Hypopressive exercise is a new name for an old technique. The yogi practice called uddiyana bandha was recast as hypopressive breathing or abdominal hypopressive technique (AHT) in the 1980s by Marcel Caufriez, a Belgian physical therapist working in Spain. Caufriez was looking for a way to help his postpartum patients with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

So what are hypopressives? You've likely seen photos or videos of someone doing this technique but didn't know what it was called, or how or why you would want to do it yourself. Abundant TikToks show exercise influencers doing something similar called the "vacuum method."

Four basic steps are required to perform the maneuver:

1) Sit with your back straight and inhale deeply, expanding your ribs.

2) Exhale completely.

3) Suck in as if you are inhaling, but don't actually take in any