Abdominal Vacuum: What It Is, Benefits, How It’s Done

Abdominal Vacuum: What It Is, Benefits, How It’s Done

What the abdominal vacuum technique is all about, how it is done, its benefits and why it is done are some of the issues that we will address in this article. Stay, we’ll tell you everything!

What is it and how to achieve abdominal vacuum?

The fitness trend and comprehensive care of the body is not a new trend perpetuated by Hollywood stars, models, youtubers or sports personalities…

What is relatively novel is the term abdominal vacuum, the central theme of our post that can now be practiced by anyone who is interested.

But to know what this concept is all about, we need to understand one of the disciplines that put it into practice: bodybuilding or hypopressive work.


In fact this technique is one of the attributes that currently adds points in competitions of these fitness routines.

Abdominal Vacuum in Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding is a physical activity that seeks development in maximum muscle expression through specialised training to achieve muscle hypertrophy by progressively lifting weights.

When performing an expert-oriented professional conditioning, the goal is to achieve the definition of each muscle that makes up our body, giving a harmonic, symmetrical, strong and model like image.

Within this practice there are modalities that include extreme development of muscles and request poses in competition judged by a jury that are required to evaluate your symmetry, definition, proportion, aesthetics, development etc.

Bodybuilding poses

The International Confederation of Bodybuilding and Fitness is the institution that sets the rules for competitions of this sport, which include the mandatory poses that are rated to choose the champion.

These poses vary depending on the category, but the best known ones would be:

Double biceps
Dorsal expansion
Double biceps
Dorsal expansion
Front-facingAbdominals and legs
    These being some of the regulations, in recent years the abdominal vacuum has become very popular and has been included among the mandatory poses in bodybuilding competitions.

    How to do the Abdominal Vacuum

    Abdominal vacuum is achieved by this ingenious technique involving yoga and breathing postures.

    But how can you achieve an abdominal vacuum and maintain it?

    It involves sucking the abdomen, emptying the lungs of air and staying in apnea (inhaling and exhaling in very short periods) for a few seconds while opening the rib cage.

    Exercise abdominal vacuum

    These movements allow stretching of the diaphragm and tightening of the abdomen by raising the pelvic viscera.

    In simpler words:
    • Every day practice running out of air for a few seconds, simultaneously open your ribs by pulling out your chest.
    • You should maintain this pose for a few seconds.

    Abdominal vacuum routine

    The routine, also called the stomach vacuum, requires the contraction of the diaphragm interrupting the air intake, after breathing in, only for a few seconds (about 20-30).

    Vacuum routine

    Keeping this position you will be successfully executing the exercise.

    It’s not easy at first, but with perseverance you’ll get a hard abdomen like a stone, plus a very good definition of the waist and its muscles.

    How many repetitions?

    Then try breathing in for 3 seconds and breathing out for 6, repeating the exercise about 3 or 4 times at the beginning of the practice.

    Experts recommend exercising this type of apnea two days a week for about 20-30 minutes, so in the short term the first signs of a stronger, flatter belly will be achieved.

    When should I do it?

    It is also advisable to perform without having eaten.

    So it’s best to do them before breakfast so you don’t interrupt digestion and have an empty stomach.

    Even when it is more effective to practice with apnea, it can be performed with normal breathing, if it is very difficult for the person or if he or she suffers from high blood pressure.

    Have you heard of hypopressives?

    These are abdominal exercises, through coordinated, orderly and rhythmic postures that allow the reduction of intra-thoracic and intra-abdominal pressure, as well as the activation of muscles of the abdominal girdle and perineum.

    If you want to know more about Hypopressive Abdominals click on the following link.

    Benefits of the Abdominal Vacuum

    This well-focused practice has benefits mainly in two areas: in sport and therapy.

    In the sports arena, abdominal vacuum improves the physical condition of the individual practicing it in a short period of 3 weeks, depending on the consistency with which the exercise is performed.

    Strengthen the «Core»

    The first thing that is perceived on a physical level is the strengthening of the abdominal muscles, because when they contract and work in a deeper way, they recover their shape and tighten.

