What is Hypopressives – Low Pressure Fitness?
Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) is a training system aimed at postural and breathing reeducation. It utilizes breathing and hypopressive maneuvers together with myofascial and neurodynamic techniques to decrease pressure and body tension. The global approach of LPF puts the body in specific positions to target different areas and build the competency of the core as a unit in a progressive way.
What is a Hypopressive Maneuver?
During LPF sessions breathing is central, and thoracic (chest) expansion is emphasized. Breathing is performed in a rhythmical manner, which is followed by an apnea and false inhale. The false inhale, or hypopressive maneuver, is done by expanding the rib cage without taking air in. This creates a negative pressure and suction, which tractions the viscera upward and recruits the deep core muscles in an involuntary way. The repetition of this pattern helps to retrain and normalize the respiratory muscles and retrains the deep core unit to function synergistically.
What are the Benefits from Practicing LPF?
Whether you are a woman recovering postpartum, an athlete looking to improve athletic performance or an office worker looking for a stronger core LPF is a helpful strategy. This because it triggers the involuntary action of the deep core unit, which can not necessarily be targeted through traditional core exercises. Many tasks we do in everyday life are hyperpressive in nature, that is they increase the intra abdominal pressure. Examples could be coughing, sneezing, lifting something heavy or running. This combined with the constant pull of gravity creates downward pressure, that overtime can lead to an inability for the core, and specifically the pelvic floor, to function properly. This in turn can lead to conditions such as prolapse and hernias etc, as the pressure will always try to slip out through the weakest spots. Working on preventing this by decreasing the pressure can make the core more balanced and therefor better at handling and responding to hyperpressive activities. Working on breathing also helps to balance the sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system, which can help in managing stress levels and increase overall well being.