Simone Muller

Hypopressive Exercises - A Solution for Weak Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor is a system of muscles and tissues that provide vital support for our organs. It plays a role in maintaining core stability, continence and overall well being. However various factors like childbirth, ageing, hormonal changes, obesity, chronic coughing or high impact activities can weaken the pelvic floor. This weakening can lead to issues such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and discomfort.

One effective approach to combat pelvic floor weakness is through a set of exercises known as Hypopressives. These exercises focus on reprogramming posture, improving muscle strength, and enhancing respiratory function. Hypopressives can offer a non-invasive and empowering solution to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and alleviate associated problems.

What exactly are Hypopressives?

Hypopressives involve exercises that target both the pelvic floor and core muscles. Coined from "hypo" meaning low or reduced in Greek and "pressives" referring to pressure, this Low Pressure Fitness regimen was developed by Dr. Marcel Caufriez—a physiotherapist—and has gained recognition for its exceptional ability to strengthen and rehabilitate the pelvic floor.

Hypopressive techniques are a series of exercises designed to engage the deep core muscles, particularly the pelvic floor (muscles responsible for bladder control), transverse abdominis (deep abdominal muscles), and the diaphragm (muscles involved in breathing). The main objective is to create an involuntary response from these muscles, promoting their contraction and lifting. Unlike traditional exercises that increase intra-abdominal pressure, hypopressives reduce pressure in the abdominal cavity while activating the core muscles.

Benefits of Hypopressives

1. Strengthening the Pelvic Floor
Hypopressives directly target the pelvic floor muscles by encouraging their activation and strengthening them. These exercises are designed to improve muscle tone and endurance helping to address weakness and improve control of the pelvic floor.

2. Improving Posture
Poor posture can exacerbate pelvic floor issues. Hypopressives promote proper alignment of the spine and pelvis, correcting posture and preventing further strain on the pelvic area. By re-educating the body on correct postural habits, these exercises alleviate stress on the pelvic floor.

3. Enhancing Respiratory Function
Effective breathing patterns are vital for pelvic floor health. Hypopressives emphasise diaphragmatic breathing, encouraging efficient oxygen intake and promoting relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles. This can alleviate tension and pressure on the pelvic area.

4. Alleviating Urinary Incontinence
One of the most common issues associated with pelvic floor weakness is urinary incontinence. Hypopressives can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of incontinence by strengthening the muscles responsible for bladder control.

5. Preventing Pelvic Organ Prolapse:
Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where pelvic organs descend due to weak support from the pelvic floor. Hypopressive exercises aid in preventing or mitigating this condition by strengthening the muscles that provide crucial support to these organs.

Getting started

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.

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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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What our members say

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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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