Have you ever wanted to tone your stomach without having to actually get up off your ass? Yes, we’ve all been there. Sometimes we lead ourselves to believe that just thinking about a flat stomach will earn us a flat stomach. This writer even reckons that squeezing in one’s bum whilst sitting at one’s desk will somehow work like a reverse squat, sculpting one’s behind with minimal effort. Or perhaps, a stressful, busy day at the office will work the same as a gym work-out, with hundreds of calories burned due to increased brain activity. Wishful thinking, perhaps. While such fitness fads come and go, and most of them are complete and utter codswollop, this new ab-crunch alternative may be worthy of your time. Behold, the art of ‘stomach vacuuming’. Yep, you read that right, and no, it does not involve your dusty, old hoover.
A rather gentle and effortless activity, this is said to be even more effective than your standard sit-up, drawing on moves from yoga and Pilates that strengthen those all-important core muscles. Quite simply, it’s a breathing exercise. According to the wordsmiths over at Elle.com, by simply contracting your transverse abdominals, ‘you’ll cinch your midsection while you stabilise your spine.’ Your posture can benefit greatly here too.
Here’s the best part: you can do this one in bed. To begin, Rich Sturla, owner and director of personal training at Results Health & Performance in England explains to Elle.com that you should lie with your back on your mattress, feet flat and knees bent. Exhale, and as you do so, pull your stomach muscles right in, as though you’re trying to reach your spine. Beginners should aim to hold their stomach in, taking little breaths if necessary, for 15 seconds, working all the way up to 60 seconds. Repeat this breathing technique three to five times while still in bed before breakfast and you’ll soon see results.
Once you’ve got that part mastered, it’s an exercise you can incorporate into your daily routine. Whether you’re sitting at your desk, waiting for a bus or binging on Orange Is The New Black, if you consciously engage those stomach muscles on the regular, you’ll reap the rewards.
At last, we’ve found a reason not to feel guilty about those extra ten minutes in bed.
Main pic from Victoria’s Secret.