It is likely about core strength (trust me, i use that term as little as possible too and if i do, i REALLY mean it!)
Yes, the vaccuum pose works, but learning how to contract the TVA properly is vitally important for posture as well as this issue - plus avoiding injury as well as making you look more confident and even making your chest look more impressive! Bonus…
It is a natural girdle as most will know and is actually supposed to be in a semi-contracted state throughout the waking day. Due to the lazy lifestyle we live, soft couches, TV, cars, (all the fucking sitting down!) we slouch and we don’t tense a muscle.
Shit - by the standard of design, even those who don’t think they slouch - do.
It is a tricky muscle to learn to contract, one of the hardest - and it is even worse when you try to live like that.
However once you do master it, you will have a straight-er back, better breathing, look taller, slimmer, a bigger dick and a nicer car - it will also mean if you want to keep it contracted you may look like you have a stick up your arse… FYI.
Some of you may like having a stick up your arse, i don’t know, and it isn’t my place to judge… technically if you do, then learning to contract the TVA may allow an even BIGGER stick to be inserted into your rectum… so it is all good.
It isn’t a matter of just sucking the stomach in, or tensing the abs -
- Sucking (not just inhaling) in air.
- Breathing out sharply, - Retaining some of that air in the lungs (this is exactly what one does before a lift too of course - for the same reason as well!)
- As you breathe out, pull the stomach gently in and up
- A lecturer once told me to imagine a string is tied to your navel, and it is being pulled back towards your spine, and up. This is the direction the stomach will move.
- Importantly, the abs and stomach are NOT contracted. If you have contracted your abs - you may well have contracted your TVA but you wont be maintaining that too long!
Once you are ‘in position’ (if you are trying this for the first time you may ‘get’ it within minutes or you may not for a week) your stomach will be firm but NOT hard… technically the muscle behind those hot abs will be in a semi-contracted state and the abdominis rectus will not be.
If you look at Mike Mentzers front relaxed pose (any BB but i feel Mentzer displays it best - prolly due to his strength in the area) you can see he has contracted his TVA. His muscles are relaxed for the most part - but his chest is out, his Scapula spread, shoulders back - clearly this is a prerequisite for the pose BUt it is also the state of the posture when you contract the TVA.