- Do you want to treat or prevent urinary incontinence?
- Do you want to treat or prevent hernias (inguinal, umbilical, disk)?
- Do you want to treat or prevent organ prolapse (uterine, bladder, rectum)?
- Do you want to have less pelvic congestion and more pelvic blood circulation and thus better sexual function?
- Do you want to tone the abdominals and reduce waist size?
- Do you want to normalize posture and muscle tensions?
- Do you want to recover your core after having a baby?
If any of those sounds like desirable outcomes for you or your clients hypopresive techniques are the answer.
Now available at self pased online courses for you to learn the basic exercises in the comfort of your own home.
These techniques although still not well known in the English speaking world have been used for over 2 decades in Europe as a sophisticated techniques for fitness, physical therapy treatments for functional pathologies (urinary, digestive, and vascular), preventative methods, birth facilitation, and performance enhancement.
Benefits of hypopresives include:
- Reduction of waist size and flattening the abdominal wall (average 8% reduction)
- Increase in abdominal and pelvic floor muscle tone (average 58% increase)
- Decrease in pelvic congestion
- Static and biomechanic normalization of the pelvic viscera
- Prevention and treatment of incontinence and prolapses
- Improvements in sexual sensations and ability to orgasm
- Normalization of posture (especially posterior chain)
- Improvements in vascularization of the lower limbs
Hypopresive exercises are done in postures that reduce intra-abdominal pressure and stimulate an REFLEX contraction of the pelvic floor and core muscles. This is the key difference between hypopresive exercises and any other exercise program for the core. All other programs (pilates, core stability, etc.) use VOLUNTARY contractions.
The pelvic floor is mostly made up of type I (tonic/involuntary) fibers responsible for the tone of the pelvic floor. Only a small percent is type II(voluntary) thus most of our exercises for the core should stimulate these fibers through involuntary contractions.
The same applies to the abdominals. About 75% of the abdominal muscles are made up of type I fibers, thus, the majority of our exercises for the abdominal wall should be using exercises, such as hypopresives, to achieve reflex contractions.
What becomes important is doing all this in a proper sequence. It is essential that the proper programming of the involuntary function of the core be established first before adding training for the voluntary function. In other words, the tonic tone of the core needs to be reprogrammed first before moving on to exercises for the phasic muscle fibers. This is because due to neural co-activation of the muscle fibers in these areas, the more hyperpresive exercises are done for the voluntary muscle fibers, the further the involuntary fibers will be deactivated.
This was demonstrated in a study in 2007 by Caufriez. The subjects performed traditional abdominal exercises (stimulating type II fibers) during six weeks. The results showed that this caused the base tone (involuntary function) of the pelvic floor to decrease by 32.7%. Therefore, not only are typical abdominal exercises ineffective, they actually cause pelvic floor and core base tone weakness. Base tone weakness is directly related to incontinence and prolapses as generally all women with urinary incontinence have poor pelvic floor muscle tone while only about half have poor pelvic floor muscle strength.