HYPOPRESSIVES FOR IMPROVED ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Thanks to Toni Riera, the director of performance research for the Hypopressive Method, I can share some hot off the press information about how Hypopressive techniques help athletic performance.
Toni Riera works with athletes, especially cyclists and triathletes, and in the last year, he has been completing case studies on his clients including blood work, performance testing, respiratory parameters, etc. He wanted to see if he could duplicate results Dr. Caufriez had seen in the past related to performance.
Here are some highlights of the benefits for athletes based on the research done by Toni Riera and Marcel Caufriez:
Increases in endurance by improved respiratory parameters and vascular component such as hematocrit, hemoglobin, and EPO
Hypopressive exercises improve diaphragm function thus making breathing more efficient. A more mobile diaphragm improves lung capacity. In addition, the training of the serratus anterior through Hypopressives allows it to play a stronger role in inhalation. Combining the changes in the diaphragm and the stronger serratus anterior, athletes are better able to open and close the rib cage which in turn shows as an improved pulmonary capacity measured by a spirometer.
The vascular changes come from the stimulation of the neumotaxic center of the brain. The exercises cause a lack of oxygen and an excess of CO2. After regular training with Hypopressives, a contraction of the spleen can be observed. The spleen ejects new blood cells into circulation thus improving hemoglobin and hematocrit. An increase in EPO, the hormone responsible for stimulating new blood cell growth, has also been observed in the athletes’ blood work.
Improvements in explosive strength
Athletes who use Hypopressive techniques in their training notice a rebalance of muscular tensions, especially a decrease in tension in the posterior chain. This improves movement quality making the athletes more efficient. In addition, the movements from Hypopressive exercises create new neuronal circuits that activate much faster and thus improve muscular reactivity. The increase in resting tone of the pelvic floor and abdominals improves force transfer through the core thus increasing explosive strength.
Increases in anaerobic capacity by increasing metabolism by up to 15%
This improvement is related to the previous one. The increase in EPO from the hypoxic effect of the exercises helps increase anaerobic capacity. With the improvements in the athlete’s vascular profile, the body has more oxygen and an increased anaerobic threshold. The body is better able to metabolize lactic acid in aerobic conditions thus it takes longer for lactic acid to accumulate.
Improvements in the capacity to properly manage intra-abdominal pressure thus decreasing the risk of hernias/organ prolapse
One of the main benefits of Hypopressive Low-Pressure Fitness is the increase in resting tone of the pelvic floor and abdominal wall. This translates into a better ability to manage intra-abdominal pressure changes thus decreasing the risk of injury.
Although this information is based on a small sample of athletes with no control groups, the improvements are certainly noteworthy and will stimulate more studies. From these results, it seems important to incorporate Hypopressives into the training plans of athletes looking to stay injury-free and improve performance.