No. I am not about to twerk in the picture below. I wonder whether readers would be interested in that? Just Kidding =P
Yes. This is the unfortunate way some people move about in their day-to-day lives. What!? No! I do not mean with their hands in front of them. This is not a zombie apocalypse!
But look closer. Look at the lower back! There is an exaggerated arch. The bum is sticking out.
When an exaggerated lower back arch is your default posture, you suffer from Anterior Pelvic Tilt. As a personal trainer in Singapore, I notice this is not an uncommon problem among office workers.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt may lead to lower back pain, groin pain, and muscle tightness. Ouch! We do not want this.
So how do we correct the problem?
There are 4 key issues we need to address:
1. Glute Weakness (aka Your Ass Is Weak)
When the glutes are weak, it may tire from extending the hip all day(we have to extend the hip when we stand up straight). Normally, the lower back only assists in hip extension.
But now, since your glutes are weak, the lower back takes over and extends the hip for you. When the lower back does this, it results in the exaggerated arch.
So, how do we fix this? We train our ass. We do Glute Bridges and Crab Walks if we want to train from home. We do Hip Thrusts and Kettlebell Swings if we want to train in the gym. Other glute exercises work too.
2. Ab Weakness
Because your lower back is arched for long periods of time, your abs are constantly stretched out. The abs might become weaker overtime. Further, if your abs were originally weak, it may cause your lower back to arch as your abs cannot keep tight.
Thus, ab weakness can be both the cause and the result of anterior pelvic tilt.
So, if you want to correct this problem. Start training the abs!
Do planks, side planks, crunches (without arching the lower back), and curls ups. There are a multitude of ab exercises that can help here.
Please do more ab exercises if you have weak abs. After all, stronger abs never hurt anyone.
3. Hip Flexor Tightness
The next two issues are tightness rather than weakness related.
A cause of Anterior Pelvic Tilt can be tight hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can happen when we sit too much. However, there are simple stretches you can do anywhere to counteract this.
They are these. See the 3 pictures below.
Copy these stretches to stretch the hip flexor.
Follow the arrows and gently move in that direction. For the first photo, try to move your hands back. The second, twist your body away. The third, tilt your body away. Do each stretch for about 10 seconds a day. Twice.
One thing to take note: The front leg is about 90 degrees and the back leg is at more than 90 degrees. We do not want to be in lunge form whereby we are at almost 90 degrees for both legs.
4. Lower Back Tightness
For the last issue, the lower back gets tight as it is constantly arched. We need to stretch it.
Below, I show you two simple stretches for the lower back.
The first one is the classic Child Pose.
Move your hands forward and try to bring your glutes to your feet. You will feel a gentle stretch in the lower back. You can hold this position for about half a minute to a minute. It should feel quite relaxing.
Next, it is the Cobra Pose.
Making hissing sounds as you do this exercise is strongly advised. Joking! Well, it’s up to you actually =P
Get in this position and gently stretch your lower back. You can hold this position for about 20-30 seconds.
Working on these 4 things will likely help address your Anterior Pelvic Tilt.
If you genuinely worked on these 4 things for about a month or two and do not notice any improvement, then you might want to consult a doctor. Perhaps, there is some other issue. X-rays/MRI might be required.
Of course, if at anytime it is causing too much discomfort, feel free to see the doctor sooner.
Hope you improve your posture!
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