LOW PRESSURE FITNESS FOR ALL BODY TYPES

We are not made the same way; while some diets work for people, they don’t work for others. In the same way, we all have different body types. If you know your body type, you can use this knowledge to improve your fitness regime and create an exercise routine that works best for your composition.

If you find regular workouts too strenuous, Low Pressure Fitness might be a good option for you. It is the type of workout that will help you make the most of your body type – whichever category it might fall into – and target the areas you would like to work on.

The Endomorph Body Type

A person with the endomorph body type has a low metabolism and is often curvier than others. You might hear the phrase “big-boned”, but this doesn’t mean that they are overweight. People with the endomorph body type are more inclined to put on weight. They often have a different distribution of body fat, more focused on the stomach, hips and thighs. High Impact Training with Low Pressure Fitness can be used to target these specific areas and improve body shape. Through the breathing and postural techniques you will be able to strengthen your core and get the most out of your posture.

The Mesomorph Body Type

People with the mesomorph body type are naturally more compact and muscular. Genetics has a lot to do with this. In general, they find it easier to lose or gain weight. They are often more athletic and have narrower waists and thinner joints than other body types. Low Pressure Fitness training program which includes hypopressives and stretching poses can strengthen core fitness and help people with a mesomorph body type to retain a good fitness level, breathing, and posture.

The Ectomorph Body Type

People with the ectomorph body type are naturally very slender and thin. They have a lower proportion of body fat and less muscle bulk. They have long limbs and thinner bodies. People with this body type often find it difficult to build up muscles through workout and weight lifting. However they generally have a fast metabolism and can eat more without putting on weight. The Low Pressure Fitness low intensity program can help achieve more elasticity and toned core for this body type. The focus on myofascial stretching, posture and breathing will help to gradually build up a strong fitness foundation with no impact or high intensity training.

No matter your body type, Low Pressure Fitness is an ideal low intensity program to combine with your fitness routine. Its your perfect partner. The breathing and myofascial stretching exercises are of benefit to everyone. Less pressure, more life with Low Pressure Fitness.

 

Post written by Jane Sandwood , by Total Shape.

HEALTH FOR YOUR PELVIC FLOOR WITH LOW PRESSURE FITNESS & KEGEL EXERCISES

There is no doubt we need to continue to educate ourselves on what will provide the best rehabilitation treatment for improved pelvic floor health. In recent years the Hypopressives techniques (LPF) has brought about a revolution in this field and an global alternative for pelvic floor workout. Traditionally we have used rehabilitation exercises with the goal of obtaining improved voluntary contractions of the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, and focusing the attention on improved strength. Recognizing the importance of ones resting tone or balance in miofascial tissues, however is of equal importance. Hypopressive training does just that!

female-pelvic-floor

female pelvic floor

Pelvic floor muscle training is populary called “kegel exercises” (Kegel 1948). Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials in the general female population conclude that there is a great evidence ot the efectiveness of kegel for pelvic floor dysfunctions like stress urinary incontinence (Duomolin & Hay-Smith, 2010).

 

The pelvic floor works in coordination and synergy with the breathing.  Re-training the breathing patterns at the same time will improve our abdominal muscle stability, and will get enhance the pelvic floor function.

 

 Hypopressive training as a postural and breathing thecnique can help us… and a lot in this sense

 

When an increase of intraabdominal pressure occurs, like a sneeze, it is unnatural for women to be thinking of contracting these muscles so they do not leak, there is not time for that! By changing the focus of our training efforts, we can help to improve one’s overall muscle tone, as well as the automatic, anticipatory response needed by these muscles to manage the intra-abdominal pressures brought on by a simple sneeze…Hypopressive training as a postural and breathing thecnique can help us… and a lot in this sense.

 

Hypopressive training is simply another important tool in the toolbox for improved pelvic floor health and can easily be incorporated into a variety of approaches previously designed with the clients goals in mind.

 

An example of how hypopressive training added to kegel training for pelvic floor treatment  is the results shown in the next video.

