Men and women of all ages are incorporating the Hypopressive technique into their workout programs to restore and maintain core health and improved sports performance. This form of training improves posture, flexibility, respiration, circulation — all critical to sports performance.
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"I’m obsessed with hypopressives. It’s become what I need to have the best pelvic floor functioning and what I crave when I’m stressed. After a full session, I actually have that feeling I used to get after runs of just feeling so relaxed and good. I love learning the new more detailed poses."
Conventional Core Training Increases Intra-Abdominal Pressure
Conventional abdominal and core training programs trend towards developing the abdominals for power and strength. Unfortunately this can lead to an increase of intra-abdominal pressure where by the exterior muscles (rectus abdominal, external and internals oblique abdominals) increase pressure, become overbearing and cause the deep core system to relax or give up under constant pressure. Imagine a tube of toothpaste that is under pressure, the preexisting weak spot or one that develops will eventually give way to the pressure and cause injury.
This constant pressure in women can cause a weakening of the pelvic floor where it is common to herniate through the vaginal canal (pelvic organ prolapse) or develop incontinence. Abdominal hernias (inguinal or abdominal hernia) and vertebral hernia are more common in men but can also develop in women.
Hypopressive Technique Is a Low-Pressure Form of Fitness
The Hypopressive technique is a form of fitness that recruits the deep support system of the core (pelvic floor, transverse abdominals, the deep muscles of the back, and the respiratory diaphragm). The unique breathing technique decreases pressure to the abdominal, thoracic and pelvic cavities. Instead of pushing our insides where they don't belong, a false inhale creates an upward suctioning, myofascial release and decongestion of organs from the pelvic cavity.
Constant recruitment of the outer abdominals can prevent the rib cage from expanding and collapsing to its full potential and prevent adequate respiration by holding the ribs in a downward position. This inability to breath properly can hinder adequate oxygen consumption resulting in poor endurance, speed, strength, posture and overall athletic performance. We need to breath as efficiently as possible in order to perform to our maximum potential. Maintaining the balance between our ability to inhale and exhale is key for top performers.
Hypopressive respiratory training incorporates the respiratory musculature in each pose which in turn achieves the correct rib expansion. This forced rib expansion helps to cause a diaphragmatic release for those in need while also improving the inspiratory muscle recruitment. In order for this all to come together with the correct breathing, Hypopressive cadence emphasis is also applied to the expiratory phase.
Posture and alignment play a critical role in our ability to excel as an athlete. Tension restrictions within our alignment inhibit our range of motion. This lack of flexibility and mobility will prevent us from generating power in a kick, swing, stride, throw, and stroke. Exercise and strength training techniques focus on the concentric contraction, shortening muscles, causing joint and posture compression. As we move through space we need to move with ease and control without being bound or restricted by shortened muscles and limited joint mobility.
Hypopressive posture training is about being open, creating space and decompressing joints. There is an overall balance created throughout our connective tissue known as fascia (an internal webbing that spreads and surrounds our internal being). Holding the poses with an active eccentric lengthening of the muscles forces us to rely and train our postural endurance, rather than contracting muscles and compressing joints to hold poses with muscles that are quick to fatigue and build for strength, power not posture.
Here Tom Meyers (who has nothing to do with Hypopressive training) gives a perfect explanation summing up how we are interconnected and that if there is an action in one area of the body we create a reaction somewhere else ... clearly emphasizing the importance of this form of postural training.