Everywhere you go, you see people with bad posture. They look unhappy, unhealthy and are very low energy.
They wonder why they are in constant pain but nobody does anything to actually fix it. Most people think it’s impossible to fix their posture. That’s completely wrong!
We already looked at a very common postural problem, the anterior pelvic tilt and how you can fix it.
In this article, we are going to look at another very common postural dysfunction, the posterior pelvic tilt.
Don’t worry. I have got your back. Even if you think you can not fix your posture and you are plagued for life, I will show you how you can correct your posterior pelvic tilt and get rid of back pain forever!
What Is Posterior Pelvic Tilt?
As you might think, a posterior pelvic tilt is the exact opposite of an anterior pelvic tilt.
With an anterior pelvic tilt, there is an extreme curvature in your lower back and your ass is constantly sticking out.
With a posterior pelvic tilt, the curvature in your lower back is non-existent, just like your ass.
Your back makes one straight line from your neck to your legs absent of any curves. Your pelvis basically tilts under your torso.
This is why the posterior pelvic tilt is often referred to as the flat back syndrome or the “no ass syndrome”.
The Real Reason For Your Non-Existent Ass
Do you ever hear that you have no ass? Often?
Well, now you know why.
It’s not because you are too skinny or because you need to train your glutes (even though a little booty training never hurt nobody).
It’s because of your poor posture and your posterior pelvic tilt. Your ass literally tucks under your torso and voila, the no-ass look is born.
If you want to fix your lack of an ass, you have to address the root cause and fix your posterior pelvic tilt!
Why Posterior Pelvic Tilt Is Dangerous
Bad posture is always destructive for your whole body. It negatively affects your mental and physical well-being and causes a multitude of problems.
Your joints, ligaments and tendons get a beating, your spine is under constant pressure and has to compensate for your poor posture.
With a posterior pelvic tilt, your lumbar spine is under constant strain and your discs are in a very compromised position.
This can easily lead to various injuries like bulging discs or hernias especially when lifting heavy or working out and these can take you out of the game for weeks, months or even forever.
When your posture is out of balance, you won’t be as strong as you could be and you won’t use your full potential. This will hinder your workout gains and you won’t get the physique you want.
Many vital processes and organs won’t function optimally because your whole body is misaligned.
On top of all of that, your mental state gets a beating, too. You won’t feel very confident and energetic but rather shy, anxious and lethargic.
Your character and behavior are a direct reflection of your posture and other people instantly notice that on a subconscious level. You fix your posture and your mental state improves dramatically.
And let’s be honest … it just looks like shit. Last time I checked with girls, they told me how much they like a nice pair of glutes on men. It is a sign of dominance, both socially and sexually.
If you look like you have no ass, then it’s time to get to work and fix your poor posture.
What Causes Posterior Pelvic Tilt?
As it is with every postural problem, a posterior pelvic tilt is caused by muscular imbalances that develop are a result of modern lifestyle habits.
With your posterior pelvic tilt, the muscular imbalances are exactly the opposite of an anterior pelvic tilt.
If you have a posterior pelvic tilt, your hamstrings, glutes and abs are tight while your lower back and hip flexors are too weak.
Tight abs will cause your whole upper body to crunch and lean forward.
Tight hamstrings will pull the pelvis “down” and it tucks under your torso while tight glutes will push the pelvis forward even further.
The hip flexors and lower back muscles are too weak to compensate for these forces and as a result, your pelvis tilts backward from its natural position.
How Does A Posterior Pelvic Tilt Develop In The First Place?
Before we take a look at the corrective exercises, you have to understand how a posterior pelvic tilt develops in the first place.
You can do as many exercises as you want, but if you don’t fix the root cause of your posterior pelvic tilt, you won’t get really far. Your body will always revert back to its original position.
That’s why you have to combine targeted corrective exercises with certain lifestyle changes to truly fix your poor posture and get rid of your posterior pelvic tilt.
Too Much and WRONG Sitting
We all sit way too much. In most cases, this is inevitable as it’s part of our modern day society. But it’s not just the amount of sitting but also how we sit.
