Low pressure fitness level 1 postures

Low Pressure Fitness Basics

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This post is to define and describe the basics of low pressure fitness and hypopressives. This post will define some common terms used in low pressure fitness, the proper way to breathe throughout a low pressure fitness flow, and the basic postures of a low pressure fitness flow.

low pressure fitness Basics to keep in mind:

  • Breathing is a latero-costal breath, meaning that when you inhale, you should feel the ribs expand in every direction (360 deg breath), and when you exhale, the ribs should return back down.
  • Breathing pattern is in through the nose, out through the mouth.
  • Breathing is slow: start with 4 second inhale, 4 second exhale
  • Grow through the crown of the head on exhale and try to remain this lengthening in the spine throughout the exercise
  • In all positions:
    • Find neutral pelvis
    • Arms should be rounded in a “barrel hug” position and shoulder blades are engaged
    • Weight is shifted slightly forward (axis forward)

Common Low Pressure Fitness Terms And Definitions:

  • Latero-costal breathing–> costal is a term for the ribs or ribcage, so latero-costal breathing is breathing through the rib cage. On inhale and exhale, you should feel the ribs expanding and falling in a 360 deg range
  • Apnea–> breath hold
  • Abdominal Vacuum–> a technique that is performed after full exhalation, where the glottis is closed, the breath is held, and the ribcage is flared to create a negative pressure suctioning effect
  • Athena–>this is an arm position where the fingers are facing each other and the arms are in a rounded, engaged, barrel hug position (can be in low, mid, or high positions)
  • Venus–> this is the basic standing posture of low pressure fitness, where the arms are down with fingers down and palms facing posteriorly
  • Neutral pelvis–> tilt the pelvis anteriorly and posteriorly, until you find what feels and looks like a neutral pelvis that keeps the spine in good alignment
  • Axis forward–> keeping the pelvis neutral and the spine straight, incline the entire body slightly forward wight weight onto the front of the feet (not through the heels)
  • Axial elongation and lengthening–> a sensation of growing and lengthening through the crown of the head, creating space between the pelvis and ribcage and the head and shoulders, elongating the spine as much as you can

The basic breathing pattern for low pressure fitness

Hypopressive breathing is the type of breathing that is performed during a low pressure fitness workout, and once learned, could become the primary way of breathing in our daily life and activities. The basic mechanism of hypopressive breathing consists of 3 parts:

  1. Slow latero-costal breathing
  2. Abdominal vacuum technique
  3. Axial Lengthening

Check out this post for more information on hypopressive breathing and the abdominal vacuum technique:

indications for Low pressure fitness training

There are so many indications for this type of breath training. It is really so great for everyone and for most conditions.

Here are a few you may now have thought of:

  1. GI issues: low pressure fitness is mobilizing the organs and also balancing organ pressures. The latero-costal breathing and the nervous system regulation decreases the myofascial and visceral tension that can lead to GI related issues.
  2. Prolapse
  3. Incontinence
  4. Pelvic floor muscle weakness or tension
  5. Bloating
  6. Low back pain
  7. Pelvic pain
  8. Irritable bowel syndrome
  9. Bladder pain syndrome
  10. Hemorrhoids
  11. Axiety, stress, depression

Low pressure fitness basic poses:

Level 1 Low Pressure Fitness postures:

Low pressure fitness basics level 1 postures

Main Considerations:

  1. Inhale through nose/exhale through mouth
  2. Breathing is very slow and 1:2 ratio (4 sec in, 8 sec exhale)
  3. Lengthen spine on each exhale
  4. Maintain length throughout the flow
  5. Transition on exhales
  6. Keep axis forward

Level 2 Low Pressure Fitness Postures

Low Pressure Fitness Basics Level 2 Postures

Main Differences:

  1. More dynamic and asymmetrical postures
  2. More movement of arms and legs
  3. Movements during apnea
  4. Could have longer apnea hold
  5. Can move on inhale and exhale

Low Pressure Fitness Level 3 Postures

Low Pressure Fitness Basics Level 3 Posture

Main Progressions

  1. Adding in arm spirals for neural mobilizations
  2. Adding in trunk rotation
  3. Longer apnea
  4. More dynamic and asymmetrical movements
  5. Advanced poses

Check out my youTube channel for Level 1, 2, and eventually level 3 flows like these:

Contraindications for abdominal vacuum

  1. Pregnancy: It is not advised to do any breath holding during pregnancy since you will be decreasing the amount of oxygen in the body and also to baby!
    • What you can do is do the poses with the latero-costal breathing technique and just refrain from the vacuum! All of the poses, especially in level 1, are very safe and great to do during pregnancy
    • Remember that the latero-costal breathing is beneficial without the vacuum!
  2. Hypertension (or any other cardiopathy)
  3. Hernia repair, mesh, or other abdominal surgery
    • Wait for 3 months before doing the abdominal vacuum, because the vacuum is an intense stretching of the deep and superficial layers of the fascia
    • Doing the breathing and postures are still great to do– the more active you are the better your recovery
  4. Any other medical contraindication to exercise

Precautions for abdominal vacuum

  1. Acute flare up of abdominal symptoms: there is no detriment, but likely won’t be comfortable or desirable to do
  2. If you are not comfortable holding your breath, it would be better to work on the ability to hold your breath for 6 seconds prior to doing the abdominal vacuum technique
  3. Feeling light-headed or dizzy
    • If you begin to feel light-headed or dizzy, please stop your exercise, sit down, get some water, and rest
    • The reason for the feeling of light-headedness is likely due to expelling CO2 too quickly, so it will be important to practice and improve your slow breathing and work toward the inhale:exhale ratio to be 1:2
      • For example 4 second inhale and 8 second exhale

For more related content:

medical disclaimer

The information on this website is intended solely for educational purposes and cannot substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek input from your primary medical provider if you would like to begin a low pressure fitness program.

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