In this video of a Physical Therapist and pelvic floor specialist in France (Annie Vitris) who works with Hypopressive – Low Pressure Fitness daily we can see the difference between a voluntary contraction and a voluntary contraction combined with the Hyporessive technique while using a biofeedback device.

TOO TIGHT TO KEGEL? PELVIC FLOOR RELEASE WITH LOW PRESSURE FITNESS

When a topic related with womens health “comes out” its often related with low-tone pelvic floor dysfunctions such as urinary incontinence or prolapse. But as equal of importance is to highlight other women´s dirty little secrets like high-tone pelvic floor or hypertonicity. One in four women develop high-tone or ‘too tight’ pelvic floor muscles. Many of these women suffer in silence. A 10% increase in muscle tone of the pelvic floor muscles means a 50% decrease in blood flow and oxygen.  In this sense, women often exhibit excessive muscle tension in the pelvic floor and report various symptoms associated with this high-tone muscle activity. This tension can be a reflex of emotional reactions from stress or pain. As well, this protective reaction may lead to chronic muscular tension causing pelvic pain, urinary urgency or urinary frequency.

 

If you have tight muscles you need to relax them and if you have weak (hypotonic) one´s you need to strengthen them. It´s frequent to have a combination of muscles that are too tense and too relaxed at the same time. Are you surprised? Tighter does not mean stronger. It is possible for your pelvic floor to be both tight and weak. This is the case of many postpartum women who want to restore their abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. These women can have a nonrelaxing pelvic floor. Their first thought is that they should do kegels after pregnancy. There is a global and overgeneralized theory about the importance of kegel exercises for  strengthening the pelvic floor. Prescribing kegels to every woman (and man) is like prescribing hypertensive pills for everybody! Can you imagine?

 

There are many causes of hypertonicity or high-tone pelvic floor. Some of them include anxiety, stress, low back pain, sacro-iliac joint dysfunction and holding urine. Indeed, tightness of the pelvic floor is often symptomatic. Many women complain of painful sex, soreness, pressure in the vagina and vulvar burning. There is a wide variety of symptomatology:

 

  • Urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, stopping and starting of the urine stream, painful urination, or incomplete emptying.
  • Constipation, straining, pain during or after bowel movements, genital pain with sitting, tight clothing, and exercise.
  • Pain in the low back hips, genital area, or rectum.
  • Pain during or after intercourse (dyspareunia), difficulty/delayed painful orgasm or excitation.
  • Thightness of the core muscles (eg. hips, abdomen..), over-strenghtening the core muscles or muscular imbalance (weak glutes and overtrained abdominals).
  • Vulvar, clitoral, or perineal pain (vulvodynia).

 

 

The diagnosis of high-tone pelvic floor should be made by a physician or a qualified health care provider who has experience assessing the pelvic floor. Different tests such as electromyography and perineometry can be used to make the correct diagnosis. Internal vaginal examination and external muscle tightness may also be assessed. The treatment options include:

 

  • Medical treatment: injections of Botox.
  • Pharmacotherapy: muscle relaxants (diazpam).
  • Conservative treatment: pelvic floor physical therapy (biofeedback).
  • Alternative therapy: hypnosis, meditation, warm baths.
  • Exercise therapy: myofascial release, postural readjustements, breathing techniques, hypopressive techniques.

 

What about kegel exercises?

As mentioned above, when hypertonicity of the pelvic floor occurs the muscles need to be relaxed and lengthened instead of strengthened. So, Kegels may not be the best option for an overactive pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are based on pelvic floor muscle contractions. If you have tightness in your pelvic floor muscles, over-strengtening will make them tighter and tighter. Of note, for both tight and weak pelvic floor muscles, it is critical to improve motor control function and enhance  the ability to control the perineal muscles. Firstly, we should treat pelvic floor tension and then improve motor control function.

 

What about hypopressive exercises?

