The following post is by Ryan Krane, certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and one of the leading fitness consultants specializing in corrective exercises in the Los Angeles region. He helps clients become healthier and pain free with his brand of corrective exercise called The Krane Training Method, which combines flexibility, posture and strength training movements to help clients remedy chronic ailments such as back pain, shoulder pain and other common body aches.
Too much inactivity can lead to some dire consequences — weight gain, fatigue and something you may not be aware of called anterior pelvic tilt.
The anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the hip flexor muscles (those muscles located in the upper thigh just below the abdomen on both sides) suddenly tighten up, become overactive and ultimately lead to pain. The hip flexor muscles rotate forward then tug on the top of the pelvis and the lumbar spine, which is located on your lower back. Hence, its name: the anterior pelvic tilt. It brings forth the pelvis, which then causes the tilt. (See attached photo attached.)
Another cause of the dreaded anterior pelvic tilt is underactive glute muscles. When this area is not very strong, it will allow the tight and overactive hip flexor muscles to tug the pelvis and lumber spine forward. Commonly, this is a pain people find in their lower back.
When a person is in this anterior pelvic tilt position for prolonged periods of time, it can cause pain in the lower back, knees, hips and feet. To offset the pain, I have clients stretch the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes with some targeted corrective exercises. (see below.) To give the pelvis a chance to return to its upright position, I use some stretching techniques to loosen the tight hip flexors located in the upper thigh just below the abdomen on both sides. Some stretches to try: kneeling or standing hip flexor stretch and massaging the quadriceps. As for the glutes, also try isolated strengthening moves like lateral tube walking, hip extension and hip abduction exercises.
- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – place one knee down on the ground while the other foot is in front of you, facing forward. Place your arms down by your side and stand up erect. Squeeze the glute “butt” muscle on the side of the body you are working, which will reciprocally inhibit the tightness in your hip flexor. Perform 1-2 sets on each side for 20 seconds on each leg.
- Lateral Tube Walking – place a resistance band around your ankles and walk laterally for 10-15 steps in each direction. Place your hands on your hips and have your feet facing forward. Keep the upper body still. Perform 1-2 sets. This is an ideal exercise to provide strength to the gluteal complex.
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You can learn more about Ryan Krane at http://www.RyanKrane.com.