Hypopressives, also known as hypopressive exercises or low-pressure fitness, is a type of exercise method developed by Dr. Marcel Caufriez, a Belgian gynecologist, in the 1980s. Unlike traditional exercises that focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through contraction, hypopressives aim to restore and enhance pelvic health by utilizing a combination of postural adjustments, breathing techniques, and specific body movements.
How do Hypopressives work?
Hypopressives work by creating a vacuum effect within the abdominal and pelvic cavity, which helps to activate and tone the deep core muscles, including the pelvic floor. The technique involves a series of postures and controlled breathing patterns that engage the diaphragm, deep abdominals, and other stabilizing muscles. By incorporating this integrated approach, hypopressives offer a comprehensive solution for improving pelvic health
What are the benefits of hypopressives?
Strengthening the Pelvic Floor: Hypopressives target the deep muscles of the pelvic floor, providing a gentle yet effective way to enhance their strength and function. Regular practice can help symptoms of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Improving Posture and Core Stability: The postural adjustments and muscle activation techniques involved in hypopressives contribute to improved overall posture and core stability. By strengthening the deep core muscles, it can also help reduce back pain and improve spinal alignment.
Enhancing Sexual Health: Hypopressives can positively impact sexual health by increasing blood flow to the pelvic region, improving sensation, and enhancing orgasmic potential. It can also address issues such as vaginismus, a condition characterized by involuntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that can interfere with sexual intercourse.
Who are hypopressives suitable for?
Postpartum Women: Pregnancy and childbirth can significantly impact pelvic health. Hypopressives offer a safe and effective way to restore pelvic floor strength and tone after giving birth, reducing the risk of issues like stress urinary incontinence.
Individuals with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Hypopressives can be beneficial for those experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, or pelvic pain. It provides a holistic approach to improve symptoms and enhance overall pelvic health.
Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: Hypopressives can be incorporated into fitness routines to enhance core strength, stability, and athletic performance. It complements other exercise modalities, offering a well-rounded approach to fitness.
Aging Individuals: As we age, the pelvic floor muscles naturally weaken. Hypopressives can help slow down this process, improve continence, and promote better pelvic health in older adults.
Hypopressives can be a super useful tool in helping improve your pelvic health. Especially if you feel you’ve done kegels but are still experiencing symptoms. It’s also worth pointing out that pelvic floor symptoms, especially when it comes to leaking, prolapse, and pelvic pain can be down to a number of factors outside of the pelvic floor. Hypopressives can form a part of your pelvic health (and overall health) toolkit.
If you’d like more information on Hypopressives, send me an email. I am super excited to be offering these from September 2023 as part of my personal training or as stand alone hypopressive sessions.