Stomach Vacuums Challenge [April]

stomach vacuums
Welcome to our Monthly Challenges

Did you know you subconsciously work harder when there’s an end date to your goals?

The shorter time frame keeps you actively putting effort in, particularly when it’s the end of the month.

Your Goal in April is: Learn Stomach Vacuums
The Challenge

A stomach vacuum is where you breathe all the air out of your lungs and then pull your stomach in without breathing in. It works the TVA, a deep stomach muscle.

I wrote an article on it having done the challenge myself, which can be read here.

Your challenge for April is to complete 8 holds every day, with each hold lasting around 8-10 seconds.

If you start a timer and do your first hold after 10 seconds then you can time your next vacuums as follows, allowing 20 seconds rest between holds: 00:10, 00:40, 01:10, 01:40, 02:10, 02:40, 03:10, 03:40.

Health Benefits

By doing 8 holds a day you will strengthen your core, which is active in nearly all exercises you do in the gym.

You should notice improved stability during movement, as well as a tighter waist and a better physique.

The increased activation allows for more effective ab training and for strength athletes you will find more stability in movements like the back squat.

stomach vacuums
Stomach vacuums: After exhaling, draw your belly button in to your spine


  • Do these on an empty stomach
  • Start off with a minute of belly breathing to warm up the stomach muscles
  • Break the eight holds up across each day. It’s best done before a meal or just before bed.
  • Check your form in the mirror. On the first few days you might not notice anything happening, as long as you feel yourself bring the stomach in then that’s okay.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a day off. The challenge is every day, but be sensible. If you feel very sore one day it’s fine to let your body recover and wait until the next day to keep going.

Thanks for reading this article. Please share this with anyone you think would be interested in giving stomach vacuums a try!

About Fraser_9to5 206 Articles
Site owner. I'm a graduate in Sports Science and have an MSc in Sports Biomechanics. I set up 9to5strength in 2015 as a resource for people interested in strength training, nutrition and fitness. I consider myself a fitness blogger and enjoy creating YouTube videos and trying out workout programs.