The Cat Vomit Exercise
From The 4-Hour Body
by Timothy Ferriss
This exercise is dedicated to my ex-girlfriend. I want only the best for you, Angelina Jolie.
Unless you purchase a corset at the same time, doing crunches will not pull your abdomen in. The muscle fibers of the six-pack (rectus abdominis) run vertically. The muscle you want to target instead is called the transverse abdominis (TVA), the deepest of the six main abdominal muscles, which is composed of fibers that run horizontally like a belt. The TVA is nicknamed the “corset muscle,” and if your abs have ever ached from laughing or coughing, you’ve felt it working.
Unfortunately, laughing repeatedly in the gym will get you a straitjacket or a plate to the head, so here is the alternative:
1. Get on all fours and keep your gaze focused either directly under your head or slightly in front of you. Don’t arch your back or strain your neck.
2. Forcefully exhale from your mouth until all air is fully expelled. Your abs should be contracted from this forceful exhale. Full exhalation is necessary to contract the transverse abdominals, and you’ll use gravity to provide resistance.
3. Hold your breath and pull your belly button upward toward your spine as hard as you can for a target of 8-12 seconds.
4. Inhale fully through your nose after the 8-12 second hold.
5. Take one breath cycle of rest (exhale slowly out the mouth, inhale slowly through the nose), then repeat the above for a total of 10 repetitions.
There you have it: the cat vomit exercise. Heave, groan, and be merry.