"Clean Up Your Abs with the Vacuum" Q&A forum

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 06, 2008 5:22 PM GMT
    Use this forum to pose any questions about the Vacuum core exercise from the article Clean Up Your Abs with the Vacuum" from trainer Michael Behnken, MS, NASM-CPT-PES, CSCS.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 06, 2008 6:28 PM GMT
    Ok, I have been doing these for a few months and I got the instructions from a Yoga site. On that site, they have me holding my breath through the set. So, is it true that once you have your abs contracted you can breath?

    Also, they have me trying to rotate my belly button first clock-wise and then counter clock-wise after contracting my abs. This was very difficult at first but I finally got the hang of it and now can go in both directions before exhaling. What do you think?

    Also, I try to do this on my off days, that is those days that I am not doing ab exercises because my tummy muscles are sore on the on days. I do the vacuum before I eat dinner.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2008 6:42 PM GMT
    I'm trying to understand the claims... losing inches off your waistline? How is that not a claim of spot reduction, one of the most prevalent and oft disproved myths of lifting?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 06, 2008 7:22 PM GMT
    Diver:

    I don't think it is claiming to spot reduce fat. Rather, tightening the muscles in the area. The same is said in Schwartzenager's bodybuilding book I believe.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Apr 06, 2008 11:13 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidDiver:

    I don't think it is claiming to spot reduce fat. Rather, tightening the muscles in the area. The same is said in Schwartzenager's bodybuilding book I believe.


    But that would not reduce by "inches" unless you have the worlds flabbiest muscles EVER!
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    Apr 06, 2008 11:23 PM GMT
    I can't decide if I'm turned on or freaked out by that "extreme technique" that's further down the page.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 12:26 AM GMT
    I will show this to my personal trainer and try it out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 12:29 AM GMT
    A guy that had this down a long time ago was Frank Zane. One of my favorite bodybuilders of all time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 1:29 AM GMT
    DiverScience said
    But that would not reduce by "inches" unless you have the worlds flabbiest muscles EVER!


    I think you overestimate the fitness level of the transverse abdominus common in homosexualus fablulous.

    Take a gander around your gym and ask yourself what percentage of guys could even hold the vacuum for a few seconds?

    I've always had very low body fat and a relatively small waist but once I started focusing on the transverse abs, my waist dropped from 32 to 30 inches really quickly. I don't consider that "spot" at all. It's my entire trunk that is tighter -- no specific "spot."

    K
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 2:53 AM GMT
    I'm always interested in trying new abdominal exercises and as far as I can see this abdominal vacuum seems to be no different from the other ab exercises I have tried. In fact the benefits derived from this vacuum is consistent with all the other ab exercises which is awesome. However what i find confusing is how does it decrease ones waistline. I would assume that what really reduces the waistline is the burning of fat and not the exercise itself.

    So how does the exercise reduce the waistline if not by burning fat? Thanks
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 3:27 AM GMT
    The size of your waist is a combination of factors, not just fat content. It has a lot to do with how tight your core muscles are holding everything in.

    Think of the transverse abs like rings around a barrel. Working them tightens those rings like a belt. You stand up straighter as a result, and everything is held together tighter. Has nothing to do with body fat.

    FYI, one exercise that does NOT reduce the waistline (altho you see people doing it all the time in the vain hope that it will) is the crunch. Often that is the only ab exercise many people do. Properly done, that one will actually INCREASE your waist measurement as the rectus muscles get thicker.

    IMHO, the RJ article on this topic is right on. But for whatever reason, all you see in the gym is an endless series of crunches crunches crunches and only crunches.

    K

  • sandiegovince

    Posts: 111

    Apr 07, 2008 4:08 AM GMT
    I was reading this and it doesn't say how may "reps" you should do in each set? 25? 50? Any idea?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 4:18 AM GMT
    This one isn't about repetitions. It's about holding the position for a fixed length of time. More like yoga than lifting heavy objects.

