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Unlike its counterpart anterior pelvic tilt, posterior pelvic tilt is less common, but is important to discuss, as it is often a result of tight muscles which can restrict movement and place more compressive forces through the lumbar spine. Posterior pelvic tilt is when the pelvis is rotated upwards and backwards resulting in a lack of curvature through the lower back and the pelvis appearing as though it is tucked under the body.

What causes an excessive posterior pelvic tilt?

Three possible causes of your posterior pelvic tilt [PPT] are either tightness in the hamstring muscles and/or abdominal muscles, weakness in the hip flexors and/or lower back muscles, or as is more likely, a combination of all the above. Due to the posterior rotation of the pelvis, the natural curvature of the lower back may be reduced, forcing the lumbar vertebrae to be stacked more vertically, one on top of the other, possibly forcing more compressive pressure through the spinal discs. When the lower back curvature is lost, there is less shock absorbance through-out the spine as a whole. The combination of these structural changes may lead to pain through the lower back or sacroiliac joints.

What can you do about it?

There are countless ways to address flexibility and strength deficits in the relevant muscle groups.  The methods include both exercise and treatment options.  Before you get too carried away with your own research though, it may serve you to consult with an experienced therapist.  Seek the professional advice of someone who understands the implications of an PPT and/or whether it in fact applies to your body.

Another thing to consider is that these muscle imbalances are often a result of years of poor postures, often a slumped position while sitting, and while exercises may help initially, continuation of these postures will counteract any progress you make and hence you may benefit from education from a professional around activity and postural modifications.

Something for you to try

The following set of home-based exercises are designed to bring the spine and pelvis back into a neutral position by

  • Facilitating activation of the hip flexors, erector spinae and gluteal muscles
  • By stretching the abdominal muscles and hamstrings

If you’re a sufferer of lower back pain, be that because of the presence of PPT or otherwise, these exercises may offer some relief.  Since these exercises are pretty easy, there’s no real limit as to how many you can perform.  As a starting point, you might aim for three sets of 15 repetitions, three times a day.

Seated Straight Leg Raises

Sit on a mat with your legs straight out in front of you and place your hands on the floor behind you to stabilise your body. Then, while maintaining a straight knee, slowly raise one leg towards the ceiling as far as you can, hold for 2 seconds and then slowly lower. If you find it difficult to get up and down from the ground a modification to this exercise is to sit on a chair and place another chair at foots length.Hip flexor exercise for posterior pelvic tilt

Straight leg raise exercise for strengthening hip flexors. SOURCE:

Prone Superman

Lay on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Slowly raise your arms and legs simultaneously towards the ceiling, hold for 3 seconds and then slowly lower. If this puts too much strain through your spine, lift one arm and the opposite leg at the simultaneously and then switch arms and legs.

Erector spinae strengthening exercises for posterior pelvic tilt

Erector spinae strengthening exercises for posterior pelvic tilt. SOURCE:

Hip Bridge

Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and toes facing forward, slowly raise your pelvis towards the sky until you form a bridge with your hips.  Aim to have your shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line.  To finish, slowly lower yourself back towards the ground.Hip bridge for posterior pelvic tilt

Hip bridge for glute strengthening. SOURCE:


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly bend at the knees, lowering your body until your knees are as close to 90 degrees as possible and then return to standing

.Squat for anterior pelvic tilt

Squat for strengthening glutes. SOURCE:

Cobra Stretch

Lie on your stomach and place your hands flat on the floor in line with your mid chest as if you were going to do a push-up, then slowly raise your upper body off the floor until you feel a stretch through your abdomen. Hold it for 5 seconds and then slowly lower back to the floor.Cobra stretch for posterior pelvic tilt

Cobra Stretch Exercise. SOURCE:

Towel Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back and raise one leg toward the ceiling with a towel wrapped around your lower thigh. Place your hands on either end of the towel to support the thigh and to bring your leg closer towards your head if possible, until your feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. If a towel is not available use your hands. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and then slowly lower back to the floor

Hamstring stretch for posterior pelvic tilt

Hamstring Stretch SOURCE:

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