Most people sit in a posterior pelvic tilt. They tuck their pelvis under their body and sit on the base of their spine while slouching and leaning back in the chair.
This incorrect sitting leads to muscular imbalances. Your body gets used to this position and adopts it as its default posture. It becomes a habit.
If you want to fix your posterior pelvic tilt, you have to learn how to sit correctly.
You have to sit on your sitting bones with your whole body stacked over your pelvis in one line. This is a stable position that supports your whole body effortlessly.
This video by Esther Gokhale showcases the correct sitting position:
When sitting for long periods of time, you should get into the habit of taking breaks often.
Just stand up and move a little. You could do some light stretches, shake out your body or just go for a little walk.
This will do wonders for your posture and even boost your productivity.
Do You Stand Like A Loser?
Your body gets used to your incorrect sitting position and your posterior pelvic tilt becomes your default state, even when standing.
I see many people standing with a flat back and their pelvis tucked under. Some go even further and lean back heavily. It’s like they are resting on their pelvis in this position.
This doesn’t only look completely unattractive, it also wreaks havoc on your body and worsens your posture even more.
Try being more mindful of the way you stand and observing your current standing posture. Are you leaning back and tucking your pelvis under?
Consciously push your pelvis in the correct position and try to keep it there as long as possible. Imagine your head is attached to a string, that is pulling your whole body upwards in a straight line and watch your body straighten itself out just like that.
If you catch yourself drifting back into your old postural habits, take notice and adopt the correct posture again. It’s almost like meditation only that you aren’t focusing on your thoughts but on your body.
Are You Torturing Your Body For 8 Hours Every Night?
You might not think that you can do anything wrong when sleeping but your sleeping habits are probably destroying your posture, too.
Most people with posterior pelvic tilt sleep on their stomachs. This unnatural position inevitably causes your body to adapt to a bad posture.
Even though it’s really hard to change your sleeping position (I am talking out of experience) you should invest the effort into doing so. Sleep on your side or optimally your back and you will experience less postural problems and better sleep.
Your body will thank you in the long run!
These are the 3 main factors that cause a posterior pelvic tilt. Too much and wrong sitting, standing with a posteriorly tilted pelvis and sleeping on your stomach.
Of course, there are other factors at play in developing posterior pelvic tilt.
Pregnant women and overweight people often compensate for the extra weight on their belly for example.
Unbalanced workouts can lead to posterior pelvic tilt as well such as focusing on developing your abs and hamstrings too much.
How To Fix Posterior Pelvic Tilt
As you should know by now, your posterior pelvic tilt is a result of muscular imbalances that have developed through certain lifestyle habits.
If you want to fix your posterior pelvic tilt, you have to attack those muscular imbalances through targeted corrective exercises and eliminate the root causes out of your life.
That means you will have to stretch your hamstrings, glutes and abs and strengthen your lower back and hip flexors.
Stretching and Mobility Exercises for Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Here are some of the exercises I recommend to fix a posterior pelvic tilt and achieve good posture.
Always start with stretching and mobility exercise before going on with strengthening exercises. Otherwise, your already tight muscles might take over and make all the effort useless.
How To Foam Roll To Fix Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Foam Rolling helps release tension in your tight muscles resulting in restoration of your muscular balance.
It also helps release trigger points in your muscles which further aggravate tension, pain and bad posture.
You should foam roll your glutes, IT-bands, hamstrings, adductors and calves every day.
Use a high-quality foam roller or a lacrosse ball that you can work even deeper into the muscles.
Stretching Tight Hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are one of the biggest causes for a posterior pelvic tilt.
They literally pull your pelvis downward, flattening the curve in your back.
If you have tight hamstrings, your mobility will be severely limited and it will be very difficult for you to do important exercises like squats and deadlifts.
Use these stretches regularly to loosen your hamstrings and become more flexible:
Stretching The Glutes
Just like the hamstrings, your glutes are very tight and contribute heavily to the flattening of your back. They basically push your hips forward and tuck it under your torso.
This is my favorite stretch for tight glutes:
Fixing Tight Abs
Your abs are tight as well and have to be stretched, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.
You should be very careful when stretching your abs. Most conventional ab stretches are dangerous and can quickly result in injuries.
