The buzz on 'stomach vacuuming' for flat abs

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To get flat abs, forget the crunches and start 'vacuuming...'

But hold on - don't go to the cleaning closet!

"You can do this from sitting, standing, lying on your back - that's probably the easiest way to start," says a Perfect Fitness TV video

This type of vacuuming is an exercise to tone your stomach muscles - specifically, the transverse abs - the deep muscle group that wraps around the torso.

The exercise has become the buzz in fitness clubs, with trainers, and across the internet.

The concept is simple, but it does take practice.

Start by exhaling as much air as possible, and as you do, pull your navel in as far as possible.

The deeper the navel goes, the greater the muscle contraction.

Hold the pose for 15 seconds, taking small breaths.

Do the vacuuming exercise 3 times to start, but over time, work up to 60 second holds, with 5 repeats.

The exercise is similar to 'the Cat,' a standard exercise in yoga practice.

Other yoga poses also incorporate similar moves.

Rich Sturla, a trainer in London who is a big advocate of 'stomach vacuuming,' says you still have to watch what you eat and get other general exercise.

But he says his clients have seen results from 'stomach vacuuming' within a few weeks.

Sturla says there are additional benefits to the exercise - it also strengthens the spine and helps stave off back pain.

Here's a video demonstrating the technique, courtesy of - K's Perfect Fitness TV.
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