Pelvic Stabilization Exercises

Young woman lying on the yoga mat
Strengthening the small muscles that attach to the pelvis and hips may help you move more efficiently. (Image: DeanDrobot/iStock/Getty Images)

If the small stabilizer muscles around your pelvis are weak, dysfunctional movement patterns may result if you do not strengthen these muscles. Pain, injuries and muscle tension are likely to occur when you are not moving naturally and your pelvis is out of alignment. Already tight muscles may need to be addressed with stretching or compression.

Pelvic Pumps

The pelvic pump is an ambitious exercise for strengthening the core muscles that stabilize your pelvis. To perform pelvic pumps, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms on the floor at your sides. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if trying to stop the flow of urine. Place your pelvis in a comfortable, neutral position with only a slight arch in your lower back. Touch your fingers to the front of your pelvis so you can feel the alignment of your pelvis. Straighten your left leg. Next, lift your pelvis without rolling it to either side or arching your back. Tighten your glutes as you lift your pelvis. Drop your hips to the floor and then back into the air several times. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Resisted Hip Abduction

The resisted hip abduction exercise strengthens the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. The gluteus medius stabilizes your pelvis when you walk and is the main muscle that moves your hips out to the sides, called hip abduction. The gluteus minimus works with the medius for hip abduction and stabilization. To perform the resisted hip abduction exercise, attach an ankle cuff from a weight machine to one ankle and turn to the side with the ankle cuff away from the machine. The cable runs in front of your shins. Hold onto the machine for balance and raise your leg to 45 degrees. Keep your leg and foot in line with the side of your hip and perpendicular to the machine. Lower your leg and repeat on the opposite side. Maintain good posture, and do not arch your back.

Quadrant Lunges

Quadrant lunges are another exercise for strengthening your pelvic stabilizers. Hold your hands on your hips as you do this exercise so that you can ensure that your pelvis stays level. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step straight out to the left, and bend your left knee into a squat. Keep your right leg straight and your hips level. Squeeze your abs tight to further stabilize your pelvis. Step your left foot back to shoulder-width distance. Repeat on the right side.

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