For the obliques and intercostals

This exercise works the entire side of the torso and can help give your waist a narrow look from the front.

  1. Lie on your side, supporting yourself on your elbow with your lower leg bent under for support.
  2. Keeping the upper leg straight, raise it slowly as high as it will go, then lower it again, but stop short of letting it touch the floor. Finish your reps with this leg, then turn onto your other side and repeat the movement. Don't move your hips at all during this movement.


For the obliques and intercostals

Lie on your side, supporting yourself on your elbow with your lower leg bent under for support. Bend the knee of your upper leg and raise it slowly toward your chest as high as you can, then lower it again, stopping short of touching the floor. Finish your reps with this, then turn and work the opposite leg.


For the obliques and intercostals

This exercise begins in the same position as Side Leg Raises. Here, though, you slowly move your upper leg forward as far as you can, keeping it straight throughout the movement. Finish your reps, and turn and work the opposite leg.


For the glutes

  1. Kneel with one leg on the end of a bench. Grip the bench with arms locked for support.
  2. Kick one leg back as high as you can, then bring it back down, not letting it quite touch the bench. Concentrate throughout the movement on flexing and contracting the buttocks. Complete your repetitions, then repeat using the other leg. (You can do this by kneeling on the floor, but it's slightly more complicated.


For the glutes

  1. Lie on your stomach, hands under your thighs. Raise your legs off the floor as far as possible.
  2. Move your feet apart a short distance, then bring them together and cross one over the other. (3) Move them apart and then cross them again with the opposite leg on top. Repeat, alternating legs continuously until you have completed your repetitions. Throughout the exercise, concentrate on feeling the contraction of the buttocks.


Being able to control your abdominal muscles to the point where you can hit and hold a full vacuum is becoming a lost art in bodybuilding. The vacuum pose is impressive on stage and creates a much smaller waistline by exaggerating the size and fullness of the chest and rib cage. And also helps to develop the abdominal definition and gives you total control of the abdominal muscles that help avoid letting your abs bulge the moment you relax and stop concentrating on them. Bodybuilders often forget under the pressure of competition that they are being watched the whole time they are onstage-even when they are standing at the back of the stage waiting for a comparison call-out. It would help if you never gave the judges the impression that you are tired, and keeping your abs from bulging and protruding is one way to assure you make the right impression. Nowadays, bodybuilders frequently have trouble hitting a vacuum because their abs get so massive-but the primary reason is that they don't practice hitting vacuums. Vacuum is not some tiring you can master in an hour. You have to practice regularly, just as you do any other kind of posing, for weeks or months until you develop complete control over these muscles. To practice vacuums, get down on your hands and knees, blow out all your breath, and suck in your abdominals as much as you can. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds, relax for a few moments, and then try it again two or three times. The next step is to practice your vacuum in a knee position. Kneel upright with your hands on your knees and try to hold the vacuum as long as you can. Doing a seated vacuum is more challenging still. But once you can grab a vacuum in a seated position without any problem, you will be able to practice holding a vacuum while standing and doing a variety of poses.

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