Heidi Powell's Hack for a Flat, 'Pooch-Free' Tummy Is Going to Change Your Abs Forever

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Have you tried every ab exercise known to man and still can't find that flat belly you've been working for? Fitness guru Heidi Powell is here to help. In an Instagram video shared on Tuesday, she showcased her go-to ab exercise to help with a small waistline, calling it her "flat belly hack" for a "pooch-free and tight waistline."

MORE: Heidi Powell Shares Her Own Before and After With a Brave Message for You

The Extreme Weight Loss coach and mom of four says the ab vacuum exercise targets ab muscles that are frequently ignored among most ab workouts: the transversus abdominus, ab muscles that are located underneath the "bricks" of a six-pack and help hold your tummy in tight.

LADIES, LISTEN UP!! LOTS of you asking about my ONE simple ab exercise responsible for a pooch-free and tight waistline after 4 babies! #nojoke 🙌🏼 So by request, I am reposting my #FlatBelly hack!! 👏🏼 This easy move focuses on the most neglected abdominal muscles - transversus abdominus - the muscles UNDER the “bricks” (rectus abdominus) that are responsible for holding in that belly bulge. We spend SO much time doing every variation of a crunch in hopes of a toned tummy…and while these are great for developing the bricks (outer ab muscles), you will ONLY notice a more distended waistline if you aren’t properly training the muscles UNDER the bricks. THESE are the muscles responsible for a small, tight waistline AND good posture. BONUS: this move has also been proven to help diastasis recti - a condition postpartum moms (including me) experience when their separated ab muscles never come back together. Watch the vid, or follow this simple HOW-TO: 1️⃣ Inhale, inflating your lungs completely. 2️⃣ Exhale, completely deflating your lungs. At the bottom of the exhale, HOLD and “draw in” your belly from the lower abs/belly button area. DO NOT SUCK IN. Instead act like a string is attached to the inside of your belly button, and is pulling in and up toward your spine. 3️⃣ HOLD the drawn in position (and your breath) and twist from side to side nice and slowly. 4️⃣ Do 5 sets of 20 twists (10 on each side) EVERY SINGLE DAY. When this becomes easy, perform up to 10 sets a day. NOTE: I saw someone comment on how this isn’t good to do everyday. FALSE…that’s like saying “good posture” isn’t okay to practice every single day. This move is not weight-bearing and promotes good posture … it DOES NOT build muscle mass! Just like we stretch our bodies and do our kegels every day (or we SHOULD), we should also be doing vacuums every SINGLE day. (lots of science to back this up, but I’ll spare you the details).

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"We spend SO much time doing every variation of a crunch in hopes of a toned tummy…and while [crunches] are great for developing the bricks (outer ab muscles), you will ONLY notice a more distended waistline if you aren’t properly training the muscles UNDER the bricks," Powell wrote in the caption. "THESE are the muscles responsible for a small, tight waistline AND good posture."

How to do an ab vacuum, according to Powell:

  1. Inhale, inflating your lungs completely.
  2. Exhale, completely deflating your lungs. At the bottom of the exhale, HOLD and “draw in” your belly from the lower abs/belly button area. DO NOT SUCK IN. Instead act like a string is attached to the inside of your belly button and is pulling in and up toward your spine.
  3. HOLD the drawn in position (and your breath) and twist from side to side nice and slowly.
  4. Do 5 sets of 20 twists (10 on each side) EVERY SINGLE DAY. When this becomes easy, perform up to 10 sets a day.

Powell says to add ab vacuums to your routine — for example, she does them every night or when she gets out of the shower. Not only do ab vacuums help hold your abs in nice and tight, but they also help with proper posture and core strength. You'll see benefits from these exercises in every workout you do!

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