The anterior pelvic tilt is a very common deformity that affects the overall shape of the body and specifically targets the lower back. The anterior pelvic tilt has a lot of symptoms of which back pain is most common.
There are a lot of ways to fix it, even if it was developed for you genetically. At the end of this article, we have a list of anterior pelvic tilt exercises that can help you correct your posture quickly.
Let’s first overview the anterior pelvic tilt and understand what it is.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Overview – How to Identify Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The anterior pelvic tilt is a common deformity among the people of the middle ages. Our backbones are tilted a little towards the inside, about 5-degrees curve for men and 10-degrees for women.
When someone develops anterior pelvic tilt symptoms the backbone curve becomes a lot more exaggerated and causes problems. The exaggerated curve is the easiest way to know if you have an anterior pelvic tilt or not. But since you cannot see it yourself unless you try to stand up straight, facing the mirror sideways there’s another giveaway.
A protruding belly even when you have almost no fat in your body is also a giveaway. The belly will generally be a lot stiffer than it is supposed to be, even if you have some fat on your belly.
The pelvic tilt pushes the butt out and in the process causes an extension in the abdominal muscles. This extension is the reason why you will have a stiff belly.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Causes
The anterior pelvic tilt has a lot of causes but most of these are related to sedentary lives. These could also come from activities that put a lot of pressure on your glutes and lower back. Here we have listed the most common reasons why you can develop an anterior pelvic tilt. You can read all about all of them in our article about the causes of anterior pelvic tilt.
Lack of Exercise
When your body does not get enough exercise it will adapt to the new posture of not moving enough and being more comfortable at rest. The lack of exercise, the lack of walking or running does not demand any movement from your pelvis and the muscles weaken.
The weakened muscles find it more difficult to hold your body upright and let your body bend to the wrath of gravity.
Sitting on Chair for Too Long
Sitting on a chair, where your glutes are squeezed under your body weight and where your hamstrings are extended causes extension in your hip flexors and lower back. To compensate for the extended glutes and the pull on the hamstrings, the body bends and this pushes the pelvic backward.
This tilts the pelvic out from its normal position, arching the back, pushing the butt out and causing the anterior pelvic tilt.
Incorrect Sitting or Standing Posture
When you stand or sit in an angle or just have very poor postures for either of these, it affects your body in the long run. The tension developed because of these activities builds in the long run.
An incorrect sitting posture is one of the main reasons for developing an anterior pelvic tilt. It can also affect other muscles and lead to more deformities.
Sometimes, it is not your fault that you develop an anterior pelvic tilt. Everyone in your family has it and so you are born with genes that easily adapt to the deformity and take it as your general posture.
Or it could be possible that you are born with a weak muscle structure especially those muscles which often resist the body from developing an anterior pelvic tilt. The weak functioning of these muscles can make you more susceptible to developing a tilt.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Symptoms
Of course, the deformity comes with a lot of symptoms that negatively affect your body. These listed here are the most common and the most obstructing anterior pelvic tilt symptoms. You can read in-depth about all the symptoms of the anterior pelvic tilt in our article about it.
These symptoms are the only reason why you need to work on correcting your body and remove the anterior pelvic tilt. Otherwise, it would just have been a better back tilt to beautify your appearance.
The arched back is the center of the deformity and the straight giveaway of the pelvic tilt. Not only it identifies the existence of the pelvic tilt but causes a lot of anterior pelvic tilt back pain.
The anterior pelvic tilt back pain not only arises when you try to lift something heavy or have an incorrect standing posture, but it also refrains yours from sitting on a chair for long hours and work.
Sitting further increase the severity of the tilt and it also increases the anterior pelvic tilt back pain.
Weaker Lower body
The anterior pelvic tilt pulls in your hamstring and keeps your hip flexors in constant stress. It also creates a constant contraction in your quadriceps. This change in equilibrium because of the anterior pelvic tilt weakens your entire leg structure.
Participating in sports or running activities becomes especially difficult because of the lower force that your body can apply. The sense of weakness is rather strong for you to overcome without correcting the anterior pelvic tilt.
Protruding Belly without Much Body Fat
Since your back is arched quite intensely, it lowers your groin and pulls your butt out and exerts a constant force on your abdomen. This actually curves your body pushing your belly forward.
If you don’t have a tilt, try arching your back right now and you will understand what do we mean, it pushes your belly out. Having an anterior pelvic tilt constantly keeps your back arched and your belly pushed forward. This leads to having protruding belly all the time.
Muscles Affected by Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The tilting of the pelvis affects a lot of natural equilibriums of your body. The muscles are generally in a state where not a lot of extension or contraction is applied to them. Developing an anterior pelvic tilt creates an unnatural pull or push in your muscles, weakening their working. The tilt adversely affects the working of these muscles in the long run.
Let’s look at what muscles are affected the worst.
The displacement of the pelvic creates tension in your hamstrings. This constant tension in the hamstrings reduces their working efficiency and weakens the muscle overall.
It becomes a lot more difficult to run or be able to effectively run. Stretching your hamstrings will only make the condition worse. Instead, work with exercise that work on contractions of the hamstrings.
The push forward contracts your quadriceps and thereby restrains the movement of leg in backward or bent positions. The quadriceps can easily be pulled out of the constant contraction by using some quadriceps stretches.
