Mastering Low Back Strength and Mobility – Can you Pelvic Tilt?

Low Back Discomfort and/or Pain is more common than sliced bread. It effects more than 80% of adults sometime in their lifetime and the most common cause of job related disability. For employers and businesses, low back pain causes lost wages and productivity, increased sick days, poor performance, employee depression and chronic fatigue (while at work),  employee reduced satisfaction with the employer, increasing turnover rate, reduced creativity and new ideas in the workplace, and reduced  effectiveness of customer service.

There are many ways to treat Low Back Pain however often those treatment and preventive strategies miss the actual movement and function that aids in keeping the low back healthy and mobile. For optimal spinal support, the core muscles have to engage. So starting deep is an important assessment. The core muscles include the abdominal muscles, especially obliques and transverse abdominal, the back (erector spinae and deeper), pelvis, hips and gluteals.

So, can you or Do You Pelvic Tilt? The Pelvic Tilt is a lower abdominal strengthening exercise performed lying on your back. Maintaining a pelvic tilt increases spinal stabilization. In addition, the ability to engage the core muscles during exercise regardless of exercise position is key to optimal performance on the field and more importantly in life!

Keep in mind that while the exercise trains the pelvic floor muscles to engage, it is not simply, reducing the space at the waist but the ability to do it while breathing normally as well as maintaining the position while moving.

Performing and practicing the pelvic tilt to strengthen the pelvic floor.

  1. Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent. Slide your hands under the small of your back. This is normal curvature.
  2. Tilt your pelvis back to flatten the small of your back towards the floor by tightening your stomach (abdominal) muscles.
  3. Keep the back flat. Maintain this position, keeping your shoulders and head relaxed and breathing normally as you continue this progression.
  4. Level 1:
    • Lift one leg off the floor bringing your knee toward your chest. Keep thigh vertical and hip at 90 degrees.
    • Lift the other leg to the same position.
    • Lower one leg at a time to the starting position.
    • Complete 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
  5. Level 2: Can you maintain the position with greater movement.
    • With both legs up, thighs vertical and hip 90 degrees…
    • Keep one leg up and lower the other leg, sliding heel down so that the knee is moving towards straight.
    • Slide it back to starting position.
    • Repeat with the other leg.
  6. Level 3 and more?: Are you maintaining the position and BREATHING evenly?
    • Bring knees and feet back to starting position.
    • Can you do Level 2 keeping heel slightly above floor?
    • Can you slide both heels?
    • Can you extend both legs with heels above floor?

Progression: Don’t move on to the next level until you are successful with the first position.

Mastering and incorporating this movement pattern into your exercise routine will make your execution more meaningful and more effective toward your goals. The following exercises incorporate this pelvic stability training above. Try these again with correct form.

  • Modified Crunch
  • Stability Ball Pass
  • Dead Bug
  • Pilates Flow
  • Plank and Side Plank
  • V-Ups