    Shape the waist

    It should also be clarified that it does not slim you, but you can reduce and shape the waist provided that you are using an appropriate and personalised nutritional plan.

    This translates to the Flat Stomach that many desire. Here you have a very interesting post on advice to reach this goal.

    Posture Correction

    At the same time, it corrects certain errors in posture, which in turn improves the health of the spine and of other organs in the area exercised.

    Organ health

    From a therapeutic point of view, practicing hypopressive gymnastics, is recommended for the treatment and prevention of digestive, urinary tract and gynaecological discomfort.


    It is proven that this type of technique helps the proper functioning of certain organs.

    Even within the week of practicing it, improvements can be noted in digestion and food processing.

    Other advantages of the abdominal vacuum

    We should mention some other benefits of abdominal vacuum:

    • They remove flaccidity from the wall or abdominal girdle, helping to strengthen the urinary tract and eliminating incontinence if you suffer from it.
    • Similarly, it strengthens the pelvic floor, which loses elasticity and tone over the years.
    • Doing these exercises also helps the lumbar area and everything related to the spine, which has countless advantages for sports activities, without having the benefits for our body.
    • The mere fact that only improving breathing becomes an energy injection for cells and promotes neuronal regeneration as well as making us feel younger and more agile.
    • The practice of abdominal vacuum can prevent vaginal, abdominal, and inguinal hernias.

    What if you’re a beginner?

    If you are starting your body care with the Abdominal Vacuum Technique, try the following steps:

    1. The easiest position to start in is lying down.

    When you are more adept at it, try sitting or standing.

    Position 1

    Only when you feel more confident.

    2. Control your breathing

    Lying down, breath deeply and expel air from the lungs, in short inhalations (apnea), expand the diaphragm.

    Pressing the belly, it brings the air into the lungs.

    3. Voluntary contraction

    Contract your internal muscles as much as you can, while feeling your navel approaching your spine.

    At this point hold your breath, tightening your muscles for 20 seconds.

    4. Rest

    Finally, relax the muscles while simultaneously releasing the air softly.

    How to begin?

    Perform the exercise starting with 3 repetitions.

    Don’t overdo it, increasing it slowly without going over 10 times.

    As for time, from 10 seconds in the first week, it rises to 20 to 60 as you develop vacuum resistance.

    What do the doctors think?

    Doctors consider the technique beneficial, not only to run competitions, but because it really helps the mental connection between the brain and muscles and improves health.

    Don’t do it if…

    Despite being an exercise with varied advantages for the health of the body, like any practice it has its drawbacks.

    • You are warned not to do this if you are pregnant or suspected of being pregnant.
    • Also avoid doing this if you are in the middle of your menstrual period, you may not get the same results and you may get frustrated.
    • It is not recommended if you suffer from any infectious disease in the stomach such as gastritis or colitis.
    • Do not do the routine if you suffer from high blood pressure or do it very carefully, as your poses and the effort required can further increase the tension.


    The best option – if you decide to develop a routine of hypoppressive gymnastics – go to the gym and put yourself in the hands of experts.

    A well-trained, experienced trainer can guide you on breathing techniques and how to contract your muscles better.

    How to do empty stomach

    After mastering the method you can do it in your home 3 or 4 times a week.

    And you, have you tried it? If you want a hand with it, don’t hesitate to ask me.

    Bibliography Sources

    1. Marc Bonamusa (2016) “Objetivo: vientre plano. Consíguelo con la técnica hipopresiva”
    2. Mateo López Vera (2017) “Ejercicios hipopresivos explicados paso a paso”
    3. III Jornadas internacionales de investigación en educación y salud. 2017
    4. International Congress os foby Image & Health. Biah 2018.

    Related Entries

    • 6 Abs Exercises to do at Homeclick here.
    • Exercises to strengthen the Abdomen – visit this link
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    About María José García
    María José García
    María José has been linked to sport since she was a child when she entered and even competed in various sporting disciplines, such as skating, swimming and gymnastics.
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