    So, the answer is: One. ...or as few reps as possible icon_smile.gif

    K
  • bbbair

    Posts: 1

    Apr 07, 2008 5:51 AM GMT
    In yoga terminology the vacuum is called uddiyana bandha. Bandhas are used to lock or restrain prana (energy or life force). The abdominal rolling is a kriya or practice called nauli. These are advanced practices and are best learned from a qualified yoga instructor. If you insist on trying this on your own, make sure you have an empty stomach, bladder and bowels, and try not to strain. A brief description of these practices can be found in B.K.S. Iyengar's "Light on Yoga".
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 5:43 PM GMT
    After trying this exercise, this may me a question that can be corrected over time and practice but....I can only hold my breath for so long while doing the pose...although it says to breath occasionally. Once I try to breath after holding my breath during the pose, I completely lose my hold on the position, not fully, but enough to make me wonder if I'm doing it correctly anymore. Is the purpose to not breath and with each try, the time I hold my breath will increase? Or is there a specific way of holding the pose and breathing? Or am I totally missing the point here?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 6:22 PM GMT
    Popular question.

    My non-authoritative answer is that, yes, you can breathe.

    There's different ways to get air into your lungs. One is to breath like a singer or a wind instrument player (former trumpeter here), using your diaphragm and your belly. The other is to expand the rib cage. The former allows deeper breaths -- your mind is focused on your belly, the latter, more shallow -- with the mind focused up around your breastbone.

    While doing the vacuum, you can breathe, but obviously its going to have to be the more shallow "expand the rib cage" type breathing.

    Does that make any sense? This kind of thing is hard to explain in text, I find.

    I'd defer to any yogis on this one tho.

    K

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 6:31 PM GMT
    This reallllly works guys, ive been doing it for a long time. I started out doing it when my rowing coach would have me do it at the same time as i did the plank ab exercise, and every time i did pushups, lol, he was icon_evil.gifbrutalicon_evil.gif but it gave me a really tight coreicon_biggrin.gif The greatest part of it is that you could do it anywhere, waiting for the bus, in the shower, waiting in line, etc etc etc. Just as long as you dont look like an idiot when you puff out all the air, lol, make it subtle guysicon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    Always pay attention to rowers.

    Always pay extra special attention to bow seat rowers.

    Just saying.

    K
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 6:44 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidPopular question.

    My non-authoritative answer is that, yes, you can breath.

    There's different ways to get air into your lungs. One is to breath like a singer or a wind instrument player (former trumpeter here), using your diaphragm and your belly. The other is to expand the rib cage. The former allows deeper breaths -- your mind is focused on your belly, the latter, more shallow -- with the mind focused up around your breastbone.


    K



    Former alto sax player here so got what you meant right away! Thanks...will try it out, but now that I just finished my cardio session....tomorrow!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 07, 2008 7:20 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidAlways pay attention to rowers.

    Always pay extra special attention to bow seat rowers.

    Just saying.

    K


    you got that right iguana, haha, bow seat rowers may be the tiniest guys on the team, but we got the skill and the brains to navigate the boat
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 08, 2008 1:29 AM GMT
    K has it down pat.

    I was educated by a Pilates Instructor who cued the class to breathe East/West (meaning expand the rib cage) rather than breathing North/South (i.e. up and down). Once you have engaged the TA (Transverse Abdominis) the proper breathing is by expanding the rib cage. It is hard to put into text but I hope this helps everyone.

    And FYI....the second video is classified incorrectly. You are in a prone position not supine. That should be corrected by the trainer.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 08, 2008 3:38 AM GMT
    nikeathlete saidK has it down pat.

    I was educated by a Pilates Instructor who cued the class to breathe East/West (meaning expand the rib cage) rather than breathing North/South (i.e. up and down). Once you have engaged the TA (Transverse Abdominis) the proper breathing is by expanding the rib cage. It is hard to put into text but I hope this helps everyone.

    And FYI....the second video is classified incorrectly. You are in a prone position not supine. That should be corrected by the trainer.


    Yeah.

    What he said.

    (* hides behind nikeathlete *)

    K
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 08, 2008 6:00 AM GMT
    read about this on another site. Is it a replacement for abs exercises like situps or is it a supplement?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 08, 2008 6:33 AM GMT
    Sedative14 saidread about this on another site. Is it a replacement for abs exercises like situps or is it a supplement?


    Supplement. Situps are for the rectus abs (the fabled 6-pack). Vacuum is for the transverse abs (a tight narrow waist).

    K

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 08, 2008 10:53 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said[quote][cite]Sedative14 said[/cite]read about this on another site. Is it a replacement for abs exercises like situps or is it a supplement?


    Supplement. Situps are for the rectus abs (the fabled 6-pack). Vacuum is for the transverse abs (a tight narrow waist).

    K

    [/quote]

    Thankee. icon_smile.gif

    So I still have to do those situps I hate so much... LOL icon_wink.gif