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STABILIZE YOUR SPINE WITH LOW PRESSURE FITNESS

Eight out of ten people suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is one of the main causes of seeking medical advice, But, did you know that exercise is the therapy that has shown the most evidence in treating lower back pain?

 

There are a variety of exercises which can be grouped under the label of core stability or core training. Core stability training refers to the strengthening of the trunk muscles which help to stabilize the spine. These muscles, responsible for spine stabilization, are divided into two main groups: global and local stabilization muscles.

 

  • The global and superficial stabilization system generates the major torques of movement involving the spinal erectors, the quadratus lumborum and the rectus abdominis muscles.
  • The local and deep stabilization system is responsible for providing a rigid base for movement and posture. This system includes the pelvic floor, the multifidus and the transverse abdominal muscles.

 

Different studies on exercises for core stability training have shown positive results in the areas of prevention and of treatment of lower back pain. Today, these exercise techniques have become an essential part of all rehab programs carried out in gyms, sports centers, hospitals and clinical practices.

 

One of the principal goals of core training is to locate and maintain a neutral spine position across exercises which will favor muscle co-activation and central muscular stability within the natural physiological limits of each person. Progressive and regular core training will improve motor control and patterns of muscular recruitment. Core stabilization exercises designed to reduce lumbar back pain may also aim increase spinal strength and rigidity.

 

In the initial phase of core training the main goal is to activate the local and deep stabilization system. Attention is focused on activating the muscles while keeping the back in a neutral position which will help in keeping postural balance. The most suitable positions at this early stage are lying, sitting and on all-fours. Two of the best beginner exercises are the bridge and all-fours.

 

Low Pressure Fitness training system has adapted these basic core stability positions and their corresponding transitions from the most basic level to the most advanced, and given them the names of Aphrodite and Gaia.

 

Learn Aphrodite and Gaia

The key aspects of  Aphrodite as Gaia are awareness of spinal elongation and the maintenance of spinal neutral position. In the learning phase of Aphrodite and Gaia, one of the most common mistakes is to perform a pelvic tilt as a reflex mechanism to protect your lumbar spine. That’s why it is essential to identify technical errors and to learn the exercises properly with a qualified LPF trainer.

 

APHRODITE

To perform Aphrodite in its basic level, lie down on your back with bent knees and ankles in dorsi-flexion. Stretch your arms with the palm facing upwards as shown in the picture. Your arms should be pressing slightly the floor and you should be trying to lengthen and stretch your arms by increasing the space between your chest and shoulders. From this position, lift your hips to draw a perfect straight line between your knees, pelvis and chest. You should hold this pose during three respiratory cycles. During the third exhalation, slowly bring your hips down and lower your back to the floor.

 

 

afrodita-lpf

The next step in Aphrodite combines the upward pelvic movement with the breathing Low Pressure Fitness technique. After the third exhalation, hold your breath, slowly expand your ribcage, and open your chest while your hips rise slowly from the floor. Once you have your back, chest and knees in perfect alignment, breathe for three respiratory cycles. Lower your hips slowly during the third exhalation.

aphrodite-lpf

GAIA

Start off on an all-fours position as shown in the image. The ankles are in dorsi-flexion with your knees in line with your pelvis and your hands in line with your shoulders. For Low Pressure Fitness first level beginners, the first step should be to learn the correct spine alignment. Your spine should be perfectly aligned, parallel with the floor.

 

Gaia-lpf

One of the challenges in this position is to keep the pelvis neutral and your neck in line with your back. For beginners, it is common to see hyperextension in the neck or pelvic tilt. Hold the position during three complete respiratory cycles, in which you will lengthen the spine by pushing your head in the opposite direction of the sacrum.

gaia-lpf

If you can hold the position successfully for several repetitions you are ready to move on to the next level of Gaia which includes the specific breathing pattern from the Low Pressure Fitness program.

 

It is always advisable to consult with a specialist before starting any exercise program for lower back pain on your own. Qualified health and exercise professionals are your best guarantee of guidance. You can find a list of all our certified Low Pressure Fitness trainers in our online directory.

 

 

Author:
Tamara Rial, PhD

TREATMENT OF URINARY INCONTINENCE WITH HYPOPRESSIVE EXERCISE

The Spanish Scientific Nursing Society journal (SCELE) has just published an original research article titled Hypopressive exercise for the treatment of urinary incontinence in multiparous women: clinical series.

 

The study presented the results of treating a clinical series of multiparous women who suffered from urinary incontinence. Based on the hypopressive exercise guide described by the founders of Low Pressure Fitness (Rial and Pinsach, 2014), a novel protocol was proposed with the objective of improving urine leakages.

 

Urinary incontinence is very common after delivery. The type and number of deliveries are considered major risk factors. In many cases, women do not seek appropriate treatment since urinary incontinence has become socially normalized after a certain age or as a consequence of delivery. However, supervised treatment with specific exercises can be helpful and at the same time healthy.

 

In recent years, hypopressive exercise has started to be applied in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunctions such as prolapse and incontinence. Although it is very popular, there is a limited body of evidence regarding it’s benefits. Additionally, there are very few references available regarding the best protocol for treating urinary incontinence with hypopressives. In this study, the authors suggested a new protocol which consisted of ten minutes of Level 1 LPF exercises practiced once a week over three weeks. After that, the session duration increased to fifteen minutes and was carried out twice a week. Lastly, in the last two weeks practice time was increased to twenty minutes twice a week.

 

After a seven-week intervention protocol based exclusively on hypopressives, urinary incontinence was again assessed. All cases showed improvements in both, the severity and quantity of the leakages. Two cases showed complete remission of urine leakages and all the women expressed great satisfaction with the program.

