Updated: Feb 24, 2022
Lifted abs?!! Where did it come from? Crunches and sit-ups? NOPE. Contrary to what many believe, strong superficial abs and weak inner abs may cause you pressure issues one day.
Most traditional abdominal exercises (Pilates series of 5, crunches, sit ups, roll-ups), while being completely functional, will also put pressure downwards, or outwards, causing the weakest part of the fascia to possibly herniate (hernia). If you are experiencing hernias you need Low Pressure Fitness (LPF). If you have genital prolapse, you need LPF. Urinary/fecal incontinence- LPF. If you have diastasis recti, LPF. Postpartum- you guessed it: LOW PRESSURE (but you must wait >6 weeks vaginal, >3 months if abdominal surgery). Helps constipation by repositioning organs to a more optimal position. Erectile and pudendal pain/dysfunction also benefit from this unique practice. YES both men and women may need this practice at some point in their life.
Part of my own experience with low pressure is in the mobilization of scar-tissue around an old injury near my right t-spine & bottom of ribs. This technique give the area such a unique mobility from the innermost layers of fascia.
Dr.Tamara Rial, PhD, CSPS, a pelvic rehab professor & her cofounder Piti Pinsach developed a method of postures that focus on form and breathing technique, and hypopressive.
A few methods inspired their creation:
1.Yoga Pranayama Maybe you’ve experienced some nice breath work in a yoga class at? Uddiyana Bhandha specifically? This is an ancient practice where you pause your breath cycle (at the bottom of an exhalation) to create a expansion of your rib cage & vacuum up your abdomen & pelvic floor. It was done to clear the abdominal chakra, decongest and stimulate circulation within the lower ab region.
2. Dr. Bernadette Gasquet (1980’s France) also inspired this method by causing physios to rethink the way they were rehabilitating postnatal women with her book “Abdominals: Stop the Massacre”
3. The method of Francoise Mèzières also inspired the development of Low Pressure Fitness with her work on muscular chains and flexibility within the posterior chain. Mèzière went against the grain of the accepted way that PTs applied rehabilitation in the late 1940s and focused more on flexibility within the posterior chain. She created unique postures for each patient that were carefully aligned and monitored so that the intended area could not escape the stretch, and had notable clinical outcomes.
In the 1980s in France, these methods inspired the use of the abdominal vacuum in rehabilitation of postpartum women.
In 2014, Dr. Tamara Rial, in Spain, developed sequences of postures, the method of Low Pressure Fitness, where she combined multiplanar, core-strengthening postures (named after goddesses and gods) combined with flow of breath work and the abdominal vacuum (hypopressive). These postures may take a few classes to start perfecting, and the breath training takes practice, but they are very user-friendly. The classes begin with breathing techniques that will calm down the heart rate and train efficiency in breathing, combined with functional core warm ups, abdominal massage and myofascial stretches to create mobility (this is important for the work we are doing with the diaphragm), and a flow of goddess postures with vacuum in each one. A general cool down follows.
There have been many studies on this method & it continues to prove to be supper effective. I have completed the training & am now certified in this method and have begun training my clients with very positive results.