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Pelvic Tilt Exercise for Your Lower Back

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Updated March 12, 2014

Pelvic tilts are often recommended for developing support for the low back, abdominals, sacroiliac joint and adjacent structures. They are great for low back problems due to poor posture and muscle atrophy, and provide a starting point for spinal stabilization exercise programs. Pelvic tilts can be done in several different positions. Beginners can try the exercise laying on their back. Pelvic tilts against a wall are more challenging. Pregnant women can do them on all fours.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Starting position-- Beginners, lay on the floor with your knees up/feet flat. In the advanced version stand against a wall. The following body parts should be touching the floor or wall:
    • soles of feet (beginners) or heels (advanced)
    • backside
    • mid/upper back and shoulders
    • head

    There should be a space between the floor or wall and your low back, as well as your neck. Can you slide your hand between your low back and the floor or wall? Great, then you are ready to go!
  2. Inhale first, then initiate the pelvic tilt movement as you exhale. When you let your breath out, your abdomen should come toward your back. (This happens naturally during exhale.) An effective pelvic tilt will utilize this leverage begun when the abdomen pulls in during exhale. Just continue the pulling and see how far you can tilt the bottom of your pelvis up. This will result in your low back gently stretching and reaching in the direction of the floor or wall.
  3. Inhale to come back to start -- Allow the spine and pelvis to return to their original position. This movement takes less muscle work than the previous movement of bringing the low back to the floor or wall. Most of the effort needed to return to the starting position comes from breathing in. Just allow the body to come back to where it began.
  4. Be aware of how forcefully you do this movement -- After you perform one or two pelvic tilts, and you understand what to do, perform one just to check your tension level. If you find the work to be tiring, go easier. Be gentle with yourself, this is not a race. It's an opportunity for healing and strengthening. You don't have to reach the floor/wall the first time. Success is measured by the progress you make each time you perform the pelvic tilt.
  5. Specifically, check the tension in your hip joints -- The hip joints are located at the place where the legs connects deep into the pelvis at the hip sockets. Because we want to work the abdominals in this exercise, lighten up on the tension at the front tops of the thighs (the quadriceps). When performing the pelvic tilt, try to pull the pelvis from the abdominals, rather than pushing the from the butt.

What You Need:

  • A wall or some floor
Related Video
How to Do Back Stretches for Back Pain
How to Do Back Strengthening Exercises
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