Hypopressive exercises can be a suitable type of exercise therapy for pelvic floor hypertonicity. These exercises provide global postural readjustments and breathing pattern rehabilitation. The pelvic floor will benefit from the release produced by the hypopressive technique. During this low pressure workout, a myofascial release of the pelvic floor, abdominal and diaphragm occurs. It is a non-invasive treatment technique easy to learn when it is guided by a qualified professional. You can find an instructor near your home by clicking here.

GET HARD: PRESSURELESS WORKOUT FOR BETTER ERECTIONS

Whether you suffer from sexual problems or you just want to enhance your sex life, sexercise will make a significant change. Low Pressure Fitness has been named the best sex workout ever. Discover how Low Pressure Fitness can naturally improve your erections, better erections.

 

The psychological and physical benefits of exercise have been extensively documented in the scientific literature. Empirical evidence reveals that regular physical activity is a powerful medicine for every system in your body, including sexuality. Of paramount importance, exercise is an essential factor for harder erections and preventing erectile dysfunction.

 

An erection is the result of a complex interaction of psychological, neural, vascular and endocrine factors. It is an autonomous nervous system response that results from a variety of stimuli associated with sexual arousal or sexual attraction.

 

To get an erection, the arteries dilate and fill the corpora cavernosa with blood. Simultaneously, the ischiocavernosus and bulbospongiosus muscles compress the veins of the corpora cavernosa restricting the egress and blood circulation. Physical and psychological factors can result in Erectile Dysfunction which is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions, especially in men between 40-70 years of age.

 

Some factors associated with erectile dysfunction are vascular disease, neurological disease, diabetes, obesity, or prostate-related treatments. According to research, erectile dysfunction has a western incidence of 25-30 new cases for 1000 people per year. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction is understimated because it is an embarrassing condition and men avoid seeking professional health advice.

 

better-erections

 

How can Low Pressure Fitness improve my erections?

 

Low Pressure Fitness is an innovative workout which uses specific postures and breathing thecniques known as hypopressive exercises to restore muscle tone and strengthen your abdominal and perineal region. The pelvic floor muscles located in the perineum are the sex muscles. The fitter your sexual muscles can be, the more able you will be to control the sexual act and get an erection.

 

Low Pressure Fitness can help you achieve better erections for the following three reasons:

 

  • Directly related with sexual function is the vascularization and irrigation of the penis which needs blood to stay erect. Excessive pressure on the perineum can adversly affect the blood vessels and the nerves that supply the penis. Exercises that decrease pressure in this area will be the most appropiate to prevent erection problems. Hypopressive exercise is a healthy way to improve blood flow and decrease pressure in the pelvic zone. The diaphragmatic suction produced during hypopressive exercises decreases intraabdominal pressure which leads to an increass femoral vein irrigation. If you mantain an adequate blood vascularization during pressureless exercise you will stimulate the oxigenation of pelvic floor muscles.

 

  • High stress levels have a direct influence on the inhibition of one´s sexual desire. Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are linked to the stress response and psychosomatic disorders. Stress has been found to reduce testosterone production which is an hormone associated with sexual desire. The formula is simple: “low testosterone = low sexual desire”. Psychological stress also hikes up adrenaline level which makes blood vessels contract. These two factors have negative consequences for desired erections. Dopamine and serotonin are two neurotransmitters directly linked to one’s mood during hypopressive  workout. During this type of low pressure training, the production of these hormones increase. Low pressure fitness is the pressureless workout because it helps to reduce anxiety, depression and muscular tension. If you´re emotionally in shape, you will be in better sex shape.

 

Strenghten your pelvic floor to strenghten your sexual life!

 

  • The ability and strength necessary to keep the pelvic floor muscles contracted is linked to sexual excitement and orgasmic level. A strong pelvic floor enhances rigidity during erections and helps keep the penis engorged with blood. Hypopressive exercises enhance propioception and increase strenght of the pelvic floor due to abdominal and pelvic muscle training. Increasing the health of your sex muscles will naturally intensify muscular function leading to improved sexual performance.

