14 Exercises To Combat Anterior Pelvic Tilt

anterior pelvic tilt

So I am going to put my hand up here. I am guilty of anterior pelvic tilt. I have been working on it for quite some time now. My Dad who is down under also experiences anterior pelvic tilt. Maybe it runs in the family?It’s pretty common today so I thought I would write a guide on how to treat anterior pelvic tilt so that you and my good old Dad can treat it too.

What is Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

The anterior pelvic tilt is when the front of the hips are lower and tilted down towards the front of the body. The back of the hips extends out and upwards towards the back of the body. Just think about if your pelvis was full of water, what would happen? Would it waterfall forward, stay in place or move towards your posterior? If you answered the first question then you have anterior pelvic tilt.

anterior pelvic tilt

How Do I Know If I Have Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

If you are still unsure of the results of the:

Waterfall test:

  1. Simply stand side-on in the mirror.
  2. Notice whether the hips are straight or at an angle.
  3. Look and see if you have a curvature in the spine.

Wall test:

  1. Try to stand flat against the wall.
  2. See if you can slide your hand behind your back.
  3. Notice how much room there is.
  4. If you can fit your hand behind your back bingo you have anterior pelvic tilt.

Table test:

  1. Start by laying on your back on a sturdy table.
  2. Make sure that your legs are hanging off the table at the knee.
  3. Pull one of your legs in toward you, holding under your knee and bending your leg until it rests against your chest.
  4. If your free leg taps the table your hips are in alignment.

What Is The Cause Of Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

The main cause of anterior pelvic tilt is the shortening of the hip flexors. This, in turn, pulls the hips down towards the knees. This tightness in the hip flexors creates the abdominals to elongate and thus weaken.

This condition can also be caused by tight quadriceps. With the quads pulling down the hips, thus opening the abdominals and creating lordosis in the lumbar spine.

These areas of the body naturally get tight due to the extended hours of sitting we do these days. When we are in a seated position we naturally lengthen the back of the body and the front of the body contracts. Staying in this position for multiple hours begins to create permanent disharmony.

When this dysfunction happens in the body our hamstrings lengthen. Consequently, the glutes and hamstrings become weak. These areas would be primary areas of focus for strength training.

This dysfunction can cause:

  • lower back pain
  • hip and knee pain
  • incorrect posture
  • forced hip and knee rotations

What Muscles Are Involved In Anterior Pelvic Tilt

“Primary postural muscles that tend toward hypertonicity in the low back and pelvic region include the iliopsoas, erector spinae, rectus femoris, and quadratus lumborum. When hypertonic, these muscles exaggerate the lumbar lordosis and create an anterior pelvic tilt.” Science Direct.

What Muscles Are Weak In An Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Rectus abdominis and the external obliques are weakened due to the lengthening of the core.

The gluteals weaken and become painful. You will find that you have a lot of muscle tension directly above where the femur connects with the hip on the posterior side.

Hamstrings, lengthen to adapt to the shortening on the front of the body.

How Do You Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

The best way to combat anterior pelvic tilt is with a combination of strength and flexibility training. We are aiming to strengthen the weak muscles and release and lengthen the tight muscles. So let’s get started on your training program.

Training Program

Lower Core Supine Straddle Lifts

Above is a straight leg version. Modify by taking the legs wide into a straddle position.

How To:

  1. Laying on your back.
  2. Legs in a straddle position.
  3. Inhale and engage your core and lift your butt off the floor.
  4. Continue to curl the spine by engaging your core and move your hips towards your face.
  5. Repeat 20 times.
  6. Bring the legs together and sew up the body like a pencil.
  7. Lift the legs and butt of the floor so that your lower body is straight like a pencil.
  8. The aim is to come all the way into a plow pose.

In this exercise, you want to ensure that you are using controlled motion. Do not simply use momentum to get you up and over. We want to work those lower abdominals.

Ensure that your tummy remains flat by concentrating on bringing your belly button to the spine.

Lower Core Leg Taps

How To:

  • Laying on your back raise both legs in the hair so that the knees and ankles are in line with the hips. Your body should look like a right angle.
  • Pull your belly button into your spine.
  • Exhale and lower one leg to the floor.
  • Don’t let your stomach pop out, keep sucking it in towards the spine.
  • If you can’t make it all the way to the floor without your stomach protruding that’s ok. Simply stop and raise the leg on the inhale to the beginning position.

Use your breath when you are performing this move. By exhaling out it allows you to naturally pull your belly button towards your spine and increases the force on the abdominals. Inhale to rise the leg again.

Obliques Russian Twists

How To:

  • Sitting on your sit bones with your legs elevated.
  • Torso should also be erect.
  • Twist and tap the hands outside of the hips to the right.
  • Repeat on the left side.

Lunge Stretch For Quads

How To:

  1. From a standing position take a wide step forward with your right leg.
  2. Bring your left knee to the floor.
  3. Push the hips forward.
  4. Curl the tail bone under.
  5. Reach around with your hand and draw the left foot towards your glutes.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Psoas Peanut or Ball

How to:

  1. Laying on the floor with your facedown.
  2. Place your peanut, massage ball or golf ball on the psoas muscle.
  3. Allow the pressure of your body to sink into the muscle.
  4. Stay in this position for two minutes for optimal release.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Hip Flexor Stretches

tensor fasciae latae stretch
  1. From a standing position take a wide step forward with your right leg.
  2. Bring your left knee to the floor.
  3. Push the hips forward.
  4. Curl the tail bone under.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Squats

  1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your sit bones towards the floor as though you are sitting on a chair.
  3. Rise and return to the position that you started in.
  4. Repeat 20 times.

Squat Pulses

  1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your sit bones towards the floor as though you are sitting on a chair.
  3. Gently pulse up and down ten times.
  4. Repeat five rounds.

FAQ

Is Anterior Pelvic Tilt The Same As Lordosis?

Lordosis is a curvature in the lumbar spine, this can be caused by anterior pelvic tilt. This is due to the position of the front hips falling forward. The back of the hips rise and the curvature of the spine increases.

Can Tight Quads Cause Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

Absolutely when one part of the body goes out of alignment it will always affect the antagonist/agonist as well as surrounding muscle groups.

How Should I Sleep With Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

By placing a pillow under the knees shifts the pelvis from an anterior tilt to neutralise the hips.

How Do I Sit With Anterior Pelvic Tilt

You need to angle your pelvis so that it is in a neutral position. Try to sit flat directly on your sit bones. Engage your core and glutes. Do not try push the hips forward this creates lordosis in the spine.

How Do I Lengthen My Hip Flexors?

tensor fasciae latae stretch

How To:

  1. From a standing position take a wide step forward with your right leg.
  2. Bring your left knee to the floor.
  3. Push the hips forward.
  4. Curl the tail bone under.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to anterior pelvic tilt. If you have any questions drop them in the comments below I would love to answer them.

In happiness and health,

Jadore Vanessa

Vanessa Barthelmes.

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Anterior Pelvic Tilt

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