In one word, YES!
Hypopressives can benefit you whether you’ve been pregnant or not.
In fact, these posture and breathing exercises benefit anyone with a pelvic floor.
Hypopressive abdominal exercises were designed to rehabilitate the core & pelvic floor. And they can accomplish this regardless of age, gender, or pregnancy status.
Yet, the conversation around Hypopressives is generally focused on postpartum women. This leaves women who’ve never been pregnant left out – and I want to help change that.
Therefore, the intention of this blog is to educate everyone on the inclusive nature of Hypopressive exercises.
Who’s ready to discover the juiciness of this amazing technique?
Let’s do it!
What are hypopressive abdominal exercises, exactly?
Since you clicked to read this blog, then it’s likely you’ve heard the word, “Hypopressives”.
These exercises are also used in the context of Hypopressive exercise, Hypopressive workout, Hypopressive training, Hypopressive techniques, Hypopressive breathing exercises, etc.
When any type of exercise has many names, it can also imply that the exercise has many benefits. Luckily, this is the case with Hypopressives.
The reason being?
This technique is multi-faceted.
They work on improving postural alignment, breathwork to improve lung capacity, activating myofascial slings, and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, to name a few.
That was a lot of scientific jargon, so let me break it down into more digestible and relevant pieces.
The many benefits of Hypopressives
As you’ll see in this list, the benefits of Hypopressive exercises go far beyond the needs of pregnant women and postpartum mothers.
- Improves posture, which decreases bodily discomfort
- Decreases pain, tension, and tightness in the body
- Boosts lung capacity for improved athletic performance & better everyday health
- Reduces nerve pain & spasms
- Decreases stress & anxiety
- Minimizes risk of injury
- Promotes healthy circulation & blood flow
- Aids in the healing of pelvic organ prolapse & urinary/fecal incontinence
- Helps with sleep issues or disorders
- Prevents hernia
- Improves libido & sexual energy
- Reduces constipation & hemorrhoids
- Alleviates swollen legs
- Prevents muscle & bone injuries
- Aids in weight loss & firms the waistline
Now that we’ve covered the many benefits of Hypopressives, let’s talk about why people need them in the first place.
Or said differently, what types of events or scenarios can happen to create core and pelvic floor conditions?
How do core & pelvic floor issues arise (besides pregnancy)?
Women (and men) experience pelvic floor issues at any time in their life.
This can include conditions such as a prolapsed organ (bladder, rectum, uterus), urinary or fecal incontinence (leakage), heaviness, pain, bloating, and much more.
These types of pelvic floor symptoms can occur for the following reasons.
- Bad posture – such as a hunched back, shoulders that are close to the ears, feet that are in a V-shape when standing, etc. This can cause scarring and adhesions in your fascia.
- Restricted breathing – when you take short, shallow breaths through your chest this can create excess pressure, which can get pushed downwards into your pelvic floor.
- Abdominal or pelvic surgery – Surgeries are known to create scarring, whether it’s a big cut or a small incision. Scarring impacts the connective tissue or fascia in your body which is one of the root causes of pelvic floor dysfunction.
- Abdominal or pelvic injuries – An injury to these regions of your body can impact your fascia, leading to uncomfortable symptoms either right away, or later down the road.
- Traumas (physical, emotional, or sexual) – Any type of trauma has a major impact on the health of the body, given the physiological response that occurs at the time the trauma occurs. We go into the fight, flight, or freeze response, and the memory of that trauma stays trapped in our nervous system until we heal and resolve it.
- Excessive coughing (acute or chronic) – The force of a harsh cough puts a lot of pressure and strain on the pelvic floor. When someone has a chronic cough over weeks or years it can lead to pelvic dysfunction, such as a prolapsed organ. This happens because of all of the force and pressure that goes downwards.
- Riding horses or biking for many years – the constant impact on the pelvis can cause some damage or injury to this area and cause symptoms, such as incontinence.
- Hormonal changes during menopause – When estrogen levels drop significantly during menopause this impacts the health and strength of the fascia in the abdomen and core.
If you can relate to any of these situations, then Hypopressives can help you.
Secondly, you might be wondering why you heard a lot about the fascia, scarring, adhesions, and pressure in your pelvic floor and core. What does all this have to do with the various types of pelvic issues and dysfunctions?
Let’s talk a bit about that now.
In short, the reason pelvic floor dysfunction occurs is due to these factors. In other words, the root cause of pelvic dysfunctions is excess pressure, tension, and tightness in the pelvic floor. And also scarring and adhesions in the pelvic fascia.
When these factors are present imbalances are likely to take place. And these imbalances result in symptoms such as prolapse, incontinence, heaviness, pain, low libido, and more.
Curious to learn more about Hypopressive abdominal exercises?
You can learn a lot more about Hypopressives and get to practice them live with my colleague Abby Lord, Hypopressives Master Trainer.
She is hosting weekly Live Webinars to teach you how to get your core and pelvic health back using Hypopressives.
These webinars are free to join. For more information & to sign up, register here!