In this article I propose, on the one hand, to inform you of the benefits that carrying out this type of gymnastics entails and, on the other hand, to give you the knowledge so that you can lay the foundations for carrying out these excellent exercises.
What are hypopressive exercises?
Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics consists, as its name suggests, in generating hypopressure within our abdominal cavity. They encompass a series of techniques, which through different postures and movements and by means of a contraction of our diaphragm muscle in expiration (expiratory apnea) we literally manage to make a suction effect of our viscera, that is why the breathing process is important and the result is a negative pressure within the abdominal and pelvic cavity, this causes a reflex tonic reaction (a reflex muscular contraction) of the pelvic floor muscles and the abdominal girdle.
Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics What is it and what are its benefits?
Here is a video describing hypopressive techniques, the basic principles and the benefits they give us:
What benefits do we get with hypopressive abdominals?
The flaccidity and weakness of our abdominal girdle and pelvic floor muscles is a constant in our society, this flaccidity is what is behind multiple problems related to the woman’s genitourinary system (urinary incontinence, pain in the relationships, prolapses), with back problems (low back pain, lumbar rectification) and other aesthetic problems (swollen belly, abdominal flaccidity).
Through these exercises we achieve a “reprogramming” of the muscles of the abdominal girdle and the pelvic floor. In short, a large part of the benefits that we obtain, both therapeutic and aesthetic, are derived from this increase in muscle tone, which I describe below:
Improves the aesthetic appearance of the abdomen, eliminating the abdominal perimeter in a relatively short period of time
They are an excellent exercise to strengthen our abdominal girdle and get a flat stomach, it exercises above all the transverse and oblique muscles of the abdomen and not only the rectus abdominis, as the classic abdominals do, which is much more effective to reduce in a few weeks our abdominal perimeter. In addition, this toning is done without forcing or damaging our lumbar spine.
Improves urinary incontinence problems
By having a greater muscle tone, women can control their urinary control in a faster and more effective way. Reducing the possibility of losses and other derived problems such as repetitive urinary infections.
They are potentially beneficial exercises to improve sexual life
The pelvic floor muscles are closely related to both male and female sexual function, although due to the complexity of the female genitourinary system, the benefits are more evident in women, performance maintained over time can also have positive effects on the male sexual function.
Recovery and toning in the postpartum stage
When we go through a pregnancy, our body has to recover its normal state, it must re-adapt, our abdominal girdle must be re-toned, and our pelvic floor must adopt the same rigidity that it had before. It is very typical that residual flaccidity is established in many women after childbirth, both in the abdominal girdle and in the pelvic floor.
Sometimes many women notice a loss of tone of the vaginal muscles and urinary continence problems after childbirth. Through these exercises we will not only strengthen the abdominal girdle and we will have a toned and flat stomach, but, more importantly, our pelvic floor will be toned while maintaining the same functions that it had before pregnancy.
Improves the health of our back
The effect of suction and negative pressure that is generated within our abdominal cavity when performing these exercises, causes a traction effect on the intervertebral discs, this can have very powerful therapeutic effects on our back, always combined with other complementary exercises, they can become a great ally to treat multiple problems of our lumbar spine.
Improve our sports performance
The diaphragm is the main protagonist in this type of exercises, a greater body and diaphragmatic awareness is acquired through the use of breathing, performing these exercises on a regular basis, we obtain greater diaphragmatic, pulmonary and thoracic capacity; A flexible and toned diaphragm improves cardio-pulmonary performance, as a result it improves sports performance mainly in exercises where the aerobic component is important, such as swimming, athletics.
When can we not do Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics?
There are few contraindications for this type of exercise, but I do want to comment on them and make them clear so that no one has any problem when performing this exercise.
In people with high blood pressure, we must assess the convenience of performing these exercises, since performing expiratory apneas can be counterproductive in this type of person.
In pregnant women it is completely contraindicated. Therefore, it is not an exercise that should be done if a woman is having sexual intercourse with the aim of becoming pregnant or if for various reasons she intuits that she is pregnant.
However, I would like to make it clear that although it is not indicated for pregnant women, it is completely indicated for those fertile women who plan to become pregnant in a short period of time, therefore for far-sighted women who have in mind to have a baby sooner than afternoon, it is an excellent tool for training and preparing our body to face a satisfactory pregnancy and childbirth in the best physical conditions.
How is Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics performed?
This type of exercise has many more benefits than any type of conventional abdominal exercise will give you, but it also requires a much more complex learning than any classic abdominal exercise. As I commented at the beginning of the article, a correct diaphragmatic control is necessary for the correct performance and above all, an adequate technique is needed to achieve the most beneficial effect and that gives more added value to this type of gymnastics, which is toning of the pelvic floor.
Learn 3 hypopressive exercises to work your abdomen
I share a video where my colleague Nestor Serra explains how to perform three basic hypopressive exercises:
As you can see, hypopressive exercises or hypopressive abdominal gymnastics constitute a fantastic abdominal, postural, respiratory and muscular work technique with multiple benefits for our health, but like all good things. it has its price in the form of path, work and learning that must be done to achieve the objectives and results that this method can offer us. Get on with it!