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.
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 once a week for 6 weeks where you learn all the technical aspects of the breathing and postures and you’re taught a15-20 minute routine.
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. Hypopressives is a complete core strengthening technique that has wide ranging benefits for women and men alike, non-exercisers to high level elite athletes.
If 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.
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.