Category Archives: abs

Inside Out – Vacuuming your Way to better Health and Powerful Abs

If you’ve read the two previous Inside Out articles you’ll have learnt how controlling the breath can help you both mentally and physically in the pursuit of a better you.
I wish to add to that now with one of the most beneficial abdominal exercises available.

It fits the Inside Out concept because this drill requires you to control the breath, in fact if you use the “Power Breathing” described in part I, it becomes an extremely tough exercise.
It also trains the Abs quite literally from the inside out, it is one of the few exercises that directly works the Transverse Abdominis, the bodies natural girdle.

One other benefit, and the reason it is used by Yogi’s and martial arts masters alike is the internal massage you get while performing the drill. For beginners to the exercise, don’t be surprised if you get some bowel action soon after training.

So, enough yapping, what actually is the drill?

It’s called the vacuum. Why this name? That will become clear in a moment.

It is best to learn this drill standing for the moment, but at a later stage you may perform it seated, or even lying down.
Here’s the breakdown:
1- Take a deep breath
2- Exhale this breath entirely until there is nothing in the lungs
3- WITHOUT inhaling, maximally expand the rib cage
4- Hold for a second or more
5- Relax and inhale
6- Take a full breath (in and out) before repeating from no 1

It is important that you do not inhale as you expand the chest. Think about sticking the chest as far forward as you possibly can.
As you have no air in the lungs, they will have shrunk in size. In normal breathing, expanding the chest will create a vacuum, the lungs will draw in air as they expand to fill this vacuum.
By not allowing air to enter the lungs, they are unable to expand, something else must move to fill the void. That some thing else is your abdomen.

The vacuum formed by expanding the chest will draw the diaphragm upwards, this will in turn pull the abdominal walls inwards, the waist will shrink to almost nothing, the organs will be compressed and lifted upwards.
This compression of the organs will stimulate them, massage them. As mentioned earlier this may stimulate the bowels into action.

You must try to remain relaxed as you perform the drill, it is done by air pressure, not muscular action.
Here’s how the early 1900 strongman Maxick describes it in his book Muscle Control:

“Complete Relaxation of the Abdominal Wall
Before any of the exercises of abdominal control can be successfully mastered, complete
relaxation of the abdominal muscles must be secured.
A body pose should be sought wherein all strain is removed from the abdominal muscles (Fig.
15).
When there is proper relaxation, the muscle will offer no resistance to the touch. Feel the
muscles, and alter the balance of the body until all the muscles are quite soft.


Fig. 16 – The Vacuum

Depression of the Abdominal Wall
This is affected entirely by external atmospherical pressure ; and this exercise is the key to the
control, double, and one-sided abdominal isolations.
Deflate the lungs, and then thrust the chest forward (but not upwards), as shown in Fig. 16. If
the abdominal muscles are properly relaxed, the atmospheric pressure from without will push them
back in the manner shown in Fig. 16, the lungs being empty, and the chest thrust forward.
There must he no abdominal muscular effort to effect this. It is repeated that they must be in a
state of complete relaxation, offering no assistance on their own account, and no resistance to the
external atmospheric pressure.
If the chest be lifted Upwards, the abdominal muscles will not have sufficient play to be pressed
inwards.”

Maxick was a huge proponent of isometric training or “Muscle Control” and was well know for having great strength despite his small size, often outlifitng much larger competitors.

Bodybuilders can often be seen performing the Vacuum in their pose downs, although I prefer the real world applications of improved organ health, core strength and body control.
Working this drill will increase total core strength, quite literally from the inside out leading to increased stiffness when striking or lifting and durability when taking a hit.
It will go a long way towards alleviating nagging back pain and can enhance the health and function of the internal organs.
Not bad for a simple, almost forgotten, do anywhere drill.

Give it a go, your abs’ll be sore in ways you never felt before.

Regards

Wild Geese

Doce Pares Ireland / Kenpo Karate / Self Protection / Security Training
http://www.wildgeesema.com
http://noequipment.blogspot.com
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The Next Level of Core Support

Since I got a copy of Jim Smiths recent book “Combat Core”
i’ve been posting articles and informatin that he’s been kind enough to send through to me.

Jim is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and an expert trainer who writes for Men’s Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff etc, he has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels and is on of the founding members of a group of lunatics collectivley known as the Diesel Crew.
He has published many articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites and also the authored of three renowned strength manuals.

