The Hypopressive Method – How does it work?

The Hypopressive Method was first discovered in Spain by Marcel Caufriez in 1984 while studying urogynecological postpartum recovery. The method has been developed since then and is widely used in Spain and across Europe by physiotherapists, Pilates instructors & physical trainers teaching core and pelvic floor re-programming. The Hypopressive Method was first taught in the UK in 2012.

“Hypopressive exercises are done in postures that reduce intra-abdominal pressure and stimulate a reflex contraction of the pelvic floor and core muscles”. 

The problem with traditional abdominal and core exercises is that they generally promote an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. 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, she’s likely to have experienced those internal pressures on already weakened structures so she’s more likely to suffer from such conditions. Hypopressives re-programmes the core muscles, including the pelvic floor, which are vital in managing pressure consciously and sub-consciously.

As Hypopressive exercises reduce internal pressure, they are a safe and highly effective way to train the core, pelvic floor and postural muscles. In doing so they train your body to withstand any internal pressure issues associated with everyday life and exercise.

You can think of them as the building blocks for any traditional training, such as running, resistance work etc. or as a fantastic stand-alone form of exercise with numerous benefits.

Learning Hypopressive breathing, which is an apnea breath, is fairly technical and should only be done with a qualified instructor.

If you are interested in learning Hypopressives it goes like this……

The client is booked in for two x 2-hour sessions about a 7 to 10 days apart in order to fill in a health appraisal form, assess current muscular tone, posture, blood pressure etc. and learn the breathing technique and postures.

The client is usually competent to practice the Hypopressive exercises on their own after these two initial sessions. She/he then practices the Hypopressive routine every day for the following 30 days to recondition the core muscles; this routine takes about 20 – 25 minutes to complete.

At the end of the 30-day reconditioning phase, we arrange to meet again for another session to repeat the assessment tests that we did in the initial session and discuss a maintenance plan for on-going practice.

It is important to understand that the Hypopressive Method is NOT a quick fix! It is similar to going to a Physiotherapist to receive treatment for an injury, you receive treatment and are usually asked to do some regular exercises to aid your recovery. If you do not do these prescribed exercises regularly, it is unlikely that you achieve the results you hoped for.

The Hypopressive Method might not be a quick fix but it’s a very good way of avoiding the surgeon’s knife, preventing and treating medical conditions and looking after your inner core muscles in the best way I know!