The hypopressive work is a slope specially designed to work the abdominals in a different way, it is able to reduce the waist, strengthen the deepest area and improve the pelvic floor among many other benefits
What does the hypopressive exercise consist of??
Hypopressive exercise consists of training based mainly on isometric contraction of the deep abdominal muscles, in which there is muscle tension but no movement, breathing techniques are applied and it involves postural re-education.
What benefits does the hypopressive method have?
- Strengthen the pelvic floor: At any time in life it is advisable to work on the pelvic floor, but it becomes especially important after the changes experienced during pregnancy.
- Reduction of the waist: In addition to toning the abdominals, the work that falls on the deeper muscles can lead to a reduction of the waist, both in decreasing fat and in forming a more compact area.
- Prevents urinary incontinence: As published in the British Journal of Sport Medicine (BJSM), there is evidence that this type of exercise strengthens the pelvic floor, thus better keeping the organs in place and preventing urine loss.
- Improve back pain: To do hypopressives, it is not only necessary to tighten the abdomen, but we have to place correctly the shoulders, lumbar zone, legs, back…
The effect of suction and negative pressure generated within the abdominal area causes a traction effect on the intervertebral discs, which can have a very powerful therapeutic effect, provided it is combined with other exercises that complement it.
- It can have an impact on the relief of dysmenorrhoea or pain during menstruation: In the publication “Primary Dysmenorrhoea and Physiotherapy” (2005), hypopressives are indicated as therapeutic measures.
- Reduces diastasis of the rectus abdominis in women after childbirth: As it tones up the deep muscles but without putting excessive pressure on the abdominal contents, it also reduces the risk of prolapse.
The secret of hypopressive abdominals
Of course, the hypopressives themselves are not magic, they do a job of control and stability, but they need the conventional abdominals to do a really complete workout, and without other complementary exercises the back pathologies do not disappear and without the appropriate diet the fatty tissue is not reduced.
The apnea carried out in this type of exercise has nothing to do with training at altitude, it is not the same to train in apnea as with oxygen reduction, therefore, your O2 transport reserves are not going to improve .
“There is not a single study that shows that with hypopressives there is a theoretical or real improvement in performance,” admits Jorge Garcia, PhD, professor at UNIR
Although the publication in the “BJSM” focused on pelvic floor dysfunctions, its author acknowledges that “there is also no evidence that hypopressives improve sports performance, nor are they better or less harmful than traditional abs, as sold by those who promote and make money from this practice.
How to do hypopressive abs
The recommendation is that we dedicate between 15 and 20 minutes complementary to the rest of the global routine. It is important to evolve the exercises as the person’s fitness increases.
The breathing technique is the so-called Uddiyana Bandha in yoga and it was already performed thousands of years ago with energetic purposes, mobilisation of viscera, muscle strengthening, etc. Here is a video to observe how it is done:
When the gut is inserted inwards, the viscera rises upwards driven by the suction force
Before the arrival of the hypopressives boom, this technique was popularised in the 70s and 80s with the rise bodybuilding, which allowed them to show a very narrow waist to better appreciate the anterior serratus and the dorsal
Hypopressive abdominals – Exercise Table
- Elongation on the back: where the abdomen is kept active, trying to project the navel towards the floor and the arms stretched out over the head. This would be the beginning and then the legs would be stretched out completely so that the lumbar zone continues to be in contact with the floor.
- Sitting on our legs: we reproduce the abdominal pressure, if you don’t have good body awareness you can touch yourself as in the picture to check that you are really activating the abdomen as it should.
- With the buttocks resting on the ground: do this repeatedly.
- Starting from the quadrupedal posture: curve the back and lumbar area in such a way that if we look from the floor to the abdomen it is completely absorbed inwards.
When not to do hypopressive abdominals?
A health professional should tailor each training session to the person, but there are certain situations where this would be particularly contraindicated.
- In case of intestinal inflammations or any specific abdominal or spinal injury.
- In the case of pregnant women it is totally discouraged. It would be necessary to do a job in a very limited, concrete and completely different way.
- We must observe the hypertensive people as with any other activity that involves them performing respiratory apneas and a lot of pressure.
- Rial. T, Sousa, L, García E, Pinsach P (2014) Immediate effects of one sesión of hypopresivve exercises in different body parameters. Revista cuestiones de fisioterapia.
- García Hurtado, B. (2005) Primary dysmenorrhea and physical therapy. Fisioterapia.
- Monserrat Espuña y Oriol Porta “Manual de anatomía funcional y quirúrgica del suelo pélvico” Editorial: Marce Medica books
- Piti Pinsach y Tamara Rial “Ejercicios hipopresivos (Psicología y salud)” 2015
- Mateo López Vera “Ejercicios Hipopresivos, explicados paso a paso, con imágenes”