Hypopressive exercises are a modality that helps to work the abdominal muscles , a type of exercise that is based on the pressure and tension of this area, whose benefits in the short, medium and long term are at the postural, respiratory, vascular, metabolic level. and sexual. In fact, the Hypopressive Method was created in 1980 by Marcel Caufriez , Doctor of Motor Sciences and specialist in rehabilitation , whose research showed that traditional sit-ups can cause urinary incontinence problems or sexual dysfunctions due to excessive pressure.

Caufriez’s objective was to propose a physical activity in sports centers that would not cause damage to the pelvic floor . The hypopressive concept refers to the lack of intra-abdominal pressure and the exercises were initially designed for postpartum recovery . Even so, there is still not enough scientific evidence to validate all the benefits of this method. One of the existing studies indicates that there are some that are fulfilled, but others have not been able to be demonstrated.

Benefits of hypopressive exercises

Hypopressive Abdominal Gymnastics (GAH) has become an activity especially indicated for people suffering from back pain and during the postpartum period, but it is also recommended to shape the waist, tone the abdominal wall and increase respiratory resistance to fatigue. These are the main benefits attributed to it:

  • They prevent or reduce urinary incontinence and prolapses.
  •  They strengthen the back muscles and thus relieve pain.
  •  They reduce inches from the waist.
  •  They combat spinal deviations.
  •  They improve respiratory capacity thanks to their function as postural and respiratory exercises.
  •  They prevent the formation of hernias, as they promote decompression of the vertebrae.

How are hypopressive exercises done?

This type of sit-ups should be started slowly and it is best to consult a professional who indicates the type of exercises that suit the needs of each one. Posture and breathing are key in hypopressive gymnastics, since all the exercises are performed in respiratory apnea , that is, emptying the lungs of air. Thus, it must be a qualified professional who guides the posture and assesses whether they have to be done in apnea, since it is not recommended, for example, in the case of hypertensive people.

Steps to do hypopressive abs:

1. Inhale and fill the chest with air, release it completely and contract the abdomen. Hold in this position by contracting the abdominal muscles inward.

2. Hold this contraction for 10-20 seconds. Over time, you will increase the seconds, staying as long as possible without breathing.

3. Fill your lungs with air and relax your body completely to return to normal breathing.

To notice the results, the ideal is to do them 3 to 5 times a week for around 20 minutes . It is advisable not to do them after eating and start them gently and gradually increase the number of contractions. They can be carried out in different positions , these are some of the most common:

  •  Standing : the feet are kept parallel, the spine is elongated and the neck is also stretched, placing the chin in. The weight of the body falls on the balls of the feet.
  •  Sitting – It can be done on a chair or sitting on the floor with your legs bent or straight. It is important to maintain a fully upright position, so at first you can practice against a wall.
  •  In quadruped : it consists of getting on all fours, with the elbows slightly flexed and the hands separated about 20 cm. In this position, the trunk should be stretched and pushed forward. This exercise is ideal for relieving tension in the spine.
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