How to Use Stomach Vacuums to Get Flat Abs (And Correct Your Breathing!)

By on July 11, 2014

In this video I discuss how to train your transverse abdominis, as well as how to breathe correctly as we do in infancy. Click here for my recent post on ab anatomy.

The transverse abdominis is the muscle that we use to pull our stomach in. When trained this can improve our posture and support our spine alongside the obliques and erector spinae and a membrane that connects them all together. This can help prevent injury and plug the ‘kinetic chain’ for more efficient movements – especially when bodyweight training. Crunches and sit ups aren’t going to train this area though, so you need to target it specifically.

Flexing and extending the transverse abdominis is also the way we are supposed to breathe correctly. To breathe properly you need to relax your stomach, allowing your diaphragm to lower into your abdominal cavity. You then flex your intercostals to expand your chest as well – but it’s the stomach that leads the charge. This is how we breathe as babies, but hours of sitting down (which compresses the stomach) has taught many of us to be ‘chest breathers’ which can be described as shallow, fitfull breaths that bring in 13% less oxygen.

Switching to the correct breathing pattern as nature intended can help not only to strengthen the underused transverse abdominis, but also to improve your VO2 max improving cardio endurance, relax the muscles, reduce cortisol levels and elevate anabolic hormones. Watch the video and I’ll show you how to do this as well as how to strength your core with stomach vacuums, the ‘cat vomit’ exercise and a piece of string…

You can find a more detailed explanation on how to breathe correctly over at Mark’s Daily Apple.

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

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