April 21, 2023 5 min read
Anterior pelvic tilt is a condition in which the pelvis is tilted forward, causing the lower back to arch and the abdomen to protrude. It can be caused by a number of factors, including sitting for long periods of time, weak core muscles, and tight hip flexors.
The pelvis includes the pubic bones and hip. When this rotates forward or tilts, this causes anterior pelvic tilt. This is because in the lower half of the body, there is a muscle imbalance. The pelvis is pulled forward by a combination of tight and weak muscles. This can lead to pain or discomfort in other areas and thus affects the whole body. Before attempting anterior pelvic tilt exercises, it is important that people established whether they have this condition or not. Once it has been confirmed that they have an anterior pelvic tilt, the exercises outlined in this article can be performed in order to help decrease symptoms.
These tight and overactive muscles that can lead to anterior pelvic tilt include: the hip flexors which are small muscles located in the front groin area and the quadriceps group which are the front thigh muscles. Whilst underactive and weak muscles which can cause an anterior pelvic tilt include: the rectus abdominis which are also commonly referred to as the lower abdominals, the hamstring group which are the muscles at the back of the thigh and the gluteus group, also known as the buttocks muscles.
An exaggerated arch in the lower back along with the buttocks sticking out is a visible sign that a person is suffering from an anterior pelvic tilt.
Before starting to perform exercises to address an anterior pelvic tilt, it is vital to test for the condition. A simple method to do so is the Thomas Test; to do this you should lie on a table with your lower legs hanging over the edge, bent at the knees. Then, you should bend one leg, hugging it toward the chest, should your resting thigh lift from its position on the table, this is a fair indicator that you may have an anterior pelvic tilt.
A person can develop anterior pelvic tilt due to an increase in the tightness of muscles. This can be caused by muscular dysfunction or lifestyle habits such as; cycling, flat feet, sitting for a long duration of time frequently, the common use of high heels.
The following exercises can provide ways in which to help fix an anterior pelvic tilt:
The kneeling quadriceps stretch
Is a significant exercise because a person with anterior pelvic tilt will suffer from overactive and tight muscles within the quadriceps group. By lengthening these muscles, it should prevent them from pulling on the pelvis. This stretch should additionally help to lengthen the hip flexors.
Strengthen the gluteus group; when you stand during this exercise it is important to focus on squeezing the buttocks
Aims to improve both abdominal and gluteus strength whilst at the same time disengaging the hip flexors
Improves core strength because the abdominals must stay tight and squeezed toward the spine. To help stabilize the body, try to focus on clenching the buttocks
Are often referred to as crunches and work the rectus abdominals. This movement does not necessarily have to be significant, as long as the muscles are activated in the correct position
An anterior pelvic tilt can also be corrected by: avoiding wearing high heels, at work using a standing desk, visiting a podiatrist for insoles or foot exercises and getting up frequently to stretch if you are sat for extended durations of time.
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