What is Hypopressives?
Hypopressives is a system of postures and breathing techniques that can be done at home with no equipment. The method cannot be learnt from a video due to its simple but very technical nature. You should only try to learn this from a qualified Hypopressives instructor.
What is Hypopressives?
The term ‘HYPOpressive’ refers to decrease or reduction in pressure, whereas most traditional exercises, including abdominal exercises are HYPERpressive – they increase internal pressure. Specifically, with Hypopressives we are referring to pressure related to the thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavities. What happens as a result of the internal pressure we are subjected to from, for example, gravity, everyday activities and physical training, depends entirely on an individual’s ability to handle that pressure.
But pressure will always find the weakest point and this can be the cause of medical conditions such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and hernias. If a woman has had a baby, they’re likely to have experienced those internal pressures on already weakened structures. Therefore, they’re more like to suffer from such conditions.
Hypopressive training re-programmes the core muscles, including the pelvic floor, which are vital in managing pressure consciously and sub-consciously. Typical pelvic floor and core exercises, such as Pilates, train conscious core control. But the core needs to be able, and is designed to, cope at a subconscious level. Typical pelvic floor and core exercise such as Pilates relies on conscious muscle contraction.
It’s all very well in a training environment where you are able to “brace” or “hollow” before physical activity. But what happens in daily life when, for example, you reach to pick up a heavy toddler who’s fallen over. Your focus is on your child and you are relying on your core at a sub-conscious level.
Doing Hypopressive exercises increases the resting tone and involuntary function of the core muscles. In other words, the core starts to work as it was designed to do. In order to learn Hypopressives individuals need expert instruction. The protocol is to train twice a week for 5 weeks where you learn all the technical aspects of the breathing and postures and you’re taught a 20-25 minute routine. The full re-programming of the core is then completed when you do that routine for 30 days in a row.
Hypopressives has many proven benefits which include:
- Reduces waist size and flattens the abdominal wall (average 8% reduction with no dietary changes – contrast to abdominal crunches that can dome the abdominal wall and make it look bigger)
- Increases abdominal and pelvic floor muscle tone ( average 58% )
- Prevention and treatment of incontinence, prolapse and hernias
- Increases explosive strength and anaerobic capacity for sports performance
- Raises metabolism (up to 15%)
- Improvement of sexual function & pleasure
- Improves posture (not just the ‘core’ part but also improves the upper back ‘stoop’ so many of us have)
- Activates the sympathetic nervous system – this means it is stimulating – a few Hypopressives can wake you up as much as a cup of coffee without the negative side effects (perfect for breastfeeding mums too)
- Strengthens the core deeply so you can withstand HYPERpressive activities without causing pelvic floor damage (so you can safely jump and skip and laugh away without using TENA lady!)
About UK Hypopressives
As fitness professionals we are always wary of any new “method” or form of training. Much of it that enters the fitness field is merely a fad or a new way to package a well-established form of training.
However, we are also always open to examining new and more effective ways to train our clients, especially those who have some kind of physical issue. With the population spending so much time sitting down these days, that means most of us!
So we came across Hypopressives with some scepticism but also with an open mind. Having received Fundamentals training we were highly impressed with both the theory and practice we’d received.
But the litmus test is always how our clients respond to what we throw at them.
The results that we have been getting with our clients using Hypopresssives have been outstanding. We have managed to eradicate incontinence issues, eliminate pelvic organ prolapse, reduce waist size, improve posture and core function in 100% of the people who’ve learnt the method with us.
In addition we’ve had unexpected results such as being able to get rid of the regular severe headaches one particular client had been suffering from for some time. Energy levels in all clients are also reported to be elevated.
So, what is this Hypopressives thing that everyone seems to be talking about and why didn’t you (or us) know about it sooner?!
Well this method has been around since the 1980s so it’s hardly new. It is, however, only really just entering the English speaking world now. It is part of hospital procedures and postpartum recovery protocols in Belgium where it was first discovered and studied by Dr Marcel Caufriez, and in Spain where it is now largely researched and developed.
Over 6000 therapists have been trained in the method and almost 2000 fitness professionals as well. Thankfully we now have trainers in English speaking countries so you are finally hearing about the method. Since it has been used for years by urinary-gynaecological physiotherapists to treat prolapses and incontinence it has a strong clinical background.
