In many cases, the nostalgia for the good old times comes from justifiable, real reasons, and perhaps this is most true for the sport of bodybuilding. There is a good reason why a lot of modern bodybuilders are going back to the old but gold techniques of the old school pro’s. Their training styles gave spectacular results, but demanded a hardcore level of dedication and discipline, which many guys these days seem to lack, so they’re always looking for a shortcut. However, the art of bodybuilding includes perfecting of the body through the strengthening of the mind, which means that real and sustainable results cannot be achieved with magic potions and wishful thinking.
Once upon a time, in the Golden Era of this discipline, the focus wasn’t on building freakishly enormous muscles just for the sake of it but building an proportionately ripped body, the vacuum pose was a big thing. It was a part of the standard bodybuilding routine and when mastered, a guaranteed way to impress judges and audiences alike, as shown by Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbuduring, and Sergio Oliva their glorious competing days. In those days, you stood zero chance at a serious competition if you didn’t have an ideally tight waist to complement the broadness of the shoulders and lats. Sadly, this is not the case anymore and we often see top-level competitors with a distended midsection, most likely stemming from drug abuse.
The vacuum pose, however, is tremendously beneficial for achieving a smaller waist and improving your overall aesthetics. It involves an isometric contraction of the transversus abdominis, and practising it often enough will help you shrink your waistline and improve the performance of your abs in less time than any other exercise.
To perform it, you need to simultaneously expand your rib cage while blowing out all air from the lungs until you feel like your stomach is sticking to your spine. The result is a hollow below your ribs, creating the dramatic effect of a massive upper body on the top of an extremely tight abdominal column. It can be done in any position, including kneeling, seated and lying, but if you’re new to the pose, you should start practising it in a standing position, with hands placed on your hips.
We’re glad to see this classic move having a slow but significant comeback. To get a better glimpse of why the vacuum pose is a crucial exercise for extraordinary results, check out the video below – it chronicles the spectacular one-year vacuum pose progress of the guy behind The Hungarian Project:
Have you tried this pose? If you haven’t, would you consider giving it a shot? We’d love to hear your opinions on this one, so add your comments in the section below.