Also, once we pull the quadriceps with some stretches, we will also need to train the muscles with some contraction and extension based exercises to make the muscles a little more moveable. Freeing the muscles out of the unbalanced positions is of utmost importance to fix the anterior pelvic tilt.
The forward bending of the pelvic, keeps your hip flexors in constant stress. The pelvic tilt does not let your hip flexor move like it is supposed to move and instead hinders the movement of the same.
Stretching out the flexors and performing exercises that force the flexors to move is important to free the pelvic again.
The push created by the back towards the front elongates the entire torso. This creates a stretch in the abdominal muscles. Though stretching is good, but it doesn’t work like that if you are constantly stretching your muscles all the time. This instead weakens the entire structure of abdominis muscles.
Working on the abdominal muscles is the key to making them strong and be able to contract again. If the abdominal muscles develop the natural stiffness again, instead of being stretched all the time, they will create a push to fix the pelvic back into position.
The lower back is the key giveaway of the anterior pelvic tilt. The curve angle produced because of the anterior pelvic tilt weakens the muscles of your lower back. It refrains free movement of your lower back and keeps your back always arched.
This weakens your back muscles and lifting any weight is nothing less than a threat with a curved back. In the best case, you will only worsen your back pain by picking up heavyweights, in the worst, you can be put a bed rest for months.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Fixes
There are a lot of ways in which you can develop an anterior pelvic tilt, but it doesn’t matter how you develop it because you can fix it in all the cases. Let’s understand our condition, let’s learn how to fix it and then we work on fixing it with exercise.
Workout Weak Muscles
All muscles that have been stretched or contracted need to be corrected and we need to restore their strength by working them out. All muscles like the quadriceps, hamstrings, lower back and the abdominal muscles need to be worked out to get the strength back and recover from the postures.
Do not stretch the already stretched muscles and don’t lift weights using the contracted muscles, it will only worsen your condition.
The posture and the habits that worsened your condition need to be fixed first. You need to stop sitting for long hours and in incorrect postures. Sitting and standing up straight, following proper posture while lifting weights and not arching your back a lot can be a start.
Don’t sit on hard surfaces, don’t sit all day long – if you need to keep standing up and walking a few minutes every few hours. Introduce some stretching into your daily routine to correct the posture.
Introduce Exercise in Routine
One of the main reasons why we develop these deformities is because the body does not need to exert itself. Lack of exercise is the most dominant reason for developing an anterior pelvic tilt. The body settles down into a much more relaxed state where it will need even lesser energy to battle against the force of gravity.
Introducing exercise in your routine makes your body stay fit and stay active. Your body adapts to everything. When you introduce exercise the body adapts to the more active life routine and changes itself to work accordingly.
Counteract Anterior Pelvic Tilt Symptoms
Once you are done removing the bad habits and introducing some good ones into your routine we can counter all the weaklings in your body. Every muscle and every joint that changed its shape because of the anterior pelvic tilt needs to be worked upon and the effect needs to be reversed.
If there is a tilt in your lower back we need to try to counter tilt. If there is a stretch in the hamstring we need to work on exercises that will contract it instead.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises
The anterior pelvic tilt exercises are obviously meant to counteract the effect of the pelvic tilt. Listed below are just a few exercises that you can perform for correcting out your posture. In case you want to know more and increase the speed of your recovery you can read about all of them here.
The exercises listed below won’t take you more than 10 minutes to perform but still have a great effect on the anterior pelvic tilt.
For the quadriceps stretches, just stand up straight and bend your knee up backward and hold your foot in your hands. You can even stand by a wall and hold the wall with your other hand to maintain balance. Now, once you are steady pull the leg up as much as you can.
You should feel a strong stretch in your thighs and it should feel like it is being pulled from both sides. If you don’t then you are probably not pulling it hard enough or that you have bent you leg itself instead of just bending it from the knee.
The quadriceps stretch helps remove the contraction in them.
We have already established the fact that there is a lot of stretching produced in the abdomen because of the pelvic tilt and the back pushed in. We need to introduce contraction in the abdomen and train the muscles in the abdomen on the front of these contractions.
The plank is one such exercise that creates a contraction in the entire abdominis muscle and also helps improve the strength.
The only problem with the exercise is that once you are tired of holding it, your back starts arching towards the inside and this can cause a lot of problems. So, if you are doing plank it is good to hold it for long durations but do not hold it if your back start arching. Remember that and it should work for you.
Modified Sprinter Lunges
The modified sprinter lunge is a workout that works your lower back, the hip flexors, and the quadriceps. The modified sprinter lunge is meant to be done as shown above. The gap between both the feet should be as much as a walking step, not more, not less.
Once you are in position bend forward and then pull yourself back up. This creates a lot of pressure in your lower back and in your hip flexors. When you are bending forward it creates a good extension in your glutes and when you are rolling back up, it shifts the weight to your glutes. Carry weights in your hands during the workout can make it super-effective.
This activates the long stuck glutes and pushes the hip flexors into a working state all over again.
The anterior pelvic tilt is a very common deformity that disturbs the normal working of your body and causes a lot of problems. The deformity can be fixed easily with just a few changes in your form and daily habits. Leaving the deformity for long can cause serious problems in the body functioning.
Correct it the anterior pelvic tilt as soon as you can firstly reduces the effort you will need to correct it, secondly helps you avoid a lot of problems related to the tilt.
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