Much of the method’s research is in Spanish and English translations are slowly filtering through.
Our intention at UK Hypopressives is to help inform, educate and train the public and fitness professionals about Hypopressives. We are affiliated with, and guided by, Hipopresivo by Pinsach & Ria.
Hypopressives is such an effective treatment for so many physical issues that we can’t let it remain a secret for any longer!
Hypopressive is a term used to describe a decrease or reduction in pressure. So Hypopressives is a form of exercise that specifically targets the core, and other muscles, without damaging the abdominal wall or pelvic floor, by reducing pressure in those areas.
The problem with traditional exercises that are used to flatten the abdominals and create a great core, is that they generally promote an increase in pressure which can have a detrimental effect on the very areas you’re trying to improve.
But as Hypopressives reduce internal pressure, they are a safe and highly effective way to train the core, pelvic floor and postural muscles. In doing so they train your body to withstand any internal pressure issues associated with everyday life and exercise.
Think of them as the building blocks for any traditional training, such as running, or a fantastic stand-alone form of exercise with numerous benefits.
How Hypopressives Work
Hypopressives are very different to Pilates and Yoga! In fact, to most forms of abdominal training!
Hypopressives stimulate the nervous system and cause an involuntary contraction of the abdominals and pelvic floor. The breathing pattern, combined with a variety of postures with varying hand positions, creates a vacuum effect that has the abdominals and pelvic floor unconsciously brought in and upward without damaging force or pressure Hypopressives engages the tonic, slow twitch, muscle fibres that comprise 75–80% of the core. Traditional exercises work the fast twitch muscles that are only actually 3–4%, of the muscle fibres.
Once you have trained using Hypopressives, you simply continue with an ongoing maintenance programme. The muscle fibres then work continuously, even at rest, due to the fact that you have trained the involuntary system; much like getting fitter makes your heart beat more strongly all the time, so long as you keep a level of fitness up. This allows us to withstand the pressures of daily activities, creating a strong functional core which then work as a unit.
Hypopressives can help both women and men prevent and recover from prolapse & other pelvic floor dysfunctions (see one expert instructors stage 2 prolapse recovery story here:http://coresetfitness.com/testimonials/trista-zinn-personal-prolapse-story/). Hypopressives is a complete core strengthening technique that has wide ranging benefits for women and men alike, non-exercisers to high level elite athletes.
Is Hypopressives for you?
you suffer from a pelvic floor disorder such as incontinence, sexual dysfunction, or prolapse or would like to prevent such disorders you would like to correctly strengthen your core muscles without causing unwanted, problematic pressure to the pelvic floor.
- you would like to correctly strengthen your core muscles without causing unwanted, problematic pressure to the pelvic floor.
- you are interested in preparing your body for pregnancy
- you are ready to recover your pelvic floor strength after childbirth
- you aim to decrease waist size, improve posture, flatten abdominals, improve circulation or improve athletic performance
Hypopressives is not for those who are pregnant or have hypertension or an inguinal or umbilical hernia. If you fall into any of these categories, consider 121 Personal Training instead.
Proven Benefits of Hypopressives
- Reduces waist size and flattens the abdominal wall (average of 8%)
- Increases abdominal and pelvic floor muscle tone (average 58%)
- Prevents and treats incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and hernias
- Raises metabolism
- Improves posture, particularly of the posterior chain
- Aids in the improvement of sexual function
- Increases explosive strength and anaerobic capacity for sports performance
- Activates the sympathetic nervous system. This means that Hypopressives wake you up and make you alert; a much healthier alternative to caffeine!
We recognise that Hypopressives is new to most people. There are costs associated with getting trained; generally speaking, the longer the training the greater the cost. So, we have devised workshops which provide a basic theoretical and practical framework for people who want to dip their toes in the Hypopressive water but aren’t ready to commit to being fully trained. Consider them as the starting point for learning Hypopressives, whether you’re a member of the public or a fitness professional.
Contact Nikki or Richard
Please use our details on the contact page to get in touch if you are looking to learn Hypopressives or to teach it. Either Nikki or Richard will be happy to help.