Anterior pelvic tilt exercise
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5 Exercises to Correct an Anterior Pelvic Tilt to Release Back & Hip Pain

Unless you work in the rehab or fitness field, you might not be familiar with anterior pelvic tilt. However, this troublesome postural abnormality is extremely common, and many people maintain anterior pelvic tilt for years without correction (1).

Over time, anterior pelvic tilt puts stress on the spine and the muscles surrounding the low back and abdomen. The characteristic tightness of the hip flexors, combined with weakness of the abs and glutes will often lead to serious orthopedic issues. 

But fear not! In this post, I’ll provide you with some of my favorite exercises for correcting anterior pelvic tilt and kicking low back pain to the curb.

What Is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

What Is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
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Anterior pelvic tilt is a postural abnormality in which the pelvis is rotated or “tilted” in a forward direction. As mentioned in the introduction, this issue is caused by the pull of tight hip flexor and back extensor muscles. Additionally, the problem is often associated with weak abdominals and hip extensors (such as the glutes).

This issue often leads to decreased range of motion throughout the spine and lower body. Further, people with anterior pelvic tilt may be predisposed to back pain and other issues.

Now, let’s take a look at some exercises that can help to correct and prevent this issue.

1. Bridges

As I stated in the introduction, weakness in the glutes is a key component of anterior pelvic tilt. Therefore, a glute isolation exercise like brides is the perfect starting point for correcting anterior pelvic tilt.

How to Perform

  • Start by lying on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Press your heels into the ground, lifting your buttocks and low back into the air.
  • Hold this position for one second, then return to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • Complete 10-12 reps per set, for 3 sets per session, 1-2 times per day.

2. Planks

Planks are a terrific move for overall core stability, but they also provide a great stimulus for increasing rectus abdominis strength (2). This is a key area of weakness involved in anterior pelvic tilt. By strengthening the abs in general, and the rectus abdominis specifically, you take a big step toward overcoming this postural issue!

How to Perform

  • Start by supporting yourself on your forearms and toes with your hips and abdomen resting on the ground.
  • Lift yourself up so that only your forearms and toes are in contact with the ground.
  • Ensure that your back is as flat as a board, and hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Repeat this exercise 1-2 times daily.

3. Leg Lowers

Leg Lowers
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Much like planks, leg lowers are a great move for increasing ab strength. This move can be tough for beginners, so feel free to take this one slow and give your body time to adjust to the difficulty of the movement. 

How to Perform

  • Lie flat on your back, with your arms out to the sides.
  • Keeping your legs straight, lift your legs and as much of your lower back as you can off of the ground.
  • Slowly return to the starting position by lowering your legs back down, one degree at a time. 
  • Complete 10-12 reps per set, for 3 sets per session. Repeat 1-2 times daily.

4. Pretzel Stretch

The pretzel stretch emphasizes both the hip flexors and the piriformis muscles. By hitting both of these major muscle groups at once, you’ll increase your mobility and decrease your anterior pelvic tilt. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!

How to Perform

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Cross your left leg over your right, pulling it toward your right armpit with your right hand.
  • At the same time, grab your right ankle with your left hand, bending your knee.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 4 times per side, once per day.

5. Standing Side Stretch

Standing Side Stretch
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This exercise isn’t directly related to anterior pelvic tilt. However, this movement is great for increasing overall hip and trunk mobility, which is an important aspect of better posture. 

How to Perform

  • Stand with your feet close together.
  • Raise your hands over your head and clasp your fingers together.
  • B bend to the right side to keep your arms in line with your trunk. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 4 times per side. Complete this series 1-2 times per day.

Conclusion

As is always the case with any exercise program, this will not be a miracle cure for your anterior pelvic tilt or your back pain. However, this routine will help set you on a path toward healing and better mobility. If you need further guidance or help with your orthopedic issues, be sure to talk to a healthcare provider ASAP!

Works Cited

  1. Suits WH. Clinical Measures of Pelvic Tilt in Physical Therapy. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2021 Oct 1;16(5):1366-1375. doi: 10.26603/001c.27978. PMID: 34631258; PMCID: PMC8486407.
  2. Hsu SL, Oda H, Shirahata S, Watanabe M, Sasaki M. Effects of core strength training on core stability. J Phys Ther Sci. 2018 Aug;30(8):1014-1018. doi: 10.1589/jpts.30.1014. Epub 2018 Jul 24. PMID: 30154592; PMCID: PMC6110226.

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