HOW CAN LOW PRESSURE FITNESS BENEFIT PILATES?

In his first Law of Thermodynamics Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) said that matter can’t be created nor destroyed, it is only transformed. When a general law is properly stated, it will also apply to the specific. In our case, we are talking about physical exercise and recovery, where this rule certainly holds. After all, every new approach springs from the what our forebearers have said before, and in today’s fast paced world, fusion is the buzzword for any discipline.

In the following article we will understand how Low Pressure Fitness connects to Yoga and Pilates, emphasising the benefits of Low Pressure Fitness training. Many people practice the three or just two of them in a training combo, or else they practice them in succession, depending on their mood or the class timetables available. The three disciplines share common ground and differences in approach, focus and style.

Centuries after it was first developed, Yoga is still a relevant holistic training method, and after its advent in the fifties the same can be said for Pilates. More recently created, Low Pressure Fitness is a great new approach to exercise and wellness, with particular aims and features.

Yoga, Pilates and Low Pressure Fitness share a common goal, which can be broadly stated as regaining control of the body through awareness. They prioritise body alignment, breathing and postural fitness. Stacking the spine, engaging the core, inhaling and exhaling with control are classic cues we will find in the three disciplines. Low Pressure Fitness is a training program with an ecclectic outlook, stemming partly from Yoga and which was developed some decades after Pilates.

Neither of them require complex machinery or a specific place, but they might make use of simple accessories. Low Pressure Fitness includes certain props such as massage balls and wood-rollers, Pilates uses the well-known swiss ball and Yoga, elastic bands and blocks.

The main difference between Yoga and Pilates and Low Pressure Fitness is the spiritual component of Yoga, which the other two do not have. Yoga is generally more static than Pilates and Low Pressure Fitness. Yoga poses or assanas are held for as long as possible, excepting the continuous movement of vinyasa, a continuous flowing sequence which connects several poses, like the sun salutation (surianamaskara).

Pilates exercises are usually done in a specific order, one after another, and like Yoga, have colourful names to identify them, like the swan, the jack-knife or the criss-cross. They appear to be simple, but they require precision and strength. Strong emphasis is put on technique.

The connection between Low Pressure Fitness and Pilates is obvious, since both aim for a better management of intra-abdominal pressure. Scientific research also shows that one of the common benefits of Low Pressure Fitness and Pilates is the increase flexibility.

Both Pilates and Low Pressure Fitness consider local body awareness. Pilates will focus on specific areas of the body, especially the voluntary contraction of core muscles. Low Pressure Fitness will also provide the added value of another type of concentration and centralisation, which is the apnea, that activates the involuntary muscles in the pelvic floor.

Like Yoga and Pilates, Low Pressure Fitness belongs in the category of useful exercises to balance myofascial tensions, realign posture and improve breathing. Exercises are also sequenced from the simple to the complex, with a focus on the core muscles, the pelvic floor and breathing. Low Pressure Fitness exercises include the same patient and focused attitude as in Yoga and Pilates, but with one distinctive feature: permanent focus on decreasing pressure on pelvic area.

What is specific to Low Pressure Fitness is the breath-holding which allows for a wider range of motion. Exercise will often focus on working on the sagittal plane (right or left sides) of the body. As we can see in the pictures, these are probably the exercises which provide more improvements, but we also find more advanced postures targeting coronal plan and the three planes at the same time, with complete torsions of the upper body.

Unlike the traditional approaches to abdominal and pelvic floor exercise, which will focus on one segment of the core at a time, the Low Pressure Fitness program addresses the core to perform synergistically and as a whole.  

 

What are the benefits of Low Pressure Fitness?

 

Among its many benefits, Low Pressure Fitness is used by physiotherapists and trainers for:

  • pelvic floor restoration
  • trimming the waist-line
  • preventing and reducing back pain
  • enhancing breathing
  • posture and balance.

