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How To Do A Stomach Vacuum Properly

Jan 27, 2024

Do you want to learn how to do the stomach vacuum exercise?

In this video, I’ll show you how to do the stomach vacuum properly to strengthen your core.

Hi, this is Ivana.

I’m here to help you get fit healthy and strong at any age. If that sounds good, please subscribe and hit the bell. The stomach vacuum exercise primarily works. The TVA, the transverse abdominis, which is nature’s weight belt.


The TVA is important for posture, and it’s a key component of your core strength without strong inner core muscles. You won’t be able to properly stabilize your spine, and that can put stress on your lower back.

I’m going to show you the traditional form of the stomach vacuum.

And then I’m going to show you a variation that’s really good for beginners to learn this exercise. The main cues are breathing out all the air and then drawing your belly button in as far as you can towards the spine. The idea is that you’re going to hold the stomach vacuum as long as you can. If you’re just starting out 20 seconds is a reasonable goal.

 Variation One

So first you want to breathe in and allow the belly to expand in front. Then you’re going to breathe out and pull your belly button in as far as you can towards your spine.

There we go.

Okay. So you noticed that I’m still trying to breathe while I’m doing this as well. I’m not holding my breath because otherwise the stomach vacuum exercise is going to be limited by how long you can hold your breath. So you’re trying to do a little shallow breath. So as you do this, I’m going to show you a slightly from the side, same thing, breathe in, expand, and release.

Definitely not pretty, but it does effectively target the TVA. So you wouldn’t really want to pull it in there underneath the rib cage as much as you can.

Variation Two

So the second variation which I really liked for beginners is leaning over a table or anything that’s solid. You just want to put your hands in front and kind of use that to support yourself as you begin the exercise, the process is exactly the same. You want to breathe in, release the Valley and then breathe out and call on your belly button towards your spine. So I find it a little bit easier to breathe in this position and still maintain the contraction. Obviously, if you’re just getting started, try this one first and then work to the other position. I’m going to show you this one from a slightly different angle. So you can see it just leaning forward,

Breathe in, and then breathe out.

Correct Breathing For The Stomach Vacuum

So I’ve had someone asked about the correct breathing.

There are two ways of doing this.

1) You can either breathe out continuously. So you’re going out, out, out, out, out, out. And that means that you’re pulling in with your stomach at the same time.

2) Or you can do what I actually do most of the time is I breathe out slightly, but then I just kind of pull in and whole and then maintain that contraction rather than a long smooth breathe out during that

Try both variations, whichever works best for you in order to maintain that TVA contraction.

That’s the most important thing.

How Long To Hold The Stomach Vacuum

You can start with two sets of 20 seconds and then work your way up to two sets of 45 seconds.

Try this exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Do it every day.

If you need any help, please ask your question in the comments. If you enjoyed this video, please hit that like button.

I’ll look forward to seeing you next week.

Ivana Chapman