An anterior pelvic tilt also known as “Instagram booty” (to our Generation Z crowd here), or lumbar hyperlordosis looks like it sounds. It’s where your pelvis dips forward and creates an exaggerated curve in the low back. It actually affects 85 percent of men and 75 percent of women in the United States!
Today, we go over how you can tell if you have an anterior pelvic tilt as well as how to fix it for good!
What Is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
Anterior tilt is defined as forward tipping of the pelvis. When measuring the pelvic tilt on the left side of a man, the normal range is 8 to 10 degrees of forward tilt. On a woman, the normal range is 10 to 12 degrees of forward tilt. Anything more is called an anterior tilt, and anything less is called a posterior tilt.
Why Is an Anterior Pelvic Tilt Bad?
It is normal and advised to take your pelvic through full anterior and posterior tilting to maintain full mobility, yet problems occur when your pelvic is stuck or frozen in anterior tilt for years or decades. This causes excessive compression upon the joints of the lumbar spine, L1-L5, and the SI joint. This also causes increased joint compression on the front of the hip joint.
Also, this position shortens the muscles of the low back making them feel tight, and is associated with a weak transverse abdominis, weak glutes, and weak rectus abdominis (abs) as well. Left unfixed for years this can result in joint related pain such as:
- Lumbar facet joint pain
- Hip impingement
- Cam impingement/Pincer
- Hip arthritis (most common)
What Is the Leading Cause of an Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
The leading cause of an anterior pelvic tilt is muscle imbalances or misalignment in the lower back, hips, and glutes. Yet overall, Dr. Mike believes that the actual root cause of Anterior tilt is lack of awareness and connection to your pelvic tilt angle throughout daily life.
An anterior tilted position is linked with excessive lumbar spine curvature, and the excessive curve of the lumbar spine is counterbalanced with an excessive kyphotic curve of the thoracic spine
How to Fix an Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Now, you’re probably thinking “okay how do you fix this?” Dr. Mike has found that it’s most effective for people to fix and gain awareness of different body regions, one area at a time, to fix a specific issue. Once you do this, then you can move on to the adjacent (or next) area, fix that area and gain awareness, and then interconnect those two before moving to areas 3, 4 and 5, etc.
The first skill to learn to fix an anterior pelvic tilt is in the MoveU membership’s Back and Core Program, it’s called the MoveU Core Brace. For this, you’ll need to awaken and strengthen your deep core breath muscles that will reduce the curve of your spine as they get stronger - these are the transverse abdominis, the diaphragm, and the pelvic floor. After these are activated you’ll then strengthen your abdominals to further reduce the curve in your spine that’s causing your anterior pelvic tilt.
Next, you want to work on your second exercise, this one is for the upper back. Note you cannot reduce the excessive flexion (kyphosis) of the upper spine until you first learn to scoop your scapulas (see the MoveU Shoulder Program), essentially upwardly rotate your scapulas, and move them down and away from your spine so you can get more extension of your upper thoracic spine. Now, combine the core brace with the scapula scoop to reduce the entire S-shape of your spine and fix your pelvic tilt!
The third exercise you want to learn is the hip hinge. A little note about the glutes, they are the strongest posterior tilting muscle in the body. You’ll need to train your ability to activate and use your glutes when you bend and lift. Now, combine the hip hinge, core brace, and scapula scoop together.
Fourth and fifth are two skills called ground force (knee, ankle, and foot) and head pivot (head and neck) that are the only two remaining skills to attach, and will not be covered here in this article.