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How to Learn Frank Zane Vacuum Pose

If you’re here to learn Frank Zane vacuum pose, you’ve probably heard that he has the physique of a “Greek God,” so the first thing to do is to learn briefly about who Frank Zane is!

Who is Frank Zane?

Frank Zane is a former professional bodybuilder from America who is considered by many as one of the best bodybuilders of all time. He was recognized for his aesthetic physique, which blended muscle mass, symmetry, and definition, and he won the Mr. Olympia title three times, in 1977, 1978, and 1979.

Zane was recognized for his painstaking attention to detail when it came to training, eating, and posture, and he stressed the necessity of mental focus during workouts. He also wrote several books on bodybuilding and fitness, and his methods impacted many bodybuilders and fitness fans.

What is Vacuum Pose?

The “vacuum pose,” in which the abdominal muscles are flexed while the abdomen is pulled in toward the spine, is considered to be one of Zane’s signature poses. In this pose, a dramatic indentation is created in the waistline. This vacuum pose is one of the most difficult ones in bodybuilding since it takes a high degree of control over the abdominal muscles. Frank Zane was admired for his skill in hitting this vacuum pose, and he frequently included it in the posing routines he performed.

Frank Zane Vacuum

Vacuum Pose Benefits

  • Practicing vacuum pose strengthens your transverse abdominis. Strengthening the transverse abdominis has various benefits, including increased stability, aiding in load progression during resistance training, and making your belly muscles stronger internally and outwardly.
  • It’ll helps you achieve more mind muscle connection to your abdomen training sessions and helps in compound lifts such as deadlifts, squats, overhead presses, bench press, or any other standing exercise.
  • It can reduce your chance of back injury when carrying big loads because it strengthens your transverse abdominis.
  • It makes your waist appear smaller

Muscles Used in Vacuum Pose

When holding a vacuum pose, the primary muscle that is engaged is the transverse abdominis, which is the deep muscle that is located underneath your abs. When hitting a vacuum pose, the secondary muscles that are engaged are the diaphragm, the multifidus, and the internal obliques. To do vacuum pose, you must first train your transverse abdominis, which cannot be trained with normal crunches, leg raises, or twists.

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How to Train Transverse Abdominis

Before we begin strengthening the TVA (transverse abdominis) muscle, we need to first learn how to engage the transverse abdominis and create a connection with the muscle so that you have a better mind-muscle connection while performing transverse abdominis strengthening exercises.

Steps for engaging the transverse abdominis muscle

  • Lie supinated on your back with your knees bent.
  • Place your three fingers beneath your lumbar area of the spine and do a posterior pelvic tilt; the pressure applied by your body on your three fingers must stay at 40% throughout the engagement exercise.
  • Now, place your other three fingers on your hip bones or on the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS), and move the fingers upward until they align with your belly button.
  • Move the fingers inward 2 inches.
  • Now, inhale air and inflate your belly.
  • While exhaling, suck your belly as much as you can and attempt to hold it for 2-3 seconds before repeating.
  • As you inhale and exhale, make sure the 40% pressure on your fingers below the lumbar region remains the same.

How to Strengthen Transverse Abdominis

  • If you have completed the above Tva (transverse abdominis) engagement process, you can add progression by bringing your legs up in the air, establishing a 90-degree angle with your legs, and following the same breathing technique as described above.
  • Another progression is raising legs with knees bent and completing leg raises alternating where one leg stays up and the other goes down and vice versa while maintaining the above-mentioned breathing procedure constant.

Exercises to Strengthen the Transverse Abdominis

  • Dead bug
  • Bird dog
  • Plank
  • Side plank
  • One-arm plank
  • leg raises

After good strengthening training, you should always end your session with stretching and cooldowns. As stretching helps muscles relax and come into their own relaxed position, they must not grow in their contracted small position.

How to Stretch Transverse Abdominis

  • Cat and camel stretch: To do the cat and camel stretch, start on your hands and knees and alternate between arching your back and bending your spine while taking deep breaths.
  • Cobra stretch: To do the cobra stretch, lie on your back and lift your chest by pressing your hands into the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, and then let go slowly.
  • Lying knee roll over stretch: To do the laying knee roll over stretch, lay on your back with your knees bent and lower them to one side while keeping your shoulders on the ground. Hold for ten to fifteen seconds, then switch sides.
transverse abdominis stretch


Frank Zane is widely considered to be one of the most influential bodybuilders of all time and the originator of the vacuum pose. Vacuum pose is one of the most challenging bodybuilding poses, and we’ve never seen anyone else hit it as well as Frank Zane does.

Learning how to strike the vacuum pose successfully comes with its own set of advantages. You need to have an understanding of the muscles that are responsible for the vacuum position before you can learn it. The transverse abdominis muscle is the key muscle responsible for getting into basic position.

You will first need to learn how to engage your Tva (transverse abdominis), then you will need to strengthen it, then you will need to stretch it, and finally you will need to practice it consistently.


“23 Transverse Abdominis Exercises and Stretches to Strengthen the Inner Core.”

I have over 3 years of experience as an ACE and Ereps certified personal trainer. Furthermore, I work with Sigma Fitness and create fitness-related articles.

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