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Hypopressive Breathing Techniques/Low Pressure Fitness (LPF)

LPF is a training system that re-educates the body’s breathing and postural systems. “Hypo”

meaning low and “pressive” meaning pressure, refers to a means of exercising the pelvic floor and

other abdominal muscles under decreased pressure, created by normal breathing and breathing-like motions. The hallmark of LPF is the Hypopressive manoeuvre (apnea), a lift of the diaphragm whilst laterally expanding the rib cage, to mimic the movement of inhalation without air flowing into the lungs. In response, a vacuum is created. The Transabdominus contracts and the pelvic floor draws up.

Hypopressives are a great addition to one's pelvic floor and core conditioning repertoire. It improves the synergy of the core muscles and in turn, allows for an improved response to daily pressures. The body’s core proficiency is enhanced as a unit. Hypopressives decrease pressure to the abdominal and pelvic cavities when executed correctly.

How it is performed:

1. The Rest Breath

Diaphragm inspiration –focus on thoracic chest expansion of the ribcage in a 3D direction – 2


Full expiration follows - 4 counts

2. Apnea/False breath

3. Repeat

This training benefits everyone from the sedentary office worker to the postpartum mother to


LPF can have several beneficial aspects:

  • Improves core strength

  • Allows for deeper and more functional breath

  • Relieves back pain

  • Reduces waist size

  • Postural improvement and hence respiration enhancement

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction is reduced – eg. Prolapse

  • Enhances sexual health

  • Prevent and correct diastasis recti (separation of the 6-pack muscles during pregnancy)

People who should avoid LPF include:

  • Pregnant women – modifications are made to avoid the apnea but the postures and an adjusted breath pattern can still be included

  • Newly postpartum mothers – LPF can return to training regimens 6-8 weeks postnatally

  • High blood pressure

  • Abdominal illnesses

  • Pulmonary disease

  • Post operative clients – LPF can return to training 3 months postoperatively

  • Woman with IUD’s

LPF is a great addition to Pilates training, to assist with enhancing core strength and posture. It

offers a myofascial and neurodynamic component, allowing for improved awareness of breath to

support one’s Pilates practice.

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