Would you like to discover what hypopressive exercises are, their contraindications and their benefits? In this article, we will explain precisely what this type of abdominal gymnastics is, who should not do them and how to do them correctly. We will also answer other questions, such as whether it is better to do traditional or hypopressive crunches.
What are hypopressive crunches, and how are they done?
Hypopressive exercises refer to a set of postural and breathing techniques carried out in a sequential and very controlled way that activates the transversus abdominis, the deepest muscle of the abdominal girdle. As these are very specific techniques, it is best to learn them from a specialised teacher. To summarise, here are a series of essential indications for learning how to do this type of exercise:
- Start to control your breathing.
- After expelling all the air from the last breath, you should open your ribs, i.e. try to bring your navel upwards and towards your spine. The sensation is like drinking through a straw without actually taking in air.
- Hold the position and breath for at least 10 seconds.
- In this position, as if you were trying to grow and maintain the apnoea, you will activate all the muscles in the abdominal area and reduce the pressure on the pelvic floor.
Who should not do hypopressives?
Despite its undeniable benefits, hypopressive exercises have a number of contraindications. In principle, it could be done by any healthy person, but, in reality, this exercise is not recommended for pregnant women. The following individuals could do it with care and under the supervision of a doctor.
- People with muscle injuries.
- People with spinal injuries.
- People with high blood pressure.
- Women with caesarean section or anyone who has undergone surgery on the abdomen with internal and external scars.
Benefits of hypopressive abdominals
Hypopressive crunches undoubtedly have a number of exciting benefits, such as:
- It tones the abdominal muscles and improves the style of the perineum.
- It reduces the waistline.
- It improves body posture and reduces back pain.
- Improving the pelvic floor
- It strengthens the muscles and ligaments surrounding the bladder, giving you more control over the number of times you urinate.
- Reduces abdominal diastasis (ideal during post-partum).
- Hypopressive gymnastics movements produce suction in the diaphragm, which helps the intestines to move, i.e. they detach from each other and other muscles, such as the psoas. You only need 5 minutes of hypopressive crunches to resume your peristaltic function and visit the toilet.
When do the effects of hypopressive exercises begin to be felt?
As with almost any sport, the results will become visible depending on each person’s body and the time invested, i.e., their initial physical condition, diet, etcetera. But, generally, the minimum time to notice the effects of hypopressive exercises is two months. However, it could also be longer if you are overweight or have other complications.
What is the difference between hypopressive and traditional abdominal crunches?
The main difference is the technique used when performing the exercise. Traditional abdominal crunches cause tension on the abdominal wall, working almost exclusively on the most superficial muscles. In hypopressive crunches, hypopressure is generated, which allows the transverse muscle, the innermost power of the abdominal cavity, to be worked. It may therefore be a good idea to try to combine both techniques.
Now you know what crunches are, their contraindications and their benefits. Remember that to get the desired results, it is essential to follow a routine and not give up.