A small waist has always been the envy of many and exercises to get a smaller waist have always been overtly exaggerated. We break down the one simple exercise that keeps you waist size in control.
Whenever we talk about fitness, belly fat or waist size is the first thing that pops up inside our heads. Everyone from ballerina’s, to working women, to bodybuilders, want a smaller waist because that is the mark of good aesthetics. There are sadly, genetic and other limitations when it comes to a small waist but unlike all the overhyped marketing that promises you unreal results, because they are unreal and won’t be achieved, there is a simple exercise that old-school bodybuilders did in order to answer the famous question, how to get a flat stomach. Why you need a smaller waist could be for various reasons, mostly cosmetic though. In bodybuilding, a small waist and broad shoulders are the mark of a V-taper, something that is coveted in the fitness industry.
However we should not want a smaller waist to get thinner because that means you most like need to know how to lose belly fat. Fat loss isn’t the topic of discussion here, although losing fat around your belly and oblique area will trim down your waist significantly.
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Before we get started we must address this. Now there is no way you can change your waistline from side to side, since that is primarily dependent on bone structure and unfortunately theres no way we can change our bone structure. Bone structure is genetically defined so if you are blessed with a small waistline thank you stars and move on. However when talking about the front to back view of the waist, that’s another ballpark because that can be changed. Some people train their obliques and abs with heavy weights. While this will get you a great set of six pack abs, it will also increase your waistline marginally. Oh and it goes without saying slim waist workouts of any kind are bogus without the right cardio exercises. The exercise we are talking about is Vacuums.
Beyond the abdominal muscles and obliques, there lies a muscle called the Transverse Abdominis or simply the TVA. It’s quite a unique muscle and here in lies the muscle group that needs to be worked in exercises for a smaller waist for men. This muscle is unique because it doesn’t connect to a bone and they run across the midsection, which is why it’s called Transverse Abdominis. So when the legendary Sergio Olivia, and/or Frank Zane hit their famous vacuum poses, they were intentionally squeezing their TVA.
This TVA acts as a belt of sorts and stabilizes the spine, stiffening it, when we contract our TVA. It also is used to propel our internal organs and place the the way they are placed. A brilliant mid-section aside, the TVA also helps in curing lower back pain. In fact studies have consistently shown that lower back pain means a TVF that doesn’t contract properly. So the vacuum and contracting of the TVA becomes essential exercises for a smaller waist for women.
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A vacuum is simply done by breathing out, and contracting your stomach area. That means contracting the abdominal muscles as well as the obliques. Below are some of the some of the variations, in terms of lowest to highest difficulty, for you to try out:
- Lying down- Now this is the easiest form of a vacuum as you have gravity assisting you. Lie down flat on your back and expand your stomach area outwards. Exhale and contract the area as hard as you can. Do this for at least 15seconds but don’t worry if you can’t. Build up your strength and aim for 60 seconds. Do this after an ab workout, at least 3 sets and develop it to 5 sets.
- Bent over- This is harder as now you are going against gravity. Basically get in a position where your hands and knees are on the floor and you are bending. After that simply exhale and pull the stomach area along with the TVA. Pull your navel as close as you can to your spine. If you have mastered the lying down for 60 seconds, then begin this with 30 seconds and take it up to 60 seconds with 3 and then 5 sets if you are having back pain and/or are just a badass!
- Sitting- Want to know how to get a flat stomach? Do this. Now just keeping gravity in mind, you’d think that the bent over version would be more difficult than seated. Not necessarily. The seated version needs to be done without back support and because of all the stabilizing muscles required, it is indeed harder. Standing straight, breathe out and pull your stomach in and again work up to holding this for multiple sets for 60 seconds.
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With the knowledge that you have, know this. The results, like with everything in life, do not come immediately. Doing this regularly for at least 5-6 months will get you better results. Consistency is the key here. So vacuum in ladies and gentlemen because thats the best bet we have to keep a tighter controlled waist and thus a defined mid-section.