Check out the following for more exercises to slim down your tummy:
- Exercises to Tighten Up Stomach and Flatten the Tummy
- Free Abdominal Exercise Methods for Women
- Abdominal Exercises in Pool
- Exercises that Slim Down Your Belly
Abdominal muscles and flat stomach
The abdominal muscles are a group of muscles that cover the abdominal region from the ribs to the pelvis, from the deep muscles, i.e. transverse abdominal and the internal obliques, to more superficial, namely the external obliques and rectus abdominus.
These muscles support the torso, help in the breathing process and more importantly provide postural support.
Inner abdominal muscles
The transverse abdominus muscle is the deepest abdominal muscles. It's located around the torso and cannot be felt from the surface. The internal obliques resides on each side of the torso after the transversus.
Outer abdominal muscles
More superficial muscles are the external obliques and the rectus abdominus. The external obliques are located on either side of the torso after the internal obliques. The rectus abdominus muscle is at the outermost of the abdominal muscles.
All these muscles affect the body posture although more superficial muscles will have less effect over body posture than those that are deeper and closer to the spine, namely transverse abdominal and the internal obliques.
Unfortunately, the transverse abdominus and lumbar multifidus often gets neglected in stomach exercise routines. They are the core muscles that lie beneath the rectus abdominus, and external obliques. Since they are rarely targeted they are often weaker.
Stomach vacuum: easy ways to flatten your stomach
The stomach vacuum is an isometric contraction of the transversus abdominus. It is one of the best simple ways to flatten your tummy and shrink your waistline quickly. You can lose an inch or two from your midsection in as little as three to four weeks with this tummy flattening exercise, provided it's done properly. Also, targeting this abdominal muscle with exercise will help you gain more control over your abs, and assist you better in explosive lifts. Stomach vacuums need practice, but they are extremely effective.
How to do stomach vacuum?
To do the stomach vacuum expel all the air from your lungs firmly. At the same time, draw in your tummy towards your spine, tightening the muscles while imagining your belly button is about to reach your spine. Breathe gently in that posture and keep the position for approximately 45 seconds.
This is an isometric contraction, similar to flexing your biceps. When doing the stomach vacuum, you need to breathe normally likewise when flexing your biceps.
How to do stomach vacuum more effectively? A more effective adaptation of this tummy flattening exercise would need you to be on all fours in a crawling position. Make sure your spine is straight and parallel to the floor. Then do the stomach vacuum as mentioned earlier except that this time, you are on your hands and feet. Repeat this exercise eight two twelve times. Do both exercises every other day. Combine it with a proper diet to get rid of belly fat, weight training and cardio exercises. In very short time, you will get that flat stomach look along with glorious six pack abs. These are effective and simple ways to flatten your tummy.
How to do stomach vacuum: the sets and reps
Counting reps with stomach vacuum is a bit different. One isometric contraction of "X" seconds is one repetition. For instance, if you suck your bowel in for 10 seconds, that’s one repetition. If you execute that two more times, that’s 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
The transversus abdominus is one of your core muscles and it needs to be trained. This tummy flattening exercise will strengthen and stabilize it which will help you to have more control over your abdominal, and prevent the loose belly hangover because of an underdeveloped transversus abdominus.
You may doubt the effectiveness of this exercise since it does not involve slinging hundreds of pounds of iron. But, effective training is not just about using a fancy machine or grunting under a stack of plates rather it is more depended on the intensity and form.
Practicing the stomach vacuum
You can execute the stomach vacuum every other day e.g. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Although the abs can bear with more intense workout than other muscle groups, they still need their rest. Hence, performing this tummy flattening exercise daily won’t be as effective as you may think it would be.
You can start by performing 3 sets of 20 reps every other day for the first week and increase it gradually, for instance, 3 sets of 30 reps for the second week then 3 sets of 40 reps for the following weeks.
The point is to keep building up in seconds (reps) or sets. You can determine your own start point and progression phase. Finally try to work up 4 sets of a full minute.
Additionally, you can execute the stomach vacuum while performing your regular abdominal exercise. Focus on sucking in the transversus abdominus as you do your abdominal exercise. Pull in your stomach as far as possible and flex your groin muscles as close as you can.
Finally, you can perform the stomach vacuum everywhere and anywhere even at your desk at work. You can also execute it in a standing, kneeling, seated, and lying position. By incorporating this tummy flattening exercise, with your regular abdominal training and proper diet, you can reduce the size of your waist and get rid of belly fat in as little as three weeks. Stomach vacuum is really one of the best simple ways to flatten your tummy.