind this specialized technique. The exercise I am speaking of is called the Stomach Vacuum. It was widely used in the early days of bodybuilding with Arnold and Corey. Have you ever notice how slim, trim, hard, and defined the physiques were in the late 1970's and early 1980's? Many of today's top-level competitors have a distended midsection This could be due to the drug abuse problem, but it is also connected to the fact that many have simply skipped over important training tactics.

The Inner and Outer Abdominals

The abdominal region is composed of internal and external muscles. The external muscles are known as the Rectus Abdominus and the External Obliques. Crunches cause the Rectus Abdominus to flex. Crunching forward, 1/3 of the way up, targets the entire Rectus Abdominus. Once the movement goes past this active zone, your hip flexors come into play. Your obliques are targeted to a greater degree when any twisting action takes place, such as twisting crunches, where you bring your elbow to the opposite knee.

The Real Inner Abdominals

The Transversus Abdominus and Lumbar Multifidus are the inner abdominal muscles. These muscles are rarely discussed, and the most neglected. These muscles lie beneath the Rectus Abdominus and External Obliques. The inner abdominal muscles support posture and control deep breathing during power movements, such as heavy squats. They are responsible for back support. Since they are rarely targeted, they are often weaker. By building a stronger inner abdominal wall, you can limit and relieve back pain, create a tighter midsection, and add explosive power to your training.

The Stomach Vacuum - How To Do It.

Relax, we are not going to pump or vacuum your stomach. The Stomach Vacuum is an isometric contraction (tenses the muscle without moving it) of the Transversus Abdominus. A stronger Transversus Abdominus can create a stronger Valsalva Maneuver (the powerful exhale necessary to contract a muscle during an intense workload). This is one of the best exercises you can perform to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many can knock 2 to 4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique. Also, building this area of the abdominal muscle will help you gain more control over your "abs" and assist you better in explosive lifts. Stomach Vacuums take practice, but they are extremely effective.

To execute the Stomach Vacuum, stand upright and place your hands on your hips, and exhale all the air out of your lungs, completely. Expand your chest, and bring your stomach in as much as possible, and hold. Visualize trying to touch your navel to your backbone. One isometric contraction of "X" seconds is one repetition.

Once mastered, the Stomach Vacuum can be performed in a standing, kneeling, seated, and lying position. Now you will have no excuse to avoid abdominal training if you are stuck in traffic.

As an added bonus, you can use the Stomach Vacuum when doing your regular abdominal work. Focus on pulling in on the Transverse Abdominus. Simply do this by pulling in your stomach as far as you can and flex your groin muscles, as if you are trying to stop the flow of urine.

Training Guide for the Stomach Vacuum

Training days for the Stomach Vacuum are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

  • Week 1: 3 sets of 20 seconds
  • Week 2: 3 sets of 40 seconds
  • Week 3: 3 sets of 60 seconds

Get ready for the best abs of your life!

About the Author

Karen Sessions

Competitive Bodybuilder Karen Sessions teaches bodybuilding tips and tricks for success

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