If you have taken a class with us here at at Niche, you have likely heard us cue to find a “neutral pelvis”. We want to work with a neutral pelvis for many reasons:
Support stability of the Lumbar Spine
Promote function and mobility of the hips
Engage and connect with deep core muscles
Alleviate and prevent discomfort and pain
But what the heck does it mean, and how does it feel? You can find your neutral pelvis doing the following exercises/techniques:
Diamond Shape of Hands
Place your hands on your low belly, thumbs and fingers touch other hand. Fingertips towards pubic bone.
As you move, you want your hands to remain flat - if you were to place a glass of water on your hands - it would not spill!
This can you a useful tool on the reformer during footwork or feel in straps, or at home you can do toe taps or other core exercises on your back.
Start on your back with your feet on the floor, stack knees over ankles, sit bone distance apart.
Anterior Tilt: Keeping your hips on the floor start to arch your back - lifting lower back off the floor while keeping core engaged, tailbone is pointing down towards the floor.
Posterior Tilt: Then press your lower back into the mat, tailbone starts to point up towards the ceiling.
Hands on ASIS
Moving the pelvis until the ASIS (anterior superior iliac spine) and the pubic bone are on the same plane and parallel to the ground in supine or perpendicular to the ground in standing or sitting
Now that you have techniques to find your neutral pelvis, here are some common exercises that you can find and focus on maintaining it.
So what can you do if you cannot find neutral or if you experience pain?
Imprint - Press lower back into the mat to find your lower abdominal muscles. Move with control and find the range of motion where lumbar spine does not lift.
Physical Support with towel to prop up an excessive lumbar curve (anterior pelvic tilt)
Targeted stretch and strengthen.
Posterior tilt is often associated with tight hamstrings and psoas and stretched low back and quad.
Anterior tilt is often associated with tight hip flexors/quads, stretched hamstrings, lack of glute and lower abdominal engagement.