Lateral Pelvic Tilt Correction Exercises

LIVESTRONG.com may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Side planks is a great exercise to correct lateral pelvic tilt.
Image Credit: Bojan89/iStock/GettyImages

Pelvic tilt can occur as posterior, anterior or lateral pelvic tilt. Lateral pelvic tilt occurs when your pelvis shifts to one side, raising one of your hips so that they sit unevenly. Correcting this issue is important; lateral pelvic tilt can lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.

Causes of Lateral Pelvic Tilt

Lateral pelvic tilt essentially causes one side of your pelvis to be higher than the other. This may cause a minor issue, like discomfort, or might be so pronounced that one of your legs appears to be shorter than the other.

Lateral pelvic tilt can occur for a variety of reasons. In order to correct this problem, you also need to figure out what might be causing the issue.

Although lateral pelvic tilt correction exercises are helpful, preventing this problem from occurring again in the future is also important. Even simple behaviors like laying on your side and watching TV have the potential to affect pelvic alignment.

However, if lateral pelvic tilt often causes problems, it may be caused by a repetitive behavior. For example, a July 2016 study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science reported that carrying unevenly distributed weight has the potential to induce pelvic tilt.

Lateral pelvic tilt specifically occurred when the study's participants were carrying items like handbags or shoulder bags that weighed 15 percent of their body weight. However, this issue was less likely to occur when carrying bags that weighed less or using bags like backpacks, which offer better weight distribution.

Shoulder bags and handbags aren't the only things that can cause pelvic tilt; Any unevenly distributed weight can cause this problem. Even carrying a child on one hip can result in lateral pelvic tilt.

If you exercise frequently, it's also important to consider your form when lifting heavy weights or performing unilateral exercises. Poor form when exercising could also lead to pelvic tilt. A lifestyle change as simple as diversifying your workout routine or changing the type of bag you use could be helpful in preventing lateral pelvic tilt from occurring in the future.

Read more: Pelvic Pain After Exercising

Flat Feet and Lateral Pelvic Tilt

A January 2015 publication in the International Journal of Medical, Health, Biomedical, Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Engineering reported that foot pronation — commonly known as having flat feet — can also contribute to pelvic tilt. Having two flat feet was likely to cause anterior pelvic tilt, while having one flat foot had the potential to cause both anterior and lateral pelvic tilt.

It is extremely important to correct pelvic tilt, as it can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. This study reported that anterior pelvic tilt could lead to hyperlordosis, where your lower spine curves too much. If left untreated, lateral pelvic tilt has the potential to lead to scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine.

If you suspect you have flat feet or have related concerns, you may wish to talk to your doctor, physical therapist or podiatrist. They can tell you whether or not this is an issue for you and talk to you about arch-building exercises and other strategies that may be able to help.

Read more: The Best Back Exercises for Scoliosis

Exercises for Lateral Pelvic Tilt

Managing lateral pelvic tilt can be accomplished through various different exercises. These moves, recommended by Princeton University Health Services, can help address lateral pelvic tilt, stabilize your pelvis and hips and strengthen the surrounding muscles, like the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, piriformis and deep core muscles.

Warning

Make sure to talk to a physical therapist or another healthcare professional if lateral pelvic tilt is causing persistent discomfort, pain or other issues.

Move 1: The Clam

  1. Lie down so that you're on your side with your legs together.
  2. Bend your knees so that they're flexed to 90 degrees.
  3. Lift your upper knee while keeping your feet pressed together and on the ground. When open, your legs should resemble a clamshell.
  4. Slowly bring your legs back together.
  5. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other side.

Tip

To make this exercise more difficult, lift your lower leg up to a 45-degree angle rather than keeping it on the ground, then do the rest of the exercise as normal. Be sure to keep your feet together at all times.

Move 2: Abduction Leg Lifts

  1. Lie down so that you're on your side with your legs together.
  2. Bring your leg up so that it's 12 inches away from your bottom leg.
  3. Hold your leg in the air briefly, then lower it again.
  4. Repeat 12 times, then switch to the other side.

Tip

To make this exercise more difficult, add a small weight (around 1.5 or 2.5 pounds) to your ankles.

Move 3: Modified Fire Hydrants

  1. Lie down so that you're on your side with your legs together.
  2. Bend your upper knees so that it's flexed to 90 degrees.
  3. Bring your leg up and away from your bottom leg.
  4. Gradually bring it up. You may be able to bring it in line with your shoulder.
  5. Hold your leg in the air briefly, then lower it so that it's parallel to the floor again.
  6. Repeat 12 times, then switch to the other side.

Tip

There's a more challenging variation of the fire hydrant that you can do on all fours. This version of the exercise is particularly good for your glutes. Do three sets of 10 reps per leg.

Move 4: Single Leg Bridge

  1. Lie down so that you're on your back with your legs together. Your arms should be at your sides.
  2. Raise your knees and bring your heels toward your glutes.
  3. Raise one leg upwards, keeping your foot flexed. That leg should be at 90 degrees, if possible.
  4. Raise your hips upward. Make sure you're using your glutes and not your hamstrings to keep your body stable.
  5. Slowly bring your hips back down again.
  6. When your hips are on the floor, lower your leg.
  7. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other leg.

Move 5: Modified Side Plank Leg Raises

  1. Kneel down, then bend to your right side. Put your right arm down so that your hand is under your shoulder.
  2. Extend your left leg and put your left hand on your hip. Your weight should rest between your right hand, right knee and left leg.
  3. Lift your upper leg, the left leg, up so that it's parallel with your body.
  4. Slowly lower it back down again, but don't let it come in contact with the floor.
  5. Repeat five times, then switch to the other side.
  6. Do three sets for each leg.
references
Show Comments