Other Subject Area

Exercise Physiology


Hypopressive exercises (HE) are part of the Low Pressure Fitness training program which is widely used by physical therapists in the rehabilitation of the pelvic floor, abdominal and spinal musculature. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of HE on the sagittal lumbo-pelvic posture in athletic and non-athletic females. It was hypothesized that a 5-week training program of HE could influence lumbo-pelvic position while reducing abdominal circumference and low back pain in athletic and non-athletic females. Twenty normoweight females (mean age= 24.8 (SD3.5) years; body mass index= 22.4(SD1.6) kg/m2) participated in this study. Ten athletic females were rugby players (RG), and 10 females were non-athletic (SG). Participants completed twenty minutes of HE twice weekly for 5 weeks. Before and after the intervention, two-dimension photogrammetry was used to assess lumbar lordosis and pelvic horizontal alignment. A Visual Analog Scale was used to assess low back pain and cirtometry was used to assess abdominal circumferences at umbilical, supra and infra-umbilical levels. An analysis of variance between moments revealed no significant differences in lumbar lordosis and pelvic positioning but showed significant differences for abdominal circumferences between groups. No significant differences between groups were found for other variables. Significant correlations were found between the three different abdominal circumference measurements (p>0.05) but not between lumbar lordosis and abdominal circumferences. These preliminary findings indicate that a 5-week HE intervention displayed non-significant changes in lumbar lordosis, pelvic horizontal alignment, and low back pain but a significant reduction in abdominal circumferences in non-athletic and athletic females.