Low Pressure Fitness: More Than Abdominal Hollowing (and so much more than pulling the navel in!).
Are you looking for a different way to build core (including upper body and arm!) and pelvic floor strength?
To create postural and mobility changes?
To address breath and trunk mobility?
To move and strengthen in a different way?
Low Pressure Fitness!! Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) is a training system that emphasizes postural and breathing techniques and education. Using various postures, neurodynamic techniques, and specific breathwork, we achieve changes in body tension, pressure in the “core”, and strength.
LPF utilizes global, total body techniques to gradually strengthen and mobilize. Because the techniques are low pressure and global, LPF is a wonderful training option for individuals with:
** pelvic floor concerns and dysfunction including incontinence, prolapse, and pain.
**Postural, spine, and bone health training
**Anyone searching for a movement system that is a progressive way to change and improve fitness. Added benefit: No specific equipment needed and can be done at home!!
LPF utilizes the involuntary response of the deep core musculature and fascia, as well as upper body and lower body motion. LPF utilizes hypopressive or low pressure techniques with the goal of reduced pressure on the body. It utilizes breath technique and thoracic and rib mobility as well as the technique of apnea or going without breath (this is what creates the signature look of the abdominal hollowing under the rib cage). One of the things that I have noted in my training, individual practice of LPF, and use with clients, patients and in classes is that YOU DO NOT need to achieve a dramatic abdominal hollow in order to see and feel benefits!! LPF is more than the hollowing of the abdomen!
Why do I care about the pressure in the canister and core? The pressure changes all day long as we go about our day to day activities. From cough, sneeze, laugh to jumping, lifting, running. From pooping and peeing to rising from the floor or a chair (especially if holding a child or an object!). You know the term “path of least resistance”? That’s what the pressure does and some of us are more vulnerable than others. For instance, if you have had abdominal surgeries, hernias, or changes related to having children including pelvic organ prolapse, your system may not be able to respond to the changes in pressure and posture as quickly and efficiently as we would like. I also see pressure changes in many of my clients and patients with bone health and spine problems who have changed the way they move (or DO NOT MOVE) due to pain or fear, AND in those with pelvic floor tension.
LPF is a technique and series of exercises that teach us to change our breath, muscles and connective tissues and our posture to manage the day-to-day pressures. It can re-educate or create change in your postural muscles (remember, no “bad posture” but nice to have options and feel strong!), breathing, and the deep core muscles of the trunk. It improves cardio-pulmonary fitness and through the breathwork, may create changes with the autonomic nervous system (many of my clients feel relaxed and energized after practicing LPF; a great combo!).
Why did I begin to study and utilize LPF? Curiosity to begin with! I heard colleagues discussing the merits of hypopressives, and to be honest, some colleagues who were disdainful. I knew that this was about more than simply going to You-tube to learn a few breath techniques, and wow, was I correct! Training for the LPF model stretched my brain(and my diaphragm!!) as I learned new ways to stand, breathe, and move.
Why did I stick with it? Professionally, because my patients and clients are not “one size fits all” and I need different techniques, cues, and strategies to help them meet their goals! Personally? Well, after 3 kids (including a 10# VBAC with grade 3-4 tears!!) and menopause, my pelvic floor and core benefit from techniques that decrease pressure while maintaining and increasing strength. And, as a postmenopausal individual, one of my goals is to stay tall, long, and strong for a long time (currently 5’9 1/2” and I intend to keep that height!). All techniques that allow me to meet my goals are positives!
How do I use Low Pressure Fitness? I use these techniques with my individual clients and patients depending on their goals and interests. For some patients, we use all of the techniques. For some, primarily mobility and breath without the lift. It depends!
I incorporate LPF into some of my yoga and movement classes. I teach LPF classes, and teach it individually. LPF, for me, is not a one stop shop, but is a great addition to the tools that I can offer to my clients, patients, and students!
From a prior class participant:
“I have been doing yoga for over 15 years and taking Becki’s class showed me a level of core strength that will forever change the way that I practice. I feel so much stronger and grounded in poses that have always been more challenging for me.
Are you curious? Interested in learning more about Low pressure Fitness? Let me know; I’m happy to speak with you!
(Please note that LPF is not intended for training use while pregnant, and we suggest that you wait 4-6 week after giving birth before entering a class. If you have had recent abdominal surgery, we also recommend that you wait 6 weeks or more before beginning this technique. Please ask for more specific information).
The information offered here is based on classwork and experience by this author. It should not be taken as personal medical advice.