Quite commonly, many people who are trying to achieve six-pack abs become frustrated; one of the many reasons for this is because of not knowing which exercises actually work. The good news is that there is a wide variety of abs workouts that can be highly beneficial not only for the abdominal muscles, but also for the transverse abdominal muscle, also known as the ‘breathing muscle.’ Although it may seem obvious, the breathing muscle gets its name because of its function in assisting with exhalation and inhalation; it assists with bringing the rib cage closer and farther from the spine, hence pushing air out of and into the lungs.
One of the best type of abs workouts for the breathing muscle are known as ‘stomach vacuum exercises’, and although they are very effective for toning the abs and improving breathing capacity, many people are still unaware of them. Best of all, they have a lower respiratory demand when compared to aerobic style exercises, making the exercises perfect for anyone.
Here you will discover 4 ‘breathing muscle’ exercise variations. Before you begin, it is recommended to first find a quiet, distraction-free area on a mat or carpet as you will need to put much focus on your breathing.
Stomach Vacuum Exercises
The stomach vacuum exercise is effective for working the inner abs, but not the outer abs. The reason for this is because the inner abs are what contract to keep the stomach flat after exhaling. Here are the steps for performing this exercise.
- While on all fours, position yourself on the floor so your back is parallel to the floor. Exhale as much air as possible and contract and hold your stomach close to your spine for 10 seconds; make sure to maintain a parallel position throughout the entire process. This helps to tone the inner abs as you have to tighten the muscles.
- After holding for 10 seconds, inhale and release your stomach.
- Repeat for 8 to 12 times.
As this exercise allows you to focus on the breathing process, not only is it highly beneficial for toning the inner abs but it also helps with improving breathing habits.
- First you will need a chair in order to begin this exercise.
- After sitting on the char with a straight back, breathe in through your nose until your lungs are halfway full.
- Now after a few seconds, exhale through your nose while contracting your stomach towards your back.
- After fully exhaling, flex your abdominal muscles for 10 seconds.
- Repeat all steps 5 times.
Standing Pelvic Tilts
- With your feet apart at a comfortable distance and your knees slightly bent, stand in a firm position.
- First inhale deeply through your nose, and then fully exhale while contracting your stomach towards your back and slowly moving your hips frontwards.
- Repeat all steps 5 times.
When your abs begin to burn, you’ll know that you’re on the right track towards a leaner belly. At first, it may seem difficult to get results, but with enough persistence you will reach your goals; consistency is the key for dramatic improvements.