It is specifically focused for:

Myofascial release of the abdominal wall and diaphragm, resulting from Low Pressure Fitness are also well-acknowledged benefits of Low Pressure Fitness. The constant movement of the diaphragm in a Low Pressure Fitness session, promoted both by breathing and by the apneas produces a cooperation between the need for a longer range of motion and the abdominal response. Connective tissue loosens up and so does the abdomen.

 

How does Low Pressure Fitness work?

 

Low Pressure Fitness optimises the body posture by adjusting the neuromuscular connections between the autonomous nervous system and portions of the body lacking in alignment and relief. It prevents urinary incontinence by restoring muscular tone in the abdomen and the pelvic floor. It improves breathing patterns by enhancing movement in the torso and the diaphragm and it relieves back pain by promoting flexibility and a wider range of movement.

Low Pressure Fitness promotes axial lengthening and restoring the strength of the abdominal oblique and transverse muscles.

Since there is so much in common between the Low Pressure Fitness, Yoga and Pilates, it is also frequent to find contentious attitudes, with people trying to argue which of the three is better. We feel that it is not necessary to choose between either. An all-inclusive stance will allow us to reap the benefits of all of them. Just workout, enjoy be ecumenical and enjoy!

 

Hugo Loureiro, Low Pressure Fitness Portugal Coach and Pilates Personal Trainer (PT Studio)
Dr. Tamara Rial, Founder & Developer of Low Pressure Fitness

LOW PRESSURE FITNESS: THE NEW REVOLUTION FOR YOUR PELVIC FLOOR

In recent years, Low Pressure Fitness (LPF) has brought a revolution to the field of physical therapy as an smart alternative for pelvic floor training.

 

Traditionally, we have used pelvic floor muscle contractions known as Kegel exercises (Kegel, 1948) to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles focusing the attention on the active support system (musculature). Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials in the general female population conclude that there is supporting evidence for the effectiveness of kegel exercises as a conservative treatment for pelvic floor dysfunctions such as stress urinary incontinence (Duomolin & Hay-Smith, 2010). Nevertheless, we also have to recognize the importance of the passive support system of the pelvic floor (connective tissue) because it is necessary to achieve  an optimal balance of miofascial tissue and elascicity of the pelvic structures. These factors will be decisive to keep in the pelvic floor functioning optimally.

 

pelvic-flloor-fitness

 

Low Pressure Fitness training could be a useful tool for improving both active and passive support systems. This program can easily be incorporated into a variety of approaches previously designed with the client’s goals in mind. Let’s learn a little bit more about how Low Pressure Fitness works.

 

The core or cylinder formed by the diaphragm (at the top), the pelvic floor (bottom) abdominal muscles (front) and lumbar (back) all work synergistically to create stability to the spine and for breathing mechanism. An imbalance or excessive tone in any of the points will have observable repercussions on the other parts of the cylinder. In this sense, the pelvic floor works in coordination and synergy with the breathing. Re-training the breathing patterns will improve our abdominal muscle stability, and at the same time will enhance the pelvic floor function. Low Pressure Fitness, is a postural and breathing program that retrains respiratory function through specific breathing exercises meanwhile rebalances posture muscles.

 

Some of this breathing exercises are done in association with the abdominal vacuum maneuver or rib cage lift. Consequently, the diaphragm rises and sucks up the pelvic viscera and fascial connections. This maneuver causes a decrease of intraabdominal pressure, and a stretch of vaginal connective tissue. This myofascial stretching also leads to an increase of pelvic peripheral vascularization. All, will bring better mobility to the pelvic area as a global body readjustment.

 

It has been found that 30% of women with some kind of pelvic dysfunction are incapable to contract their pelvic floor muscles. A recent study by Brazilian researchers (Latorre et al., 2013), found that Low Pressure Fitness techniques helped in the local proprioception of the pelvic floor. One of the main objectives for pelvic floor rehabilitation is to raise awareness of the pelvic floor and at the same time learn how to discriminate this from relaxation of the isolated muscular contractions,  An example of how Low Pressure Fitness can help in pelvic floor treatment is shown in the following video

 

We can see the big difference between performing only voluntary contractions and a voluntary contraction combined with the Low Pressure Fitness techniques while using a biofeedback device. The maximum voluntary contraction achieved is higher with Low Pressure Fitness than with kegel exercises alone. The combination of both methods is an excellent way to improve propioception and strength of the pelvic floor as connective tissue is streched.

