Exercises for Self-Care: Pelvic Tilt
Pelvic tilts are often recommended for developing support for the low back,
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.
Time Required: 10 minutes
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)
* mid/upper back and shoulders
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. Initiate the pelvic tilt movement first by inhaling. As 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 -- 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 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.
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