Hypopressive exercises are a relatively new training technique that has become popular in recent years due to their numerous health benefits. These exercises focus on activating the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, and are performed with the help of breathing. In this blog post, we will explain what they are, their benefits and much more.
These exercises are based on a breathing technique that involves a deep breath followed by a full exhalation and a retention of air in the lungs. In addition, it is combined with a series of specific postures and muscle contractions that activate the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals.
Unlike other traditional abdominal exercises, hypopressive exercises focus on reducing intra-abdominal pressure, rather than increasing it. This means that the abdominal muscles contract inwards rather than outwards, which can have significant health benefits.
What are the benefits?
Hypopressive exercises offer a number of health benefits. Here are some of the most common ones.
Firstly, doing these exercises can help correct posture and improve body alignment. This is because they strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals, which in turn can help reduce lower back pain. They can also help improve joint flexibility and range of motion.
In addition, they are very effective in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, which can help prevent and treat urinary incontinence and other related problems. By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, it can also improve sexual function and sensitivity during intercourse.
Finally, the breathing technique used can improve lung capacity and breathing efficiency.
How can you incorporate them into your patient’s routine?
Here are some guidelines for performing hypopressive exercises with your patients:
Before starting any exercise programme, it is important that you assess your patient to make sure there are no health problems that might contraindicate its practice. It is especially important to check the health of the pelvic floor, spine, breathing, blood pressure and any other aspect that may affect their safety.
After assessing him you should teach him the breathing technique as this technique is the basis of these exercises. Therefore, it is important that you teach your patient how to perform the correct breathing, it is important to make sure that the patient fully understands how to perform the breathing before you start exercising.
Once the patient knows how to breathe correctly, you will need to teach them the different postures that are used, and it is important that you teach your patient how to perform each one correctly. In addition, you must ensure that they maintain correct posture throughout the exercise, that there is no strain on the neck or shoulders, and that the patient starts with simpler exercises and then progresses to more advanced ones as their strength and technique improves.
Finally, as the patient progresses it is paramount to assess their progress and make adjustments where necessary. Make sure the patient feels comfortable and confident at every stage of the process.
Exercises to work with your patients
Here are some examples of exercises that you can include in your patient’s training programme:
- We will start with the cow pose. To perform it, the patient should stand with the legs slightly apart and the hands on the hips. Then, inhale deeply and exhale slowly while gently bending the spine forward, as if trying to touch the toes. Then inhale and return to the starting position. It is recommended to repeat the exercise several times.
- Another posture is the warrior’s pose. Here the patient should stand with one leg forward and the other leg back, hands on hips. The patient should then inhale deeply and exhale slowly while gently bending the back forward and twisting the torso towards the forward leg. Then inhale and return to the position you were in at the beginning. It is advisable to repeat the process several times, then change legs.
- The next exercise is the cobra pose. For this exercise, the patient should lie on his stomach with his hands under his shoulders and his elbows close to his body. The patient should then inhale deeply and exhale slowly while lifting the torso off the floor, keeping the legs and hips flat on the floor. Then inhale and return to the starting position. You are advised to repeat the exercise several times.
- Then we have the chair pose. In this exercise, the patient should stand with his legs together and his hands on his hips. Then, he should inhale deeply and exhale slowly while gently curving the spine forward and lowering the body as if he were sitting in an invisible chair. Then inhale and return to the starting position. The patient can repeat the exercise several times.
- Afterwards, the patient can also perform the plank posture. For this, the patient should lie on his or her stomach, resting the forearms and the tips of the feet on the floor. The elbows should be under the shoulders and the body should be in a straight line from head to toe. You should then hold this position for several seconds while deep diaphragmatic breathing is performed.
- The last one is the inverted warrior pose. This is similar to the warrior’s pose in that the patient should also be standing, with one leg forward and one leg back, but instead of turning the torso towards the forward leg, the torso is turned towards the back leg. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly while gently curving the spine forward and twisting the torso. Then inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat several times and change legs.
In conclusion, hypopressive exercises can be an effective technique for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and deep abdominals. However, it is important that they are performed correctly and under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist to ensure patient safety and success.