 

In short, maintaining a good balance between the fascial connective tissue and muscular components will help prevent/rehabilitate pelvic floor disorders.

 

Author:
Tamara Rial, for DOOLAFIT.

PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR HIGH IMPACT TRAINING WITH LOW PRESSURE FITNESS

The  starting  point  for any  workout  should  begin with a pre-exercise evaluation  (assessment  of  cardiorespiratory  fitness,  muscular  fitness,  flexibility or body  composition) performed by an exercise specialist. A professional will ensure that the exercise program is safe and effective and consistent with each individuals needs and goals.

 

The Low Pressure Fitness system includes an assesment of core muscle function. This initial assessment will help you understand the health of the your abdominal muscles, and whether they are fit enough for their main functions: stabilization, movement and breathing.

 

In recent years, fitness centers are increasingly  focused on  high intensity workouts. This type of training can place excessive impact on core structures including the abdominal muscles, the spine and even the perineum.

 

Usually, when we sign up for a beginners class at a fitness center we do not ask ourselves if our core is prepared for the demands of high impact or high intensity exercise. The high price for quick results is often an injury or aggravation a previous pathology. That´s why a pre-exercise evaluation is essential to detect conditions that may  influence the design of an exercise or sport program.

 

 

After the initial assessment, one of the best ways to prepare your body for future higher intensity workouts is with Low Pressure Fitness. Through specific postural and breathing techniques, your body will decrease rigidity with observable  effects on the diaphragm and lumbar spine. Optimal muscle tone with no myofascial tension will allow your body to better manage intra-abdominal pressure which is crucial for supporting higher intensity training. There is a common misunderstanding regarding strength and tonicity: strong is not equal to tonicity You can have strong muscles but at the same time they can have high or even low tonicity. There is a widespread misconception about the importance of core muscle strength. It seems as if strength is the only relevant variable to achieve optimal physical condition.

 

The core helps to transfer the load of intra-abdominal pressure and body forces. When a link in the core chain is weak, the rest of the system will fail to function optimally. This is the case of many sportswomen who have high levels of general strength and fitness but a specific weakness in their core. In a previous article we address this topic. Another common ailment related to muscular weakness and imbalance of the core musculature is the sport hernia. Aggressive and inappropiate abdominal exercise programs can cause or a sports hernia. Low Pressure Fitness can be a safe alternative for beginners who need to restore the strength and function of their core muscles. Even if you are an athlete or fitness instructor who wants to perform high intensity training, you  can benefit from Low  Pressure  Fitness as part of your exercise program.

 

Eunice Moura

WHAT’S HIDDEN BEHIND ATHLETIC INCONTINENCE?

Let´s get real and take out of the closet the topic of urine leakage in women’s sport. Recently, wikipedia has introduce a new term to describe exercise-induced urinary incontinence, called Athletic Incontinence. It´s the specific form of stress urinary incontinence  stress urinary incontinence that results from engaging in high-impact or strenuous activities. Generally, it is thought to be the consequence of a decreased support system of the pelvic floor due to increased intra-abdominal pressure during high-impact exercise. It has become a condition too common in female athletes. It represents a huge problem related to the  quality of life of sufferers, but at the same time it´s socially invisible. Meanwhile, different types of incontinence effect a large proportion of american women and the prevalence is much higher for female exercisers of all ages!

 

If statistics state the problem, why we don´t talk about it?

