Vacuuming Your Stomach Is the Easiest Way to Get Flat Abs

It's the new crunch!

Crunches are so 2000 and late - especially now that everyone's doing a simpler, safer abs exercise: Stomach vacuuming.

Stomach vacuuming has nothing to do with your Dirt Devil - and seriously, don't try that at home. Instead, it's actually a breathing exercise that activates and strengthens the transverse abdominis - your deepest abdominal muscle - by simply contracting it, explains Rich Sturla, owner and director of personal training at Results Health & Performance in England. Do it right, and you'll cinch your midsection while you stabilize your spine, which can reduce lower back pain and improve your posture, he adds.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Known as the "abdominal drawing-in maneuver" in clinical settings, stomach vacuuming isn't necessarily novel: Because it focuses on breathing mechanics, it's a pillar of yoga and Pilates, explains Sturla. To take this technique outside your fitness class (and take your core to the next level), start with the most basic move: The Supine Stomach Vacuum.

First thing in the morning (ideally, on an empty stomach while you're still in bed), roll onto your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mattress. Then, take a big-time exhale and pull your belly button in toward your spine. (The closer you get, the greater the intensity of the contraction and the more effective this move will be.)

Most Popular

Hold that position for 15 seconds, at first, then progress to hold the squeeze for up to 60 seconds, taking small breaths as needed. Repeat three to five times.

To make the move harder, try it on your hands and knees, sitting straight up in a chair (No back or arm rests!), or on a Swiss ball. And once you master the squeeze? Hold your naval to your spine while you sit or stand throughout the day.

If you practice this exercise daily, eat well, and keep up with your regular workouts, Sturla says you should start to see and feel the benefits within a few weeks - which is more than you can say for the crunches you've been doing your whole life.

By Elizabeth Narins

See the full story on Cosmopolitan.com

What do you think?

Life
Share
Online Art Dealing: An Insider's Look
Cosmo caught up with Sonali Batra, Founder of greatbanyanart.com, about the trappings of an online-art-gallery owner's life...
Life
Share
10 Easy Ways To Join The Health Bandwagon
Killing cravings is nowhere on the list!
Life
Share
Looking For a Model Life? Meet Your Match...
Elegant, confident, and powerfully simple—the all-new Volvo S90 has all the making of a supermodel. Here's why.
Life
Share
Women Are Using This Gym Hack to Get Extra-Bubbly Butts
Here's what you need to know about it.
Life
Share
This Summer Sushi HAS To Be On Your June Food Wishlist
You didn't think sushi could improve, but it has.
Life
Share
Here's Why You Are Unforgettable, Based On Your Zodiac Sign!
Breaking down the science of exactly what makes people flock towards you!
Life
Share
5 Beauty Secrets of Flight Attendants
Nobody knows how to stay pretty at 45,000 feet better than them.
Life
Share
5 Fitness Hacks Your Trainer Wants You To Know
For instance, eat sweets!
Life
Share
Revealed: This is What Your Handwriting Says About Your Personality
For instance, handwriting that is bunched up and non-aligned, indicates a LIE!
Life
Share
THIS is Exactly How Long It Takes To Burn Off Every Single Kind of Junk Food
22 minutes of running = 1 chocolate bar