 

urinary-incontinence

 

The results of this study:

  1. Provide more data on the potential effectiveness of hypopressives for the conservative treatment of urinary incontinence.
  2. Lay the ground work for new experimental studies involving larger groups.

 

The fact that the sessions were short, supervised and progressively introduced to the patient could influence the desirable findings. The results of this study show us that a short protocol (10 to 20 minutes of hypopressives performed once to twice a week) can also be effective in reducing urinary incontinence in a case of multiparous women.

 

All the certified professionals of Low Pressure Fitness, experts in hypopressive exercise can be found in this link.

LOW PRESSURE FITNESS AT RIMINIWELLNESS 2018

RiminiWellness is the largest fitness and wellness trade show in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. With participation in 2017 at 268.120, this year’s event promises even greater numbers. Low Pressure Fitness was present this year with 4 workshops and 8 mini masterclasses to present, inform, instruct and demonstrate the pressureless training system to the Italian fitness community. While participants in the masterclasses were predominantly Italian, there were also many participants from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland and many other European countries.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

 

The workshops presented included: “What nobody has ever told you about Core Training, myths and new perspectives”, “The core’s missing link: diaphragm and pelvic floor”, “Myofascial relaxation and Postural Re-Education with LPF” and finally, “Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives”. Each workshop was attended by fitness professionals as well as physical therapists and other medical professionals, that all expressed interest in this innovative and exciting training method for both men and women.

 

Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives

 

The participants in the mini master classes over the four days included exercise professionals, health professionals as well as exercisers. All were enthusiastic about the new technique and especially the sensations experienced during the workouts that were all geared at teaching the basic fundamental postures and breathing and, where possible, having them try the expiratory apnea, our “signature exercise”.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

Low Pressure Fitness staff at Riminiwellness

 

The staff of Low Pressure Fitness instructors was on-hand to assist the participants during the mini masterclasses and give information and distribute material on LPF in Italy.  They were also invaluable in sharing their own personal experiences and results of their work with many of their own clients to show the participants that the LPF method is both instructor and user-friendly with benefits that can be attained when the exercises are performed with precision. RiminiWellness has proven to be an excellent event to showcase this innovative, multidisciplinary training method. To learn more about Low Pressure Fitness and courses in Italy for health and exercise professionals write us to: [email protected]

 

Author:
Mimi Adami
Low Pressure Fitness Italy Director & LPF-Coach

Facebook:
Low Pressure Fitness Italy

DIAPHRAGM STRETCHING TO IMPROVE THE POSTERIOR CHAIN MUSCLE KINEMATICS AND RIB CAGE EXCURSION

Stretching and self-massage of the diaphragm are main techniques of the Low Pressure Fitness training protocol. They are widely used by our LPF certified trainers for their initial sessions and by all LPF practitioners. The diaphragm stretching is an excellent breathing warm-up, which will increase chest mobility and also relieve myofascial tension of the respiratory chain.

Technique of diaphragm self-stretching

Technique of diaphragm self-stretching

A recent randomized controlled trial published in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy (2016), explored the effects of diaphragmatic stretching on diphragm and spine kinematics. Eighty healthy adults were divided into two experimental groups. Diaphragmatic stretching was applied to the first group, and a placebo treatment was given to the other (sham-ultrasound procedure). The stretching was applied for 5-7 minutes in first experimental group meanwhile the placebo group received sham ultrasounds applied with a powered-off machine.

 

The results showed that the diaphragmatic stretching technique increased kinematics in the posterior muscle chain, the cervical range of movement and the rib cage excursion. Contrarily, the placebo group showed no improvement in any of the analyzed outcomes.

Table of the study results

Table of the study results

Stretching and self-massage of the diaphragm are main techniques of the Low Pressure Fitness training protocol

 

Low Pressure Fitness applies this technique with the same procedure as described in the study. It is advisable to dedicate 5 to 8 minutes to stretch the diaphragm at the beginning of the session or during the preparatory phases of LPF. The technique should be always performed under the supervision of a certified profesional (LPF-CT). In the following video we can see the diaphragm stretching technique with myofascial balls:

The LPF training system incorporates a variety of evidence based breathing techniques such as: abdominal vacuum; latero-costal breathing;  forced exhalation, breath trainers and respiratory muscle stretching (diaphragm stretch, intercostal stretch). The results described by this study add more scientific knowledge about the the positive effects of the diaphragm stretching technique used in LPF on the rib cage excursion and posterior chain kinematics.

 

Whether you’re interested in learning  the LPF method for yourself or to teach it to others, our website offers you a variety of training courses for professionals and a full directory of certified professionals near your home.

 

Author:
Tamara Rial PhD

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.

“MY PELVIC FLOOR SYMPTOMS ESSENTIALLY VANISHED”

I came to learn about hypopressives after the birth of my third daughter. Always a very active person prior to kids, I felt frustrated by the limitations placed on my physical recovery by the development of an anterior prolapse. Not only was I looking for something to improve my pelvic floor health, but I was desperate to find a focus that could rebuild my core again. Hypopressives changed everything for me. The shape of my body quickly returned to what I used to look like, my pelvic floor symptoms essentially vanished, but most of all I felt a renewed sense of energy. My posture improved dramatically as well. I continue to use hypopressives as my core training to supplement other more cardio-based activities. For me, hypopressives have been just as effective (and much more enjoyable) than any other exercise I have tried in the past to target the core. I don’t miss planks or sit ups in the least! I feel taller, more centered and more energized after a session. I have Trista to thank for helping me to perfect my technique, to focus my practice and to keep me motivated. It was a life changer for me!

 

H.H.
Trista Zinn´s Client

 

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.