 

There is a huge taboo around the topic so it´s still under-reported. One of the most common problems that female athletes face, during and after their sport career, is stress urinary incontinence. Unfortunaltely, the topic is rarely discussed by an athlete’s healthcare provider. Behind exercise-induced urinary leakage are hidden several consequences such as cultural taboos, embarrasment, lower self-steem, early sport drop or other related lumbo-pelvic issues. Is a threat to an athletes health and well-being since it may limit their participation in athletic activities. Enterprises, concious about the problem , sell the solution  in the form of “female exercise pads”. Sounds like a bad joke, but at the same time, they may be the only people aware of this secret.

Why athletic incontinence is so common?

 

A literature review about this topic (Goldstick & Constantini, 2014) states that the prevalance  ranges from 28 to 80%, with the highest prevalence in high-impact sportswomen such as trampolinists, gymnasts, aerobic gymnasts, hockey players and ballet dancers. Leakage is due to a failure of the pelvic floor system that is unable to overcome the increase of intra-abdominal pressure which occurs regularly during high-impact activities such as jumping, landing, running. Strenuous exercise may overload and weaken the pelvic floor muscles. There are several risk factors associated with this condition, notably pregnancy and childbirth. However, studies have shown about 25-30% of stress urinary incontinence occurs in young athletes with no obstetric past. These numbers are even higher in activities and sports that significantly increase intra-abdominal pressure such as the trampoline whereby athletes have the highest incidence (80%) of urinary loss (Eliasson, Larsson & Mattsson, 2002).

 

What other problems are related?

 

Recent studies confirm a relationship between low back pain and urinary incontinence. The highest prevalence of athletic incontinence, as mentioned before, has been shown  in high-impact sports like gymnastics. This sport includes activities such as jumping, landing, and running which  can also cause compression to the lumbar spine and result in nerve inflammation.

Eating disorders were also associated with higher prevalence of stress urinary incontinence. The lack of proper nutrition, hormonal changes, muscle weakness, and vomiting are possible causes that influence negatively the structural pelvic system.

 

How to prevent or treat it?

 

Just doing simple pelvic floor prevention exercises can help women stay dry. Pelvic floor muscle exercises should be the first-line of treatment and incorporated regularly into exercise and sport training programs.

Joinning a regular exercise program based on Low Pressure Fitness is the preferred method for pelvic and abdominal training for thousands of women around the world. In additon, this method has no side-effects and doesn´t need equipment. Low Pressure Fitness has demostrated to be an effective tool to decrease leakage symptoms in a randomized controlled trial done by Rial (2015). The satisfaction of practitioners is complete as shown in the following testimony of a female Spanish marathoner who experienced exercise urinary leakage:

 

“As an athlete I must say that Low Pressure Fitness for me has been a great benefit to my health, both in terms of improving my quality of life, sport and emotional.
I am 37 years old and love my job, as a physical trainer …. and in my free time I am a marathon runner. I run half marathons and races that goes from 40miles to 62miles. I have spent almost seven years running, and the small losses of urine will appeared in the fourth year. The loss starts in the first miles, where I feel like 4 drops fall and it´s very uncomfortable. Since I started doing Low Pressure Fitness every morning these small daily losses have disappeared. The Low Pressure Fitness for me have been my best medicine, I practice them every morning and then I repeat in the afternoon.
Thank you to all the people who are researching low pressure fitness!”

Anna
Madrid, Spain

AS WOMEN GET STRONGER, THE PELVIC FLOOR GETS WEAKER

On this occassion we would like to talk about a dirty little secret. Nowadays, extreme high intensity workouts like Crossfit or Bootcamp are gaining popularity among women all across the world. Meanwhile they strenght and condition their pelvic floor maybe  weaker. This is a condition some workout exercise programs normalize as we can see in this video titled Crossfit do you pee during your workouts?

 

Pelvic floor muscles have to contain this systematic increase of pressure

 

It seems quite strange or contradictory as women get stronger how can their pelvic floor muscles get weaker? And, the worst  part is… why aren´t we talking about the problems related to pelvic floor dysfunctions in female sport practitioners?

