T Nation

Vacuum or Flex During Squats?


So, I read this article just now, and it makes a lot of sense:


but I still do not understand whether Chek is suggesting that we "flex" the abs on the squat, or we do a "vacuum"... what does he mean by "sucking in stomach towards the navel"? I didn't find an article discussion for this article; anyway, are there any opposing articles to this one, so I could perhaps compare and contrast?



push out


Do the opposite of what Chek says.

Get a big belly of air and push your gut out as you squat.


Any particular article that could explain/support this technique... it feels more natural (tried it today), but I'd like to see some analysis behind it.


References: The weightroom.

You'll find that experience earned under the bar is far more valuable than any sciency, clinical studies. You tried it, you say it feels more natural.

Good. Then keep doing it.


Read this book.

Science and practice of strength training
by Zatsiorsky, Vladimir M., 1932-

It has a very good analysis of this.


He isn't talking about a vacuum, and the pulling in isn't the opposite of flexing your abs. What he's talking about is tensioning your transversus abdominis, and you do that at the same time you "flex" the rest of your abs.


I just posted a link to a Squat Rx video I did about breathing in a thread below. I talk about tensing the abdomen - I don't have "research", but you could read "The Naked Warrior" and "Power to the People" for great explanations of the role of breathing during exertion.


Ok, thanks for all the replys, again; I will check out all given material, and kind of "experiment" on myself... next month I have tons of squatting to do, so it should be an interesting one.