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Hypopressive Core training

You will never find a plank or crunch in any class at Studio 41 because we offer smarter, safer core training methods.

Traditional core exercises are not suitable for most people, and can contribute to pelvic weakness, back pain and worsen abdominal separation issues.

We teach an abdominal vacuum method known as Low Pressure or Hypopressive exercise.  Although it may appear a new way of training the core, this technique can be traced back in time.

In Yoga practice a hypopressive maneuver called the Uddiyana Bhandha has been used for thousands of years for reported purposes such as visceral mobilization, respiratory muscle strengthening, and diaphragmatic mobility. Research findings demonstrate the Uddiyana bandha increases transverse abdominus muscle activation(1) and decreases pressure in the colon(2).


In the late 1970’s the hypopressive technique was adopted by bodybuilders, most famously Arnold Schwarzenegger, and renamed the “abdominal vacuum”. Bodybuilders posed using the technique to visually reduce their waist size while simultaneously highlighting their thoracic muscles.

Modern day hypopressive exercises were developed in the 1980’s in Europe by Dr. Marcel Caufriez specifically as a postpartum recovery technique for women experiencing pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. You may also come across the term hypopressive gymnastics in the research literature when referring to the hypopressive exercises developed from this time frame.


The hypopressive apnea is the hallmark feature of hypopressive exercise during which after full exhalation, breath is held, the glottis is closed and the intercostal muscles are used to create inspiratory movement of the ribcage while the rectus abdominus muscle remains relaxed. This thoracic pressure change causes a “drawing up”of the relaxed diaphragm with associated decreased pressure in abdominal and pelvic cavities.

This method is suitable for everyone, especially those of you suffering with bulging discs, back weakness, pelvic weakness and prolapse, bladder weakness and stress.  

This form of exercise appears to help people suffering with mental health disorders too.

Find this method blended into our Restorative classes or book a private session.

Studio 41 Directors, Marie Behenna and Johny Grigg are Hypopressive Practitioners.

Hypopressive on back with bent knees and strong arms
Schwarzenegger, A. (1992) Bodybuilding Encyclopedia.
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