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Hypopressives - for core strength, urinary incontinence, prolapse & diastisis recti

Do you suffer from stress incontinence?  Been diagnosed with a pelvic organ prolapse?

“A majority of women who have given birth vaginally are affected by some form of pelvic floor damage.” 1  

Did you know that pelvic floor disorders are very common?

A US study stated a conservative figure of 23.7% of women over 20 are likely to have a pelvic floor disorder,  rising to just under 50% in our 80’s. 2

What can you do?

Hypopressives are a great way to start!  They are non-invasive, do not involve medication and can be practiced anywhere without the need for equipment. I discovered Hypopressives when researching ways to help my own pelvic floor symptoms.  Out of curiosity I trained to teach the techniques with UK Hypopressives and have been practising the techniques ever since.  From personal experience I know that Hypopressives work

What are ‘Hypopressives’?

Hypopressives are a unique, rhythmic breathing technique performed while holding a series of postures. Hypopressives exercise, tone and strengthen the whole abdominal cavity including the pelvic floor, diaphragm and abdomen.  Which is why they work. This synergistic and subconscious movement of the abdominal cavity is how it should naturally function.

Who would benefit from Hypopressives?

Everyone! Hypopressives focuses on training the true function of the core and is therefore appropriate for men and women.

Hypopressives are used to:

-        Prepare your body for pregnancy and birth (before conception)

-        Reduce diastasis recti (the gap between your stomach muscles after pregnancy)

-        Improve symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse

-        Strengthen pelvic floor and integrity after pregnancy & childbirth

-        Improve pelvic floor strength and integrity for life and sport

-        Improve stress, urge or overflow incontinence

-        Keep your pelvic floor healthy through the menopause and beyond

-        Help with prostate issues such as benign prostatic hypoplasia & incontinence post-surgery

-        Assist with low back pain

Typically, those practising Hypopressives report improved posture, a firmer stomach with reduced waist size and reduced back ache or other back symptoms.

Hypopressives do require commitment and practice

The routine can be completed in an enjoyable and meditative 10 minute daily practice.   As your symptoms improve you may be able to reduce your practice whilst maintaining symptom control.  You will find what works best for you.  Hypopressives can also be incorporated as part of an overall treatment plan with other pelvic floor exercises.

How do I learn Hypopressives?

Either in a 1:1 session with me or in a small group (maximum 4 people).  Typically 3 or 4 sessions are needed to learn the technique and postures correctly.  I can teach you in my clinic room or at your own home (subject to a small extra fee to cover mileage).


Hypopressives were developed by a Spanish physiotherapist, Dr Marcel Caufriez, during the 1980’s and are used in Europe, particularly Spain, France, Italy as well as Canada and South America as part of post-partum recovery and to help with prolapse and urinary incontinence in later life. 

Similar techniques have been around for many years.  If you practice yoga you may have tried Uddiyana Bandha, which uses a similar breathing technique

In the late 70’s bodybuilders, notably Arnold Schwarzenegger, started using the technique which they called the abdominal vacuum, to show off their thoracic muscles and reduce waist size.


  1. Hans Peter DIETZ  ‘ Pelvic floor trauma in childbirth’.  Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2013; 53: 220–230  DOI: 10.1111/ajo.12059
  2. Nygaard I, Barber MD, Burgio KL, et al. Prevalence of symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in US women. JAMA. 2008;300(11):1311–1316. doi:10.1001/jama.300.11.1311