What the heck is an anterior pelvic tilt? Have you seen those people who have a huge arch in their lower back, causing their stomachs to stick out? It might look like they’re sticking their glutes out as far as they can. This is a posture imbalance called an anterior pelvic tilt, which means your pelvic bone tilts forward. It’s incredibly common because it develops from sitting for too long. Those with desk jobs or driving jobs are especially prone to this postural disorder and need to make correcting it a priority because it leads to chronic lower back pain and other muscular imbalances that make training difficult.
Anytime you have a postural distortion, you’ll have muscles that are too tight, too weak and muscles that are over compensating for one another. In this case, the hip flexors and erector spinae (lower back) are the tightened muscles and the hamstrings, glutes and deep core are the weak muscles. This is why you have pain in the lower back and you may notice that you have trouble developing your back side, regardless of how much you train it. The good news is you can easily turn your bad posture into good posture by implementing certain exercises into your training program. It won’t add too much time onto your daily workout but it will make a huge difference in your progress if you stay consistant. Follow this step by step plan to correct your anterior pelvic tilt.
The Corrective Action
- The first step is to loosen up the tight muscles by foam rolling. In this case they will be the hip flexors and erector spinae (lower back). Go back and forth between the two areas, spending 20-30 seconds rolling each one. Repeat 2-3 times. .
- The second step is to lengthen the muscles that have been shortened and tight. Again, these are the hip flexors and erector spinae. You want to hold each stretch, at the first point of discomfort, for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
- Now that you’ve addressed the tight muscles, it’s time to start working on the weak ones. In this case, it will be the hamstrings, glutes and deep core musculature. Start out by simply activating these muscles by using isometric holds. A good example would be the glute bridge and the plank, but there are many more to choose from. Hold a plank for 20-60 seconds, increasing your time gradually. For the glute bridge you would hold and squeeze your glutes in the bridge position for 20-60 seconds. Repeat both of these moves 2-3 times .
- The last step will be to train the muscles that you’ve just strengthened and lengthened to work together efficiently. Find an exercise that works them all like the dumbbell squat. Light weights are perfectly fine for corrective exercise. Perform 12-15 reps for 2-4 sets.
You can assess your progress by standing with your back against a wall and measuring how much room you have between your lower back and the wall. Ideally, you shouldn’t have a gap bigger than the size of your fist. You might need a friend to help you measure this. Once you achieve the posture you desire, you should continue your stretches to maintain good posture. You don’t have to be in the gym to stretch. Stretching can easily be done at your desk or when you get out of the car after a long drive. Check your posture today and see how you measure up!