Why Does it Happen
This bulging in the stomach area may be a symptom of things like food intolerance, steroid abuse (that’s why some bodybuilders look like they are pregnant), improper posture, organ inflammation (even pancreatic cancer) and others. In this post we will have a look at one particular reason- weak abdominal muscles.
Now you are probably asking how the heck can I say that having a bloated 6 pack belly would mean that your abdominal muscles are weak, right? Well this one is simple. The fact is that when we talk about abdominal muscles most people only take into account their superficial ab muscles – the Rectus Abdominus. This is your six pack. However, besides this muscle, there are also inner abdominal muscles, that are unseen for the naked eye. These muscles are the Transversus Abdominus and the Lumbar Multifidus. They are responsible for back support, deep breathing and you guessed it… keeping your belly tucked in by pulling the deep abdominal wall.
Now that you know about these two muscles, you need to find out how to make the stronger.
How Train the Inner Abdominal Muscles
Unfortunately, the famous ab movements like sit ups, crunches, leg raises and so forth will not do the job. What will actually do it is a yoga exercise used by some of the thinnest waists in bodybuilding (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane)- the stomach vacuum.
What is the Stomach Vacuum
The stomach vacuum is an isometric exercise known as the forgotten ab exercise. Isometric means that during such an exercise you have to hold a position for as long as you can (as opposed to going through a range of motion). Its known as the forgotten ab exercise because back in the golden era of bodybuilding almost every successful bodybuilder used to do it, but now its popularity has faded away.
How to Do the Stomach Vacuum
The stomach vacuum is very simple to do and doesn’t require any equipment. It is also very convenient- you can do it while watching TV, driving, taking a shower or whenever and wherever you like.
In order to do a stomach vacuum you need to exhale all of the air in your lungs and pull in your stomach as much as you can. Remember to keep your back straight and expand your chest as much as you can. Hold this position for as long as possible and release. This counts as a rep. Do from 5-10 reps, depending on your conditioning.
You can perform the exercise standing, lying, seating or kneeling, as long as you keep your back straight.
I personally like to do it standing. Another thing I like is doing it on an empty stomach. This way you can avoid indigestion and you can have a more effective exercise.
Here is a video so you can get a better idea of what I am talking about
Benefits of Doing the Stomach Vacuum
The main benefit of this exercise is the shrinkage of your waist. People report losing up to 4 inches in as little as a month.
However, there is another very important benefit, especially for heavy lifters. The inner abdominal muscles that are tightened by the stomach vacuum form a biological belt around your core. This belt is nature’s weight lifting belt, and protects you when doing heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts, or whenever you are lifting something heavy in your everyday life.
Other benefits include internal organ massage, improved digestion and lower back support.
As you can see having a smaller waist and a flat stomach doesn’t necessarily include countless of crunches. What it includes is taking care of every layer of your muscles (not just the superficial ones) in order to have a fully developed and healthy physique. Try this out and see if it works for you.
Find me on Google+
Try These 5 Cellulite Reducing Exercises And Forget About It Forever
7 Surprising Reasons Low Calorie Diets Simply Don't Work
Discover What Exactley The Famous Paleo Diet Is