Stomach Vacuums

Tom Treutlein

New Member
Are stomach vacuums a viable exercise? Experience for some states that they're useful, and other suggest they're idiotic. Are they useful for someone trying to keep a lean waistline and strong core?

What are the best three ab exercises that should be done to develop a complete and stable core?
search vacuums, I think there was a thread recently.

with respect to core work, I advise looking into core performance by mark verstegen. My core strength has increased ridiculously. The first time I did the core exercises I was panting and dripping sweat. Now they're almost easy, and that's after raising the difficulty.
Casual, come now - you know I bought it already.
Got it right after you, once Debaser spoke of it on EF. Already worked through the entire thing - the movements are all golden to me now, but easy. Movement prep is great.
alright fine, I think vacuums are pointless if you can already activate your TVA frequently. Also, keeping your waistline trim ... I think that would only happen if your TVA was in a chronic state of tightness, which might happen if you worked vacuums to lactic acid failure. Certainly not worth it time-wise for a small waist-trimming benefit.

of course, you could just walk around with your gut sucked in all the time.

What are the three most valuable? Hmm. I'll just pick the three core performance exercises that feel the hardest. How about, pillar bridging arm-opposite leg raise, the first movement prep stretch (the one where your lower body goes from side to side), and stability ball bridges w/progression
yeah I totally forgot you bought the book... your question seems redundant now that you have it. How are you liking the program coincidentally?
I liked the program immensely. I finished it now. Currently I'm not doing any heavy lifting, since I got a new job that requires a lot of physical labor. I just do 2x10 for squats, dips and pullups - I feel those three hit the entire body nicely, and can probably develop solid, functional strength.

I still do the movement prep exercises daily, usually in the AM to get me going. I do the Rotator Letters (Y, T, W, L) on the ball every other day before my workout to keep the rotators strong. I also throw in glute bridges every so often.

After my prehab moves and strength moves, I go ahead and perform ab movements. Usually I do frog kicks, dragon flags, and decline crunches. I use two sets for each (mind you, this is every other day), with 25-30 reps. Once I can easily knock out the reps, I add a little weight. I don't want to use less reps, as that will give me the desire to raise the load and I'd rather not have my abs too thick, though I feel this strengthens them well.

That's my workout day. As for my "regeneration day" (like that term from the book, and I'm not really resting every, anymore), I still continue with movement prep to start. I follow that with reverse hypers on the ball and front and side pillar bridges. Those are great for core stability, and I feel they'll keep me in good health for a long time coming. I throw on ankle weights with the hypers to strengthen my back more.

Finally, and this applies to any day I see fit, I throw in AIS stretches and foam rolling.
You know something odd, I know my core strength must have skyrocketed because the core exercises are all much easier.

However, even given all the touted benefits of having a strong core, I don't feel particularly enabled, and nor have my strength increases been particularly impressive.

You notice that? I'm thinking maybe it's just because basic weight training isn't that integrative, and if I went out and tested my golf drive I'd find it some dozens of yards longer or something.
I agree. I haven't seen any fluctuation in strength that has been out of the ordinary. Still, I do feel as though I'm in much better shape. I think it must be as you said. Our athleticism has probably been 'enhanced'. If you were to go out and play sports (assuming you don't already), then you may find you end up with less injuries or aches after any activity.

I think the main goal was longevity more than anything else. That's why I invested in the book. Was strength my main concern, I would have probably just stopped in the middle and went to a WSB routine. Though, I suppose that's a different type of strength, since PLing won't transfer greatly into MMA.
Own the book, like the book. If you don't own the book but are interested, Mike Robertson article series over T-nation covers the same ground, and offers several pre-training prep motions.

Movement prep is great.
AIS is good, but prefer to P-N-F.
Stomach vacuuming does not increase performance, Stuart McGill covers this in Low Back Disorders, and the WSB guys address this as well.
If your primary emphasis in the gym is hypertrophy, it would be a mistake to incorporate this program in its entirety.