I’ve just posted his latest article, The Next Level of Core Support – Dynamic Planks, on my WG-Fit.com site. In it Jim takes one of those useless mini trampoline things and turns it into an instrument of torture.

Have a look if you dare……

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Brutal Wall Walking for Serious Power

By Jim Smith, CSCS
http://wildgeese.dieselcrew.hop.clickbank.net/

Hand balancing and other gymnastic movements were used by the old-time strongmen such as Eugen Sandow, Otto Arco and Sig Klein. As you know, these physical culturalists had some of the strongest and most ripped abdominals ever displayed. In fact, some of their feats of strength have yet to be equaled. What most don’t realize is that these men used gymnastics and simple bodyweight movements to build their insane strength.

A movement that I utilize with my wrestlers and combat athletes is wall walking. It is one segment of the full execution of walking on your hands. The full version of walking on your hands takes a while to really get the hang of, so working the same musculature but with a more rudimentary movement is easy and quicker to implement.

Wall walking involves having the athlete setup in a hand stand position against a wall. From there, they will walk their hands out until their body is parallel to the ground. To complete the movement, they begin walking their feet back up, returning to the starting position close to the wall. That is one rep. Continue walking out and walking back up the wall for the desired volume or until the athlete collapses!

Building huge upper body strength, elite levels of torso strength and helping to regulate breathing, wall walking will without a doubt provide your athletes with a truly brutal exercise that will have them crushing their opponents.

About the Author
Jim Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and an expert trainer who writes for Men’s Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff. Jim has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels. He has published articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites. He is also the authored of three renowned strength manuals. For more innovative training solutions, visit
http://wildgeese.dieselcrew.hop.clickbank.net/.

For real core strength, check out:

http://wildgeese.dieselcrew.hop.clickbank.net/

Wild Geese
any cause but our own

Interview With Jim Smith, CSCS – Author of Combat Core

By line: By Dave Hedges
www.CombatCoreStrength.com.

Wild Geese are always on the lookout for new, updated informatio not just in the martial arts but also the fitness industry. When looking at fitness training we look from the stand point of a fighter and martial artist, in other words no BS, effecient, effective training with real, functional results.
I recently had a chance to sit down with Jim Smith, CSCS of the Diesel Crew and the author of Combat Core. I was able to get the low down on his new product and talk to him about what “real” core strength is all about.

[DH] Question: Jim, First off, thanks for the interview. What do you think is the biggest mistake most trainers make when trying to develop core strength?

[JS] Most trainers focus on what I have dubbed building strength of movement patterns. What they fail to realize is that this is only one piece of the total puzzle. Building strength in the gym with movements like leg lifts, sit-ups, reverse sit-ups and so on…is a compliment to a bigger, more comprehensive core strength program. There are other criteria that make up the rest of the pyramid that I have established in Combat Core

[DH] Question: What, in your opinion, is the biggest myth concerning abdominal programs?

[JS] For trainers, I would point to my previous response. For the general public and even athletes, I would say that they believe that “more is better.” They believe, if they do 1000 crunches each workout, they will get ripped abs. Of course, the real answer is that being able to display a sick set of abs is the direct result of low body fat levels. If you want abs, you better get the fat off that is covering them.

[DH] Question: How does core strength affect back pain and posture?

[JS] Your abdominals and back musculature work together to stabilize and protect the spine, hips and pelvis. If any of these muscle groups (and surrounding structures) are weak, posture is affected and sometimes the muscles (groups) become inhibited which causes the secondary movers to become overactive or on-tension. This will inevitably lead to injury and poor performance. Building torso strength by incorporating compound exercises that activate many muscle groups at the same time, teaches the lifter or athlete to move their body as a single, coordinated unit. Isolated exercises tend to lead to imbalances if used too much.

[DH] Question: How has your abdominal training strategies changed over the years?

[JS] I used to think that by throwing in a couple sets of sit-ups or leg raises at the end of the workout was enough torso strengthening work. But over the years as I have gained experience and continued to study performance, I have developed a new, more comprehensive training model specific to athletes. The same attention and effort that you put in to planning your primary training sessions, you must also spend on designing your core training strategies.

About the Author
Jim Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist who writes for Men’s Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff. Jim has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels. He has published articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites. He is also the authored of three renowned strength manuals. For more innovative training solutions, visit www.CombatCoreStrength.com. .

For real core strength, check out:
www.CombatCoreStrength.com.