Anterior pelvic tilt is a problem with posture. Muscle imbalances force the pelvis to tilt forward creating an exaggerated arch in the lower back and a protrusion of the lower abdomen. Anterior pelvic tilt can cause lower-back pain and is often found in individuals who spend a lot of time sitting. This is because extended sitting causes muscles around the pelvis to shorten or remain tight and also can weaken the opposing muscles.
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The Muscles Involved
The major muscles involved with an anterior pelvic tilt include the hip flexors, erector spinae and gluteal muscles. The hip flexors and erector spinae are too tight, while the gluteal muscles are too weak. Other muscles involved are the abdominal muscles and the hamstrings. Stretching the tight hip flexors and erector spinae will help correct an anterior pelvic tilt. In addition to stretching, strengthening the weak muscles involved will help align the pelvis. Complete these exercises three to five times a week. Stop any exercise if you feel pain, and always consult your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The kneeling hip flexor stretch targets your hip flexors. Begin in a kneeling position on the floor. Bring your left foot forward so that it is directly below your left knee. Both legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Lean forward into the hip while keeping your back straight and your pelvis from tilting to either side or forward. Hold the stretch for 30 to 45 seconds and complete the stretch two to five times. Repeat on the other side.
The Downward-Facing Dog targets the erector spinae and stretches the back of your legs and gluteals. Begin in a pushup position with your palms directly below your shoulders and your abdominals engaged. From this position, move your body up into an inverted V, pushing the weight of your body toward your hips. Push your hips toward the ceiling and your heels into the floor. A slight bend in the legs is acceptable if your hamstrings are tight. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
The Bridge targets your gluteals and hamstrings. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-distance apart. Contract your abdominal muscles to press your back into the floor. Maintain your abdominals and spine in this position throughout the exercise. Lift your hips off the floor and toward the ceiling while pushing into your heels for stability. Your gluteals and hamstrings should be contracted and used to complete this action. Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds, lower your body, and repeat three to five times. Alternately, you can perform a pulsing action of repeatedly pushing your hips up and lowering slightly.
The Plank is a full-body exercise that targets your abdominal muscles as well as your erector spinae. To complete this exercise, begin on all fours, with your palms directly below your shoulders. Move into a pushup position by bringing each foot back, engaging your abdominals and adjusting your feet as needed. Hold the pose for as long as possible, working up to 60 seconds or longer. Alternately, the exercise can be completed with your elbows on the floor directly below your shoulders.