 

High impact exercise is directly related with an overload on intraabdominal pressure. Pelvic floor muscles have to contain this systematic increase of pressure. The management of intraabdominal pressure can fail if several risk factors coexist at the same time (frecuency, load, intensity, impact of training). So, it´s not a surprise when the scientific literature has described the highest prevalence of stress urinary incontinence in female athletes, reaching prevalences of 80% in the case of female trampolinists. Recent studies also show that young, fit and nulliparous women suffer urinary incontinence, specially stress urinary incontinence. Of note, female athletes have a decrease in vaginal pressure compared to non-athletes. Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary leakage when an effort occurs (sneeze, cough, laugh, strength training, running..).

pelvic-floor-dysfunction

To lose the control of the bladder is not really the safest way to build a strong and funtional body. In fact, its a symptom of a dysfunctional core system, the spinal stability is compromised and is not able to manage correctly the increase of intraabdominal pressure.

 

To sum up, the following principle factors can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction in high impact exercise programs:

  • Systematic and repeated valsalva maneuvers during exercise.
  • Systematic and repeated jumps or impacts that directly affect the connective support tissue of the pelvic floor.
  • Poor breathing coordination when abdominal and respiratory muscles are fatigue.
  • Not performing a specific program of re-training the pelvic floor muscles like Low Pressure Fitness.

PAINFUL SEX? DYSPAREUNIA? CAN LOW PRESSURE FITNESS HELP?

A common sexual disorder among women is  dyspareunia which is pain that occurs before, during or after coitus. It involves sexual dysfunction with observable effects on a women´s quality of life. It is recurring or persistence pain that is experienced in the genitals or the pelvic structure. On average, its prevalence can reach 10%-15% of menopausal women, increasing in post-menopausal women. The causes of sexual pain are numerous. Nowadays, the mechanisms that trigger this disorder remain various and unknown. Among the primary causes, emotional factors such as sexual abuse, unsatisfactory sexual encounters, stress or psychological problems stand out; physical factors such as insufficient lubrication, other sexual disorders, vaginism, irritations, pelvic surgery, are important to consider too.

The treatment of sexuality and its disorders must be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective which includes treatment from a physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction and sexuality.

Can physical therapy exercise like Low Pressure Fitness help?

Unfortunately, dyspareunia is a subject that often remains in the dark. So sometimes both physical therapists and patient remain silent. Currently, attending a specialist in sexual disorders and an expert Low Pressure Fitness teacher is an excellent way of support. Education, appropriate verbal instruction and application of physical techniques can help.

It has been found that 30% of women with some kind of pelvic dysfunction are incapable to contract their pelvic floor muscles. Physical feedback, awareness and body control are essential. Therefore, one of the primary goals of Low Pressure Fitness is to acquire awareness of the pelvic floor musculature. It is important to know anatomical structures and physical feeling of the perineum in any sexual disorder treatment. Other objectives of Low Pressure Fitness are to increase elasticity of the vaginal tissue and normalize the pelvic floor tone. In general, women who suffer from pain during sexual intercourse have a tendency towards hypertone and high pelvic stiffness. In this sense, keep balance between the fascial connective tissue and muscular components will help prevent pelvic floor hypertonicity. Myofascial stretching that Low Pressure Fitness produces facilitates muscular relaxation as well as blood circulation. It will bring mobility to the pelvic area and a body readjustment.

A recent study by Brazilian researchers found that Low Pressure Fitness helped in the local proprioception of the pelvic floor. In this sense, one of the main objectives to achieve with a physical therapist will be to raise awareness of the pelvic floor, and at the same time learn how to discriminate this from relaxation of the isolated muscular contractions.

Collectively, all of these factors will have a positive influence on a women’s physical and psychological well-being. Releasing muscular tension favors emotional balance. We must remember that the emotional and psychological factors are significant causes of sexual pain. If you suffer from any type of pain during sexual intercourse, don’t hesitate to get away from the social taboo. Talk about the subject with a professional and start an interdisciplinary treatment plan that is designed to enhance your physical and  psychological point of view.