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Pelvic Tilts for Low Back Strength and Flexibility

As a chiropractor I'd like to see pelvic tilts included in everyone's daily stretching routine.

Why you ask?

Because just about everyone I have ever seen has some degree of physical stress in the form of low back tightness as a result of poor posture, prolonged sitting, inactivity and weak abdominal muscles.

Technically speaking, you may hear a doctor announce that you have an 'anterior pelvic tilt'. Rest assured that this is not a disease of any kind, but rather a structural weakness that can be corrected through proper stretching and strengthening that we will teach you here.

Pelvic Tilts If you look to the right, you can see what it looks like pictorially:

As you can see, the pelvis is literally tilted forward on its axis. As this happens you can see the following results:

  • Protruding Abdomen
  • Increased Low Back Strain and Curve
  • Increased Mid Back Strain and Curve
  • Anterior Head Carriage
  • Rounded Shoulder Syndrome.

(Photo compliments of commons.wikimedia.org)

This may be an okay posture if you are 9 months pregnant, but if not, you better try this exercise!

How to do Pelvic Tilts:

  1. Find your way onto the floor, lying on your back. Raise your knees up so your feet are flat on the floor.

  2. Next feel the space between the floor and your low back. You should be able to gently slip your fingers into this space.

  3. From here, inhale and gently tilt your pelvis such that you engage your abdominal muscles and the small of your back comes in full contact with the floor. Your buttocks will lift slightly upwards as you stretch the muscles of the pelvis and low back. Hold here for a count of five.

  4. Exhale as you return to a neutral starting posture.

Pelvic Tilts to the Max:

Pelvic tilts are a good place to start when you are experiencing extreme low back pain or radiation, especially if you are finding that your range of motion is limited.

But if you are moving relatively well, I like to take it one step further. Instead of simply working at the level of the pelvis, I like to get people doing whole spine flexing exercises, because as you can see from the first diagram above, it becomes a whole spine challenge and effect.

To do a spinal flex exercise, do the following:

  1. Begin in a comfortable seated posture, sitting up tall.

  2. Start with moving your body as described above, but then begin to exaggerate the motion to include your entire spine.

  3. As you inhale, flex your entire spine forward, lifting your ribcage up and opening your heart center.

  4. As you exhale, round your spine back and curl your shoulders forward.

  5. Continue flexing back and forth for a minimum of 3 minutes. Do this at least once a day for maximum effect and flexibility.

Remember: A flexible spine is a healthy spine. And a healthy spine is a young body. So for a real live fountain of youth flexibility exercise, add pelvic tilts to your daily wellness lifestyle.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Yours in Wellness,

Dr. Lisa

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