This is perhaps every lazy person’s dream. Here’s how a breathing technique can help you flatten your belly and build six pack abs.

The stomach vacuum is an exercise based on breathing. It allows you to strengthen your abdominal muscles without requiring any intense physical activity. In vogue on social networks, it’s still important to know how to do it correctly.

Flatten the stomach, improve the digestive process and relieve lower back pain. The promises of the stomach vacuum, literally “sucking in the stomach,” are numerous, especially since it does not require any cardio effort. It is characterized by working the abdominal muscles by pulling in the stomach. The method, also known as abdominal draw-in, features frequently in Pilates and yoga programs. Now the practice is being practiced in home fitness routines and is becoming a trend in “flat stomach” programs.

 

The key is in the breath

“It could be said that it is an exercise which is done without effort, once properly set up,” explains Flavien Chauvin, a home fitness trainer based in the area around Paris. With ten-minute sessions three to five times a week, you can expect results within four to five weeks, depending on your goals. “The exercise targets the traverse abdominis, the most developed of the abdominal muscles and responsible for a flat stomach,” explains the specialist. If a person practices just the stomach vacuum, they won’t be able to get six pack abs but they will achieve a flatter stomach. For the more ambitious, the practice can be done at the end of a sports session.

The exercise does not require any specific equipment or position, but it does require a certain number of repetitions and a minimum duration to be effective. The sports coach advises daily sessions of ten minutes. “The risk is in wanting to do it every day and then end up getting bored,” warns the professional. “It is better to do fewer sessions and have it remain interesting.”

Impact on posture and digestion

“The more one relaxes their belly, the more one’s posture becomes relaxed,” reports the coach. That’s why it’s important to work on abdominal muscles. The stomach vacuum can be done as a complementary exercise to a posture program. “Retracting the belly will allow the torso to move forward and the back and the head to return towards the back,” Flavien Chauvin details.

The benefits of the stomach vacuum also extend to digestion, because it provides a kind of “massage of the liver, intestines, colon and improves the flow,” explains the expert.

The benefits of the exercise vary along with the objectives of the individual. Practicing only the stomach vacuum exercise may be sufficient for people who just want to avoid having a belly or with little or no time to take part in a fitness activity. However, the coach emphasizes that a woman who has recently had a child should seek medical advice beforehand.

How to do the stomach vacuum exercise:

– Breathe in
– Fill up your stomach
– Exhale and pull in the belly button in the direction of the spinal column
– Squeeze the perineum very tightly
– Suck in the belly towards the ribs
– Exhale while releasing
– Repeat the exercise.

This article is published via AFP Relaxnews.

All images: Courtesy Unsplash & Getty Images