Anterior Pelvic Tilt

One of the most common causes for back pain is Anterior Pelvic Tilt. This is also commonly referred to as “Lower Cross Syndrome”.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt is a muscle imbalance in your hips and lower back. It is becoming increasingly common because people spend more time sitting and less time being physically active. This posture can be called the ‘beer gut’ posture as the tummy bulges out, the hips tilt forward, the knees hyperextend and the lower back arches. In this stance, the hip and lower back muscles tighten, and the glute and ab muscles lengthen and weaken which may cause increased stress on the surrounding joints, muscles, and bones and often leads to lower back and knee pain. It can be caused by having poor posture during prolonged sitting, living a sedentary lifestyle, wearing high heels, pregnancy and sometimes by practicing physical activity with poor technique.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt puts excess pressure on the lower back, hips, and knees, increasing the risk for joint injury. It is common to experience:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Ankle pain
  • Discomfort with prolonged driving or sitting, standing and walking

Since the body is a single unit, an imbalance in the pelvis, can cause compensatory issues throughout the body. You can retrain your posture, relieve pain and prevent further injury by working with a Spiral Health postural alignment therapist who can help you address several postural imbalances at once. You can get started now by trying the following exercises aimed at improving anterior pelvic tilt.


Exercises for Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Abdominal Crunches

Purpose: This exercise strengthens the lower abdominal muscles often associated with anterior pelvic tilt.

Equipment Needed: Access to a wall

Instructions

Step 1: Plant your feet on the wall so that your feet are hips-width apart, your toes point straight up, and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Step 2: Bend your elbows wide and place your hands behind your ears, to one on top of the other behind your head.

Step 3: Press your heels into the wall, draw your low ribs downwards towards your navel, and press your low/mid back into the floor.

Step 4: Your shoulders may begin to lift off of the mat about 0.5-1 inches.

Step 5: Repeat 20 times.

Active Bridges with Pillow

Purpose: This exercise teaches proper pelvis and spinal extension, while strengthening muscles of the inner thighs.

Equipment Needed:

Pillow or block.

Instructions

Step 1: Lay down on a mat or the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet about hips-width apart. Place a pillow between your knees.

Step 2: Place your arms so that they extend at a 45-degree angle away from your body, and face your palms facing up.

Step 3: Begin to press your heels downwards into the mat, so that your hips begin to lift 3-4 inches off of the mat. Hold for 2 seconds.

Step 4: Lower your hips down so that they tap on the mat, but do not let them rest completely down

Step 5: Repeat 20 times without resting.

Cats and Dogs

Purpose: This exercise strengthens muscles surrounding the spinal column and promotes greater mobility of the spine.

Equipment Needed: Yoga Mat

Instructions

Step 1: Kneel on a yoga mat in a “table-top” position, with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.

Step 2: Actively press down through your hands, feet, and knees, and dome your back upwards towards the ceiling. Draw your chin in towards your chest and spread your shoulder blades apart. This is called “Cat.”

Step 3: Let your shoulder blades glide down your back as you return your spine to neutral.

Step 4: Continue moving in this direction. Allow your low ribs to drop and your shoulder blades to slide towards one another, opening up your heart. At the same time, tilt your tailbone up and back. This posture is called “Dog.”

Step 5: Move in and out of the Cat & Dog 20 x in each position. Rest and repeat two more times.

Kneeling Groin Stretch

Purpose
This posture is a great way to encourage both flexion and extension of the hips.

Equipment Needed
If kneeling hurts your knees, you may want a mat.

Instructions
Step 1: Begin kneeling on your shins with your feet behind you.

Step 2: Step your left foot out in front of you. Your knee should remain well behind your ankle so that your knee is bent at an angle greater than 90 degrees.

Step 3: Your front foot should be in line with your knee and hip. Additionally, your back foot should be in line with its relative knee and hip.

Step 4: Shift your hips forward towards your front ankle. Keep your chest up right.

Step 5: You can place your palms on your left thigh and keep your arms straight to further strengthen, as well as ensure that your spine stays elongated and your chest stays up right.

Step 6: Hold for one minute and then repeat on the other side.

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