The Hypopresive Method: Interview with Kaisa Tuominen


The Hypopresive Method: Interview with Kaisa Tuominen

The Hypopresive Method is a revolutionary programme of abdominal training with both therapeutic and performance-enhancing benefits. Developed by Dr. Marcel Caufriez in Spain in the 1980s, it focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor, abdominals and core muscles with exercises that stimulate reflex muscle contractions. The benefits are many and varied, ranging from increased muscle tone to enhanced sexual function.

The Hypopresive Method: Interview with Kaisa Tuominen

Although the Hypopresive Method has been an integral part of physical therapy training in mainland Europe for many years, this approach is new to the UK market. Not only is the method evidence based, but the way that the techniques address posture, abdominal
tone and appearance, core strength and post pregnancy muscle function, will undoubtedly interest both fitness professionals and therapists alike.

Premier Training International are proud to be the exclusive UK educational partner for
the Hypopresive Method, and Instructor and perinatal fitness expert, Kaisa Tuominen, to ask
her a few questions about the science behind the method, the techniques used, and the
scope of practice for fitness professionals in the UK.

Kesh: First of all, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule – it’s great to have
you join us. For those who haven’t heard of you, can you tell us about your background
in health and fitness and what got you into the Hypopresive Method?

Kaisa: Thanks for the opportunity to talk about something that I am so passionate about and looking forward to sharing with the English speaking world. My background is probably quite
similar to many fit pros. I did following a successful launch in September 2012, I was
fortunate enough to catch up with Hypopresive Master my studies at Oregon State
University in the USA in Exercise Science as well as Nutrition (minor) and then went
on to do a 3 year Masters in Public Health. Throughout my time at university, I worked
as a personal trainer (NASM) and the coordinator of fitness programs for campus
recreation. I then moved on to be the Wellness Director at the University of Irvine in California before following my heart to Spain. For the last 6 years I’ve been self-employed and have built a studio with a staff of 4 that caters to perinatal women in a small town in Catalunya, Spain.  As I was checking out what the typical postpartum rehabilitation methods were in Europe I noticed that the Hypopresive Method was usual practice by pelvic floor therapists in Spain.
So I obviously wanted to get trained and include it in my corrective exercise based postpartum
groups!

Kesh: So, in simple terms, can you explain what the Hypopresive Method is, and who it is aimed at?

Kaisa: Hypopresive exercises are postures that reduce intra-abdominal pressure and stimulate an involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor and core muscles. This is basically
contrary to other forms of exercise which usually increase intra-abdominal pressure and use voluntary core contractions. Some of the benefits from Hypopresive Method exercises include postural improvements, increase in the tone of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor
muscles (this is the best method for postpartum), improved performance due to improved blood profiles, vascularization and respiratory parameters, and improvements in sexual
function.

Kesh: Pelvic floor tone has been the subject of debate for quite some time now. In your opinion, what are the major causes of poor pelvic floor tonality and pelvic organ prolapse? Does this apply to men also?

Kaisa: Sadly many of the pelvic floor pathologies we see today are due to poor assistance given to women during childbirth.
 Giving birth with anaesthesia and lying on your back is terribly risky for the pelvic floor. In
addition, many women are given an episiotomy and/or have a birth with instruments like the forceps or vacuum.
Women aren’t given the time necessary to give birth which allow the tissues to stretch
properly without injury. All of this creates weaker pelvic floors and more prolapses and incontinence. Also more and more women are participating in high intensity and high
impact exercises that due to the hyper-preserve nature of the activity can be quite devastating for the pelvic floor if it isn’t in perfect condition already.
As for men, they tend to have more problems with disk, abdominal and inguinal hernias instead of pelvic floor.
HM helps reprogram their core in a way that these pressures get more evenly distributed
thus the risk of these injuries decreases greatly.

Kesh: Now, I was lucky enough to attend the Fundamentals and Advanced training you
delivered in London recently, and immediately noticed the evidence-based approach
to the method. Is this an important part of the training you deliver?

Kaisa: This is precisely what attracted me to the method. Marcel Caufriez has thoroughly
studied each posture to be able to say that each one fulfils the requirements of a
hypopresive exercise.
The Fundamentals and Advanced courses demonstrate all the evidence we have at the
moment, and then the Expert level goes into depth about the theory of why and how the
exercises work.

Kesh: I have to say I was challenged mentally and physically during the course!
And talking of physical, the level of detail required to both perform and instruct the Hypopresive exercise techniques is extremely high – is this essential to their success?

Kaisa: This is true. HM can be a bit complex to learn at first. The static postures aren’t too difficult once you learn the basic components of the technique and then can
transfer those to each posture.
Once you get to the dynamic or advanced postures things get more challenging physically as well as keeping the details correct.

Kesh: In your experience, how long does it take to see results? Do the exercises have to be performed as a standalone workout, or can they be integrated into an existing fitness programme?

Kaisa: This really depends on what results you are looking for. Some women have results in just one or two sessions in terms of improvements in urinary incontinence. Postpartum
women usually need several months to get their final results. Back pain clients may get relief within a month. Using HM as a standalone workout vs. integrated part of a fitness program depends on the goal as well. If the goal is related to an injury or pelvic floor condition we usually have the client stop doing hyper-preserve exercises while we do the corrective
phase with hypothesizes.

Kesh: You’ve talked about Hypopresives within a therapeutic context – does the  method have any performance applications, and are these covered in the courses?

Kaisa: Currently the HM is being used with athletes and Marcel Caufriez and Toni Riera are completing studies. They are working on a specific 1 day course on training athletes, but it will take some time as the method is scientifically based and they want to have enough data to base the protocols on. Amateur athletes can certainly use the method to improve performance with just the basic protocols from the Fundamentals course.

The Hypopresive Method: Interview with Kaisa Tuominen

Kesh: We will certainly look out for that research when it’s published. How do you see the Hypopresive Method progressing within the UK market? Do you see any fundamental differences between the UK and the rest of Europe where it is already established?

Kaisa: In Spain the method has become a bit of a political issue as physiotherapists didn’t
want fit pros to have access to the method. Thankfully this won’t be an issue in the UK so I think it will be a lot easier for all professionals to work together. Most likely the first population to embrace the method will be women with pelvic floor issues as the results are so fast and life altering. From there I hope the method will move on to be a key preventative technique as well as a tool to reprogram dysfunctional cores of our typical fitness seeking clients.

Kesh: It sounds like an exciting time to be involved in such a pioneering technique. Thanks again

Kaisa for taking the time to talk about the Hypopresive Method! Kaisa: Thanks for the,  opportunity!

All Fitness __  The Hypopresive Method Iterview with Kaisa Tuominenn
Kesh Patel
Research & Development Manager


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