Training and Workouts

7 Corrective Exercises To Fix Your Anterior Pelvic Tilt

7anterior-pelvic-tilt-corrective-exercises

What characterizes the anterior pelvic tilt?

There are certain imbalances that characterize the anterior pelvic tilt:

-> Weak abdominal muscles;

-> Tight hip flexors (the group of small muscles in the front groin area);

-> Weak glutes;

-> Tight lower back muscles (erector spinae);

-> Overstretched hamstrings (due to the pelvic tilt);

As a result, people with anterior pelvic tilt have the following changes in posture (in varying degrees):

-> Pelvis tilted forward;

-> Exaggerated arch in the lower back;

-> Abdominals that stick forward;

Such changes in posture more often than not lead to lower back pain and tightness, hip pain, knee pain and, for those of us who lift, creates problems with proper glutes activation and force production.

As the pelvis is the foundation of your spine, it’s to no surprise that its misposition can drastically affect your whole posture and cause multiple pain points and tightness throughout the whole body.

What causes anterior pelvic tilt?

There are many factors that can cause an anterior pelvic tilt – starting from excessive sitting, muscle imbalances due to improper strength training, foot pronation, physical inactivity, and to some extent – genetic predisposition.  All in all, today’s way of living makes us all prone to postural deviations. In fact, a study found that around ¾ of women suffer from anterior pelvic tilt, the numbers being even higher for men. Of course, that’s not to say that we can’t or shouldn’t strive to improve or prevent it.

How do you fix your anterior pelvic tilt?

It’s a simple list: You need to regain the balance in your lower body – stretch the tight muscles (hip flexors and lower back) and strengthen the weak ones (glutes and abdominals).

Anterior Pelvic Tilt Test

There’s a simple test you can do to help you determine if you have an anterior pelvic tilt – it’s called the Thomas’ test, named after the British surgeon Hugh Owen Thomas. All you need to do is lie down on a table with your legs hanging off the table at the knee. Pull one knee towards the chest. If the resting leg raises off the table, your pelvis might be incorrectly aligned.

It’s worth noting that the pelvis has a natural forward tilt of about 10 to 15 degrees, which is considered normal.

Corrective exercises for anterior pelvic tilt

1. Lying pelvic tilts

Girl performing lying pelvic tilts as part of an exercise routine to fix anterior pelvic tilt.

The first step is to learn to get controlled into a posterior pelvic tilt. You can do that either standing with your back to a wall or like shown above – lying on the ground. Focus on engaging your core and switching from anterior tilt (when there’s space between the mat and the lower back) and posterior tilt (when your back is flat on the ground).

If you find this hard, it might be a better idea to start with some static stretches as shared in this post, before moving to the routine here.

2. Glute Bridges

As we mentioned already, we need to strengthen the glutes and the glute bridge is one of the best exercises for that.

Girl performing the glute bridge exercise as part of an exercise routine to fix anterior pelvic tilt.

3. Hip Thrusts

We continue with the strengthening of the posterior chain (the muscles in the back of the body). Your pivot point with the surface should be right under your shoulder blades. The feet, in general, should be shoulder-width apart, shins vertical to each other. Toes can point slightly out. Squeeze the glutes at the top and keep the movement controlled.

Girl performing the hip thrust exercise as part of an exercise routine to fix anterior pelvic tilt.

Related reads: Top 8 Glute Exercises to Strengthen and Shape Your Behind

4. Elevated hip thrust

It’s a variation of the traditional hip thrust and a lot of the ques stay the same – controlled movement, engaged glutes, hamstrings, and core.

Girl performing elevated hip thrust exercise as part of an exercise routine to fix anterior pelvic tilt.

5. Cat/Camel Stretch

The point of this exercise is to regain ROM (range of motion) to your spine and get used to controlling the positioning of your pelvis.

Girl performing the cat/camel exercise as part of an exercise routine to fix anterior pelvic tilt.

6. Reverse Plank

The reverse plank is a great exercise especially for the purposes of this routine: it works your posterior chain and core without putting extra stress on the hip flexors.

Remember not to let your hips sag, keeping the body in a straight line and engage your abs.

Girl performing reverse plank exercise as part of an exercise routine to prevent or fix anterior pelvic tilt.

7. Plank

Another core exercise that won’t further tighten your hip flexors but strengthen your core – the good ol’ plank.

Plank exercise performed by a girl.

Routine:

1. Pelvic tilts: 2 x 10 reps

2. Glute Bridges: 2 x 20 reps

3. Hip Thrusts/Elevated hip thrusts: 2 x 20 reps {you can choose one or the other}

4. Cat/Camel : 2x 20 reps

5. Reverse plank/plank: 2 sets of as long as you can hold them

Further tips on fixing your posture/anterior pelvic tilt

-> Make it a point to get up often from your desk and move a bit if you’re sitting for an extended period of time;

-> Stretch regularly;

-> Take up yoga;

-> Wear comfortable shoes/avoid high heels;

-> Consult with a podiatrist to examine your foot pronation and determine if your problem stems from your feet {flat feet can be one of the triggers leading to multiple changes in posture}

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