Start simple by simply laying over a foam roller or something similar and breathing deeply into your stomach.
Your belly should expand in all directions as it fills with air. This should already produce a nice stretch in your abs.
Most people with posterior pelvic tilt and postural problems in general have adopted faulty breathing patterns.
They take in really shallow breaths into their chest when the correct way to breathe is with your diaphragm.
When you fix your posterior pelvic tilt, you will slowly notice improvements in your breathing patterns, too.
After this, you can stretch your abs with a more direct and intense approach. I recommend the cobra stretch:
You should do all of these stretches daily. Stretches will only be effective if you do them regularly, preferably multiple times a day.
Even though these stretches will hurt in the beginning and a little bit of light “pain” is always a good sign, you shouldn’t go overboard with any of those stretches, especially when your muscles are cold.
This could lead to injuries and injuries are the last thing we are striving for, when doing these exercises.
Start slowly and take every exercise step by step. Try holding the static stretches for about a minute and repeat them often throughout the day.
Breathe slowly and try to “breathe into” the stretch. This will further intensify the stretch and make it more effective.
It won’t hurt to warm-up the muscles you want to stretch before doing the exercises. This will minimize the risk of injury and make the process more effective.
Strengthening Exercises To Fix Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Now we are going to take a look at the exercises you should do to strengthen and activate the weak and dormant muscles:
Strengthening Inactive and Weak Hip Flexors
With your back and ass flat against a wall, lift your thigh to your chest.
Hold your thigh in this position, with your knee always above 90° and your back and ass in constant contact with the wall. Hold this position for at least 20 seconds and lengthen the time progressively.
If you have problems holding your thigh in this position, you have very weak hip flexors and you should focus on strengthening them.
This video shows a similar exercise to strengthen the hip flexors:
Don’t neglect your quads either. The best exercise for your quads will always be squats and its various variations like front squats or Bulgarian split squats.
Strengthening The Lower Back
Your lower back is too weak to compensate for your tight hamstrings and glutes.
A very effective and safe exercise to strengthen your spinal erectors is this lower back extension or Superman exercise:
Try doing one set every day with your bodyweight and then additionally, you should do this exercises at least 2 times heavy during your normal workouts.
The Workout Plan To Fix Your Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Here is a short summary of all the exercises you should do, to correct your posterior pelvic tilt:
- foam rolling every day with a focus on glutes and leg muscles
- stretching hamstrings and glutes multiple times per day
- stretching abs and breathing deep
Every stretch should be performed carefully. Start slowly, breathe deeply and progress with time.
You want to stretch the muscles, not tear them. A simple warm up to get blood into the muscles prevents injuries and is recommended.
- activating and strengthening hip flexors and quads with hold exercises and squat variations
- strengthening the lower back with lower back extensions/supermans, 1 set every day; 2 times per week heavy during workouts, 3 sets à 15 to 20 reps
You should adjust your actual workouts to support your rehabilitation of your posterior pelvic tilt, too.
That means you should stop training abs and hamstrings for a while and focus on training the body in a very balanced way.
Pay extra attention to performing every exercise, especially the heavy compound movements with perfect form. You don’t want to get injured as this would be detrimental to your progress.
Many people who are affected by a posterior pelvic tilt also have kyphosis. If you have kyphotic posture, you should definitely address and correct, as these will yield major progress in both directions. I will write an article on correcting kyphotic posture soon.
Win The Fight Against Posterior Pelvic Tilt
Combine the exercises with being mindful of your posture throughout the day and eliminating the negative causes such as long sitting and standing with bad posture and you will be on your way to correcting your posterior pelvic tilt in no time.
But keep one thing in mind. Correcting your bad posture isn’t going to happen overnight.
Think about the hours you have spent every day in bad posture, posterior tilting your pelvis. Do you think it will be enough to stretch a little every couple of days?
You are going to have to work very hard, do these exercises every day over a long period of time to see success.
You will have to be disciplined and push on, even if you don’t want to but it will be worth it.
Your body is your vehicle through this experience we call life. It is your key to success. Treat it well and it will repay you a thousand times.