How Do the Abdominal Muscles Change during Hypopressive Exercise?

Medicina (Kaunas). 2021 Jul 9;57(7):702. doi: 10.3390/medicina57070702.


Background and objective: Prior studies have reported an activation of abdominal muscles during hypopressive exercises in women with pelvic floor disfunction. However, no previous research analyzed the effects of hypopressive exercise on abdominal muscles in healthy populations to understand the normal biomechanics of this area. The aim of this study was to examine the thickness of abdominal muscles at rest and during hypopressive exercise in supine and standing positions with ultrasound imaging in healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 99 healthy university students. The thickness of the abdominal muscles at rest and during hypopressive exercise was assessed with ultrasound imaging in supine and standing positions. Results: During hypopressive exercise, there was a significant increase in the muscle thickness of transversus abdominis (p < 0.001) and internal oblique (p < 0.001) in supine and standing positions. External oblique only increased its thickness significantly in the standing position (p < 0.001) and rectus abdominis did not change during the hypopressive exercise in any position (p > 0.05). In conclusion, hypopressive exercises seem to increase the thickness of the deepest and most stabilized muscles such as transversus abdominis and internal oblique. Conclusions: These findings should be considered for future interventions with hypopressive exercises in healthy subjects.

Keywords: abdominal muscles; back care; hypopressive exercises; ultrasound imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles* / diagnostic imaging
  • Abdominal Oblique Muscles
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ultrasonography