Weight and Resistance Training - Anyone ever heard of this?

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10-09-2008, 10:47 AM
Read this on Muscle-Facts.com.

One final piece of the puzzle that I'm going to give you. If you really want to develop an awesome set of 6 pack abs, you should be vacuuming your stomach on a regular basis. I'm not talking about getting out the Hoover, I'm talking about sucking in your gut and holding it for 30 seconds on a regular basis. This will do wonders for developing your abdominal muscles and helping to pull them in so that your stomach is not distended. In fact, this is an exercise that used to be done on a regular basis by bodybuilders but has somehow got lost in the noise. Add this to your abdominal workout and you will notice results within a week or two.

10-09-2008, 10:55 AM
I've heard of keeping your abs tight for this reason, but not just sucking in your gut. I dont know??

10-09-2008, 11:10 AM
My Mom used to always tell me this. I can see how there could be truth behind it. You are using muscles to suck your stomach in.

10-09-2008, 11:12 AM
When I found out the name for the exercise was stomach vacuum I googled that and found all sorts of info. Here's another tidbit from bodybuilding.com.

The Stomach Vacuum is an isometric contraction (tenses the muscle without moving it) of the Transversus Abdominus. A stronger Transversus Abdominus can create a stronger Valsalva Maneuver (the powerful exhale necessary to contract a muscle during an intense workload). This is one of the best exercises you can perform to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many can knock 2 to 4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique. Also, building this area of the abdominal muscle will help you gain more control over your "abs" and assist you better in explosive lifts. Stomach Vacuums take practice, but they are extremely effective.

To execute the Stomach Vacuum, stand upright and place your hands on your hips, and exhale all the air out of your lungs, completely. Expand your chest, and bring your stomach in as much as possible, and hold. Visualize trying to touch your navel to your backbone. One isometric contraction of "X" seconds is one repetition.

Once mastered, the Stomach Vacuum can be performed in a standing, kneeling, seated, and lying position. Now you will have no excuse to avoid abdominal training if you are stuck in traffic.

Shannon in ATL
10-09-2008, 11:20 AM
When I first started exercising I read some article about training your ab muscles to poke out if you didn't suck your belly button in during crunches, so I was pretty nervous (since I don't do a great job of sucking my belly button in and down during any kind of exercise really...). I started pulling my stomach and abs in just like this says (from the ribs down to the hips, roughly) to try to combat that for probably six weeks before I got off track - I did it sitting at the movies, most of the day at work, that kind of thing. I think I did actually see a minimal difference, and now that I've gotten out of the habit of it I have wondered in the last few days actually if my tummy is starting to poke out again.

I hadn't read it anywhere at the time, I actually did it because I went to see the new Hulk movie around that time and there was a scene where Bruce Bannor was meditating to control the anger and he and the yogi were doing some funky stomach thing that looked pretty cool and was supposed to help with stress. They were sitting in lotus, inhaling deeply, hollowing out the stomach back towards the spine, then 'rippling' the muscles from ribs to hips and back up. It was pretty darn impressive on the yogi, and made me think that it would likely combat anything I was training my muscles to poke out. No way I'll ever be able to do what they were doing, but it was oddly relaxing what I could do.

Also, my best friend is very vain gay man who holds his tummy in all day long and he says that by the end of the day his abs burn! :)

10-09-2008, 11:26 AM
Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try.
My belly is totally distended.

10-09-2008, 11:30 AM
Many can knock 2 to 4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique. This is utter and complete BS. The rest is fairly accurate as far as that goes.

Pulling in your stomach muscles and holding them is an isometric exercise. It will help strengthen the muscles. If you do it while you're working out, it helps build your core and when weight lifting, doing this along with "blocking" (filling your lungs with air to support your rib cage and strengthen your upper spine) will help you hold form better.

Anything you can do on a regular basis to strengthen your core is a good thing.

However, keep in mind that there's NO SUCH THING AS SPOT REDUCING. :)

Sucking in your stomach isn't going to remove 3" from your waist and belly. The only thing that's going to remove inches from your waist and belly is losing weight. And unfortunately we lose weight all over and when and where our body decides to lose it first. For many of us that means we lose belly weight last, unfortunately.

However, if you're doing ab exercises regularly, as you lose the weight, those nice tight muscles will eventually begin to show. :)


Shannon in ATL
10-09-2008, 12:24 PM
When I found out the name for the exercise was stomach vacuum I googled that and found all sorts of info. Here's another tidbit from bodybuilding.com.

This is one of the best exercises you can perform to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many can knock 2 to 4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique.

Now, I did this for 60-85% of my workday, plus some on weekends for about six weeks, and I sure didn't lose 2-4 inches off my waist from that! :) While the exercise itself might do some good for core strength and muscle strength (and possibly stress management if done in a yoga or meditation routine) it just isn't a magic spot reducer! :)

(Edit: I see Photo Chick said the same thing above me... had the window open with this response unposted for over an hour I guess... :) )

10-10-2008, 12:16 AM
Some of the abdominal muscles are used to assist inhalation and exhalation so there is some truth. Of course, while it may have a minor effect in appearance given that nutrition is spot on (which it almost must be to ever have six pack abs), this could easily lead to irregular breathing patterns and many times muscle imbalances and motor dysfunctions are often traced back to improper breathing. The rewards aren't worth the risks in my opinion. I'd stick to plank and bridge variations to build a stable core. Although, those can't be done sitting in front of the TV so many people will opt for the easy way out.

Of course, there is always this ab workout :rolleyes:


10-10-2008, 12:27 AM
My boyfriend always tells me to hold it in! lol
Whatta guy, its nice that hes looking out for me though.

10-14-2008, 04:22 AM
My trainer is always reminding me to suck in my stomach the entire time I am working out.

I also sometimes get side stitches when running and I have found that sucking in my gut can help with that. In fact, I've taken to wearing compression shorts when I run outdoors (where I'm most likely to get a side stitch) because they help with holding in my stomach.

10-14-2008, 11:25 AM
It has nothing to do with 6 pack abs but in my kettlebell book, it talks about a breathing technique that will reduce your waist size in a matter of weeks It is due to the tightening of some band muscle. I believe if you don't keep up with the breathing technique, the muscle will relax.

10-14-2008, 02:41 PM
My mom also was always after us to suck our stomachs in - and I can still hear her, or feel the back of her hand flicking at my abs. :) I do spend a good deal of time consciously "sucking it in" due to the above mentioned Mom training! THe best thing I know for helping keep your abs look flatter is good posture! I have an employee who has the worst posture in the world - and I swear she looks 6 months pg all the time. She's not particularly overweight, but has no muscle tone. I'm always biting my tongue not to tell her to stand up straight.

10-14-2008, 03:03 PM
Never heard about this. Seems like it can develp and tone the muscles but you would need to have the fat layer above the abdominals disappear before you would notice.

10-20-2008, 06:51 PM
I have never heard of this either.