Beyond Crunches: Crafting a Comprehensive Core Routine with Hypopressives

Beyond Crunches: Crafting a Comprehensive Core Routine with Hypopressives

Contents:

  1. The 6-pack misconception
  2. What is your true core?
  3. Hypopressives as a holistic solution
  4. A stronger core and better postural alignment
  5. Getting Started
  6. FAQs

The 6-pack misconception

When we think of core strength, the image that often comes to mind is a fitness magazine cover, like GQ or Women's Health, featuring a model with a chiselled six-pack. This portrayal of core strength is somewhat misleading and superficial when it comes to true body functionality and overall health. A fundamentally strong core does far more than just look good; it should support our entire body's structure and function in a dynamic and integrated way.

What is your true core?

The true "core" of our body consists not only of the abdominals but also includes the pelvic floor, diaphragm, and back muscles. The sum of these components forms what is known as the "core canister," a 360-degree unit that requires both strength and mobility to function at optimal levels. The traditional exercises that many are familiar with focus primarily on flexing the abdominals, such as crunches often neglect this holistic integration. They typically only target the Rectus Abdominis, or the superficial "six-pack" muscles, leaving the deeper, more supportive structures, mentioned above, underdeveloped.

Hypopressives as a holistic solution

Hypopressive exercises, on the other hand, will engage the core in a more holistic, comprehensive and beneficial manner. This technique really emphasises the strengthening of the Transverse Abdominis, our deepest abdominal muscle, which plays a critical role in spinal support and overall core stability. Hypopressive exercises not only strengthen this vital muscle but also enhance the mobility of the diaphragm. This improvement in diaphragm mobility aids in its ability to coordinate more effectively with the pelvic floor, contributing to a well-rounded core functionality.

A stronger core and better postural alignment

Integrating Hypopressives into a core workout can unlock multiple health benefits. By focusing on the Transversus Abdominis, pelvic floor, diaphragm, and back muscles together, we not only build core strength but also improve postural alignment and our body's ability to maintain an upright and consistently stable posture.

Posture is an important aspect of this technique. When the pelvic floor and the diaphragm are stacked one on top of the other, we have much better core coordination and function. This stacking can only happen when the muscles through the back of the body (the posterior chain) have strength and can help us to stack better in a more upright position. Just strengthening the abdominals is such a small part of this picture and will not bring extensive postural and functional benefits.

Hypopressives go beyond mere aesthetics, providing a foundation for greater physical competence and enhanced quality of life through improved body mechanics and reduced risk of injury.

A stronger core and better postural alignment

Getting started with Hypopressives

For the Hypopressives classes it is important that you learn the Breathing/Apnea technique properly so that you can get the most out of the classes and the time you invest in yourself. Each week Simone runs Fundamentals sessions on Zoom where she explains the technique and guides you through all the steps.

She will also give you feedback to make sure that you're doing it correctly. For some, the technique may come more quickly than others. Some of her clients, who are tighter in the ribs and thoracic spine do tend to take a little longer. And here's the golden rule - for impactful change, Simone recommends at least three 15 to 20-minute workouts per week. Consistency is your best friend on this journey towards wellness.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Pilates is an excellent technique for bringing stability back to a destabilised postpartum body, but a lot of the traditional Pilates exercises, specifically curl ups (used often in mat-work repertoire) can be detrimental if pelvic floor dysfunction and diastasis recti are present. Unfortunately, at the 6-week postnatal checkup these issues are not properly assessed, and many women may not even realise they themselves are affected by these concerns.

There is a general acceptance of pelvic floor dysfunction with mothers often accepting that they may leak when running, sneezing or coughing. Also, the term “mum-tum” leads many women to unwillingly accept their new relationship with their bodies. LPF is a completely safe way of working a postnatal body and many of the women I work with have managed to reverse prolapse and drastically improve a diastasis.

I did the LPF training before having my second child and started practising postpartum after my second child. The difference in my recovery after my first labour where I only did Pilates was markedly different to when I practised LPF with my second. Within a few weeks my core was stronger than it had been before being pregnant with my second, and my pelvic floor was as strong as it was pre-kids!! If I hadn't seen the change with my own eyes or felt it in my body, I wouldn’t have believed it. It literally felt like the more I practised the more internal strength I developed. This was something I hadn’t felt since I was a professional dancer. I also loved that the technique doesn’t require hours of training. Only 10-20 minutes, three times a week will get visible results.

It is recommended at least 6-8 weeks after a vaginal delivery and 12 weeks after a c-section.

You will start to see results by practising 2-3 weekly sessions of 10-20 minutes. It is safe to practise daily once your body has adjusted to the practice which will take around 2-4 weeks.

How re-centre works

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Subscribe to a live or on-demand package

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Sign-up to a fundamentals class to learn the technique

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Start the beginner classes

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Individual support via a one-to-one check-ins

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Progress to more advanced levels at your own pace

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What our members say

Learn the technique and get started

Hypopressives is an effective technique toward relieving symptoms related to Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Diastasis Recti and Urinary Incontinence. Hypopressives also improves poor posture, pelvic floor weakness and back pain. I offer a flexible approach to memberships and a 14-day free trial.

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About the Author

Simone Muller is the founder of re-centre and has over 15 years of teaching experience across Pilates, Low Pressure Fitness and Yoga.

She launched the online platform to make Low Pressure Fitness and Hypopressives more accessible to more women around the world so that they can become the strongest and most functional versions of themselves.

Originally from South Africa, Simone's dance and Pilates career evolved when she faced post-childbirth challenges, prompting her to explore Low Pressure Fitness in Spain.

As the first level 3 instructor in London, she has witnessed transformative postnatal rehabilitation results in clients, addressing issues like Diastasis Recti, prolapse and incontinence.

Simone has written articles for the re-centre blog 'Kegels not Working?', 'The connection between menstruation and prolapse symptoms' and 'Why I love teaching postnatal rehabilitation?'.

Simone has also written guest posts for The Shala 'What is Low Pressure Fitness', Yana Active 'Prioritising your Pelvic Floor Health After Giving Birth and Nurturing the Core' and for The Pelvic Academy 'Empowering Women's Health - The Power of Collaboration Between Hypopressives, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths'.

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