Forget boxing, the latest toning trend that bloggers, fitness experts and celebs are talking about is a safer, simpler exercise: stomach vacuuming.
Thankfully, stomach vacuuming has nothing to do with your Dyson – it’s actually a breathing exercise that activates and strengthens the transverse abdominis — your deepest abdominal muscle — by simply contracting it.
Much like the core breathing techniques used in yoga, the method cinches your midsection while you stabilise your spine, which can reduce lower back pain and improve your posture – at the same time as gifting you rock-hard abs.
Experts say that if you train the inner abs muscles regularly, it will tighten your muscles, making your stomach look flat naturally.
How to do a stomach vacuum
The basic form of the exercise is best done in a position where your body is curved forward. This is typically done with your knees and hands on the floor, or from a standing, bent over position with your hands on the table. However, it can be done in almost any position, including lying down – once you get the technique right.
1) To begin, slowly inhale as much air as possible for a count of three to five seconds.
2) Exhale through your mouth, draw your stomach towards your spine as tight as possible. Try to visualize your navel touching your spine.
3) Hold the contraction for a count of 20. Breathe normally while you hold the contraction.
4) Repeat the exercise for five rounds, building to ten once you get more used to it.
Once you’ve learnt the technique you can easily build it into your morning exercise routine, three times a week, without breaking a sweat. So Londoners, set your alarm 30 minutes later, cancel your gym membership and get vacuuming. Well, it beats sit ups…