Restore Harmony and Function: Effective Techniques for a Hypertonic Pelvic Floor
A Hypertonic Pelvic Floor is one that is carrying too much muscle tension, this can be as a result of a birth injury, posture, or in some cases, too many Kegels with not enough emphasis on the release phase. If we compare a kegel to a bicep curl, in other words, a conscious contraction and shortening of a muscle, were we to hold that bicep curl throughout the day we wouldn't have a very happy arm. To function optimally, a muscle needs to be able to contract and release.
We are also working with fascia, the connective tissue throughout the body. The apnea works to stretch the fascial lines, and that will also have an effect on the pelvic floor and aid in normalising tension. This is especially useful after a diagnosis of pelvic organ prolapse or if one is experiencing urinary incontinence. What we find is a pattern of tucking the pelvis in (think a scared dog tucking in its tail) to manage the symptoms, and this is associated with tight glutes and pelvic floor.
Hypopressives, on the other hand, are not working as a conscious lift (contraction of the muscles). Instead, there is an involuntary lift that happens in apnea, the unique breathing technique we use, and then a release as you inhale again. Over time, this breathing technique has been shown to regulate the tone of the pelvic floor.
Once the posture, breathing mechanics and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction improve that postural pattern can change. Ultimately, we need the entire core canister (pelvic floor, abdominals, diaphragm and back muscles) to be doing their share of the work so that it is not just up to the pelvic floor to keep our body together. Once the function to the whole core comes back the pelvic floor does not need to hold that extra tension.
In addition to learning Hypopressives it is a good idea to incorporate some stretches specifically for a hypertonic pelvic floor. Such stretches include child’s pose, happy baby pose, and extending one leg to the side from a 4-point kneeling position (hands under shoulders, tabletop position). It is also important to stretch the glutes.
Child's pose is a simple, soothing yoga exercise to try for a hypertonic pelvic floor. It starts with you on all fours, then sitting back towards your heels while your torso stretches over your thighs. Your forehead gently rests on the mat, and your arms lie beside your legs, palms facing down. This pose invites you to breathe slowly and deeply, for at least eight cycles.
If Child's Pose feels tough because of your hypertonic pelvic floor symptoms, a modified version could work better. Here, your knees are spread apart, and you lean forward, resting your forehead on your folded arms or fists on the floor. Remember to breathe deeply, for a minimum of eight breaths.
Child's pose, when practised consistently, can help relax your pelvic floor. Together with other hypertonic pelvic floor exercises, this pose can help manage your symptoms and enhance your well-being. It's always wise to check with a healthcare provider before starting your hypertonic pelvic floor treatment, and remember, listen to your body, making changes to your pose as needed to keep it safe and effective.
Happy Baby Pose
Another great pose to alleviate some hypertonic pelvic floor symptoms, is the Happy Baby Pose. This hypertonic pelvic floor exercise, is a gentle, restorative, and beneficial addition to your hypertonic pelvic floor treatment. Begin this pose by lying flat on your back, taking hold of your shins, and gently guiding your knees towards your shoulders. Grasp the outer sides of your feet and delicately draw your toes downward, bringing your knees closer to your shoulders. It's important to keep your chest open and your spine long to maintain proper alignment. Concentrate on breathing calmly and deeply as you stay in this pose for around 30 seconds, giving your body time to fully benefit from the stretch. Practising this soothing exercise regularly can help alleviate your symptoms and promote pelvic floor relaxation.
For the Hypopressives classes it is important that you learn the 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. For the technique to make an impactful change she recommends doing a minimum of 3 workouts a week for 15 to 20 minutes.
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What our members say
The best post-partum class, it really helped with my recovery. Simone is a great teacher, so knowledgeable and kind. I recommend her classes to all my friends who had a baby. Thank you Simone!
I’ve only been doing Simone’s classes for a short time but have noticed huge improvements in my core strength and posture. Great value and high quality recordings combined with live classes make it really easy to fit into your life. Highly recommended.
I cannot say enough good things about Simone’s classes - they have been really transformative for me. Her explanation of what are often unusual and specific techniques is so good that you never feel lost, and she has a wonderful way of connecting with the class on a really human level, as well as being a real expert in her field. Her classes are challenging, mindful, and have helped amazingly with my pelvic floor issues - I started seeing results after only 4 weeks of classes! Highly recommend.
Simone's classes are amazing. She combines her skills in pilates, yoga and hypopressives to provide a very holistic practice. I've seen a great improvement in my postnatal body thanks to her classes. I would recommend her to any woman who has had a baby.
I love Simone’s Low Pressure Fitness classes, they have helped with my prolapse symptoms and are something I turn to daily if I’m having a hard day. Simone is a great communicator and teacher, she explains everything very clearly and I have no trouble participating in the class even over zoom.
Simone and re-centre were a saviour for me over lockdown. A great chance to just be in my body and switch on to what I was feeling. As a pelvic health physio I can highly recommend Simone and her method as a great form of rehab for many postnatal conditions.
I got to know about Low Pressure Fitness through Simone, in a workshop that I'm so lucky I attended. It was about 2 months after giving birth and I felt really weak, thinking that I could never get back to my strength before the pregnancy. Simone's help completely changed my perspective and with her brilliant classes slowly I got back my confidence and strength. I was worried that these exercises will be tricky with online classes, but she has been great in giving clear instructions and adjusting poses for everyone based on their needs. I don't know how she does it but she even gives individual feedback and helps you correct your pose in a group online class. Thanks Simone!
Simone's classes and on-demand videos are excellent. She's such a good teacher, always learning new things herself to expand her teaching horizons. Would most definitely recommend to anyone with a postpartum body regardless how long it's been since you gave birth.
Simone is a great teacher, I highly recommend her work. Her online platform is well curated and excellent value and she gracefully manages to teach & give individual attention in her live Zoom classes.
I attend re-centre classes with Simone weekly and have noticed a huge improvement in my core strength and tone. Simone has a thoughtful and inclusive approach to her classes, they vary which means I stay focused and the relaxation time at the end is much needed in the life of a busy mum!
Simone is a brilliant teacher, she takes the time to check in with her students and work through exercises to fit individual injuries. She’s also really knowledgeable and supportive for post natal bodies. Doing hypopressors are a total life changer and I love the way this is incorporated into Pilates and stretching.
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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.SIGN UP