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How to Do the “Stomach Vacuum” Exercise

The “stomach vacuum” is an effective exercise that helps you tone up the belly muscles, get flat abs, and improve your posture.

5-Minute Crafts wants to tell you about all the nuances of performing the “stomach vacuum” exercise — from the list of muscles involved through to the recommended frequency of doing it.

What muscles this exercise involves

When performing the usual crunches, we only train the external abs muscles. The “stomach vacuum” exercise, in its turn, involves the internal muscles, including the transverse muscle, internal oblique muscles, and deep back muscles. They are located just below the outer rectus and oblique muscles of the abdomen.

The exercise works when you keep your internal muscles tensed for a long time. Since they are responsible for supporting the back and inner organs, as well as for breathing during strength training, the “stomach vacuum” exercise can positively affect posture and overall body tone. The regular performance of this exercise can help you pump the internal abdominal muscles as well as pump up the abs better, especially when combined with crunches.

How to do the “stomach vacuum” exercise

  1. Lie on your back or stand up straight.

  2. Strengthen your legs, bring them together, place your arms by your sides.

  3. Exhale all the air from your lungs.

  4. Tense your abs and squeeze them, as if you are trying to suck in your stomach under your chest.

  5. Hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds.

  6. Return back to the initial position.

How often should one do this exercise

In order to get the best results, make sure to do 3 reps at least 3 times a week, gradually increasing the load:

  • During the first week do 3 20-second reps;
  • During the second week do 3 40-second reps;

  • During the third week do 3 60-second reps.


The “stomach vacuum” exercise can increase blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure or if you are pregnant, you should stop doing this exercise. Make sure to consult with your doctor in other cases, to ensure you don’t have any contraindications.

Also, you should do the “stomach vacuum” exercises at least 1.5 hours after eating, in order to not contribute to the appearance of unpleasant feelings in the gastrointestinal tract.

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