We had the pleasure of talking to Trista Zinn for POP awareness month and learn all about Hypopressive’s the benefits, effects and how it has impacted her life. Having been diagnosed with Stage 2 prolapse, from which she was told there was little non-surgical chance of recovery, Trista was determined to find a non-invasive, alternative treatment. This led her to the discovery HYPOPRESSIVE™ technique – popular in Europe. She sought out the world’s only English-speaking certifying instructor at the time, located in Spain. Since that time, her primary focus has become training and educating others in the HYPOPRESSIVE™ Technique, while spreading the gospel about pelvic floor health.
What exactly is Hypopressive and what is it used for?
The Hypopressives technique, also known as Low Pressure Fitness in North America, is a completely new approach to core training. The term Hypopressive refers to a decrease or reduction in pressure, whereas traditional exercise, abdominal/core training, sports, gravity and most of our everyday activities are Hyperpressive – they increase intra-abdominal pressure. (Next time you cough, do an abdominal exercise or simply have a good laugh, be more mindful of what type of movement is happening in your abdominal and pelvic floor area; feel the pressure increase and note the direction of the force of these pressures within your abdominal area).
It is not to say that doing these everyday activities are bad for us, in fact most of what we do – even walking – increases this internal pressure. What we need to address is how well our bodies are able to manage these pressures and prevent the onset ofinjury/dysfunction (pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, abdominal or vertebral hernia, back pain, sexual dysfunction and poor posture and breathing patterns).
The Hypopressive technique is a seamless progression of postures and poses that cause a reduction in pressure and trigger an automatic response from the core – pelvic floor, abdominals, multifidus and diaphragm (the often forgotten muscles of the core). Incorporating a unique breathing pattern with these poses, amplifies their effect while causing an abdominal vacuum. The end effect is something that cannot be recreated with crunches or planks.
This type of training is more all-encompassing in comparison to traditional abdominal exercise. When training a muscle or a system of muscles, it is important to understand the true nature of its function, its importance to the systems around it and train it not only for its function, but for its synergy within the body. Our core is not intended to be all power and strength. Hypopressive techniques provide a measure of interior balance that has a wider range of benefits.
Is this method safe/effective for women with pelvic organ prolapse?
Absolutely, in fact Hypopressive training was originally designed to help postnatal women recover from and/or prevent the onset of pelvic floor dysfunctions after giving birth. Of course, with the benefit of nearly 30 years of study and refinement, it has since become so much more and is now being sought after by women and men of all ages looking to ‘reprogram’ their core. It is by no means a cure-all, nothing is, but my own personal experiences and the experiences of the number of health professionals across the world that employ this method with their clients suffering from early stage POP and its symptoms has been unparalleled in comparison to alternate non-invasive treatments.
“ If kegels are the lady push-ups of pelvic floor strengthening then think of Hypopressives as the boot camp for your whole body.” ~ Jaqueline Hennessy, Todays Parent Magazine
What inspired you to specialize in this technique?
My own journey with Hypopressive – Low Pressure Fitness began when I was diagnosed with a stage two cystocele (prolapse of the bladder). I was devastated! I was a personal trainer for whom exercise was part of my everyday routine and now I had been strongly advised to discontinue my current exercise program! I was desperate for a natural rehabilitation technique, which led me to this crazy European methodology. After weeks of emulating Spanish Hypopressive techniques on youtube, I had actually reduced my stage two to a stage one, and knew then that it was time to find out where I might learn this form of training. By the way, not only was my prolapse reduced in size, but my abdominals had a resting tone unlike any other abdominal exercise I had previously tried…a very different feeling from the constantly engaged abs I had become accustomed to.
At the time there was no one in North America that was qualified to teach me as a client or anywhere to become a certified instructor – so I went to Spain to get a Level 1 certification. It was the most impulsive decision I had ever made in my life – and certainly one of the most rewarding.
Since then, I have dedicated my life to promoting Hypopressives/Low Pressure Fitness and have returned to Europe on numerous occasions to increase my qualifications. I could do nothing else having experienced the benefits first hand (I no longer have POP), and now getting to see the benefits everyday with my clients. I have attained Masters Certification in Low Pressure Fitness, have become the first North American to become International Instructor and now get to teach certification courses across the continent. I still get to return to Spain every year to meet with the International team, where we discuss developments and new research with the technique, and of course, do some group classes on the beach in the warm Spanish sun.
What is the most shocking thing you’ve learned personally about postnatal recovery?
Most shocking is the information that was given about proper pelvic floor recovery. And by that I mean the LACK of information. If I had been educated more after having my children, who are now 14 and 9, I would not have done then what I know now!
What do you find most challenging about your industry?
The most challenging thing about my industry right now from when I started in the fitness industry 23+ years ago is trying to keep up with social media. I am not much of a writer, I am much more of a conversationalist and word of mouth kind a gal so trying to be active and produce material and articles ready for all these online networks is a challenge for sure! My day keeps me very busy and not close to my computer until the end of the day. Balance is so important to me and balancing clients, family, children and my own personal time is more challenging now that the social media world is so popular.
What is your number one advice for our readers?
The number one advice I would give readers is to stay focused on your goal and yet opened to trying something new and out of the ordinary to help you get there.
What keeps you motivated?
I truly think what keeps me motivated is my passion to really want to help the men and women I work with. I have found an exercise technique I have fallen in love with, it gives me great pleasure sharing it with others. Everyone has a personal journey. It motivates me to keep moving forward when I receive such positive feedback from those practicing Hypopressive Low Pressure Fitness.
Trista Zinn, founder of Coreset Fitness, & Director of Hypopressives Canada, is a personal trainer specializing in pelvic floor health and core re-programming. She is Canada’s highest qualified and most experienced Trainer in HYPOPRESSIVE™ technique – the only one with Master Level (Level 4) Status. Trista has been featured on the Marilyn Denis Show, Dr. Marla & Friends and CHCH news, and she has been invited to speak to the professional fitness community about HYPOPRESSIVE™ Training and pelvic floor health at the CPTN 2015 Toronto Conference. She has also published several magazine articles to include the Today’s Parent Magazine in order to further spread the word about this unique form of training and the importance of pelvic floor health. Trista is a mother of 2 and lover of all things family, outdoors and fitness. She has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years and has been a certified personal trainer for 18 years, with alternate specialties in Pre/Post Natal and Older Adult Fitness Training.
To learn more and connect with Trista:
A Special thank you to Trista Zinn for permission to use the photos found in this article