Dallas Personal Trainer
This exercise has been forgotten by most personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike. It was a favorite in the 1950's and 1960's but today most trainers are not even aware of its existence.
However, its value is unrivaled due to its tremendous ability to tighten and shrink the waist.
The primary muscle worked on this exercise is the transverse abdominus (the abdominal wall). This is the muscle wall underneath your abs. You don’t see it, you just see the effects of it. The abdominal wall should hold your organs in tight, but if it is weak, it will not be able to withstand the pressure and it will bulge out, forming a potbelly. You can do all the external ab exercises you want, but if your abdominal wall is loose, you will still have a potbelly. Performing Vacuums regularly and correctly will greatly tighten and strengthen the abdominal wall, allowing you to create the tight lean waist that you desire. Anyone from an couch potato to an elite level athlete or personal trainer should see progress from doing these.
This exercise is performed on the ground on all fours (on your hands and knees). Once you are set, take a deep breath and fully expand your lungs as much as possible. Then exhale completely (strain to get every bit of air out) as you push your stomach tightly inward as much as possible. Make sure to pull your abdomen in very tightly all the way down to the pelvic area (the entire area from the bottom of your ribcage down to the lower abdominal/pelvic area should be pulled in as tightly as possible). Most people are able to learn to pull in the upper abdominal area fairly easily but find it very difficult to pull in the lower pelvic area. In order to bring this lower abdominal area in fully, you must tightly activate the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that you use stop the flow of urine. Utilizing these pelvic floor muscles, focus intensely on getting every last bit of air out of your body. You will find that the harder you can strain to push your air out, the tighter your abdominal wall will pull inward.
Hold this position as tightly as possible for as long as possible without breathing back in. After you have held your breath out for as long as possible, take a couple of quick recovery breaths to get your wind back. As soon as you are ready, take another deep breath in, fully expand your lungs, and repeat the process.