Hypopressives are postural exercises that decrease intra-abdominal pressure, causing short, medium and long-term positive health effects at the postural, respiratory, vascular, metabolic and sexual level.
Hypopressives not only improve the muscles of the abdomen
The difference between a hypopressive and a classic abdominal is great, since the improvements that are achieved with hypopressives are more global. They are not only focused on the abdominal muscles.
The type of contraction that we look for in the abdominal and perineal muscles with hypopressives is, to a large extent, involuntary; so we achieve improvements in the basic tone of these muscles without thinking of contracting it.
Benefits of hypopressives:
— Serves as prevention of herniated discs, inguinals, umbilicals.
— In women to help prevent the descent of the pelvic organs.
— Reduces the abdominal perimeter
— Increases athletic performance.
— Prevents urinary incontinence.
— Improves sexual function.
— Improves posture.
— Regulates metabolic and oxidative factors.
— Increases and regulates vasculizing factors.
Hypopressive exercises are recommended in all types of people, since in the society in which we live with so much sedentary work, use of mobile phones and physical inactivity, it is necessary to reposition the body and make it strong in its natural position, with the spine well upright. Those postures with curved columns and forward heads, which are associated with so many pathologies and injuries, must be abandoned. This type of exercise is highly recommended for women who have been mothers, no matter how long it has been.
There is a population that is excluded from the practice of this technique: hypertensive people and pregnant women. However, patients with hypertension could work them with a physical therapist who specializes in hypopressive abdominal gymnastics.
There are three patterns: self-lengthening of the spine, activation of the serratus major muscle (scapular decoaptation), and anteposition of the axis (advancement of the center of gravity).
Self-lengthening is trying to grow as much as possible, make your spine stretch. Normally, when you ask someone for maximum self-lengthening, they tend to raise their forehead, and this would be wrong. It should grow from the crown of the head, leaving the chin inward (what we call “double chin”).
Decoaptation of the shoulder means contracting the serratus major muscle, which runs from the inner edge of the scapula to the first ribs. The way we use to contract it is to try to separate the scapulae from the spine and try to bring the shoulders closer to the front. We look for the prefix of the axis. That is, trying to advance your center of gravity.
When you are standing, your center of gravity should fall between your feet. You have to bring it to the tips (Michael Jackson style), but without lifting your heels off the ground. When these guidelines are well carried out, we perform a respiratory apnea to enhance the effects, but this apnea is useless if the posture is incorrect. It is not a technique that can be learned by watching videos on the internet, although there are also many.
Common mistakes are:
Thinking about apnea without paying attention to posture, which is what generates the hypopressive effect. Associate respiratory apnea with a diaphragmatic aspiration (very marked opening of the ribs that generates a depression at the abdominal level), “since if performing this gesture, the tone of the pelvic floor and abdomen muscles is actually decreasing. This is totally the opposite of what we are looking for in the hypopressive technique.