Tilted Pelvis-Hip Alignment

There is a lot of misguided advice about tucking in the pelvis and trying to correct anterior pelvic tilt to give you a better posture.

I would never advise anybody to unnatural tuck in, force or make too much physical effort to try and get into what some people think is good posture.

We are all born with a natural poise and balance and if you observe young children then you will notice that they stand, move and sit with the least amount of effort and tension.

You will not see very young children tucking in the pelvis or trying to physically hold themselves up.

There is also a lot of advice about telling people to correct their anterior pelvic tilt, and many people are going around in a more of a posterior pelvic tilt, which can lead to problems such as back pain and muscle tension and imbalance 

Not to mention it will make it very hard for you to sit down as it will cause your back to curve and you will end up sitting on your tail bones instead of your sit bones.

We are naturally supposed to have a degree of anterior pelvic tilt, which is where the top of the pelvis drops slightly forward in relationship to the back of the pelvis.

Posterior pelvic tilt is where the pelvis tilts backwards so the bottom of the pelvis is angled more forwards than the top.

When you have a posterior pelvic tilt, it tends to push the hips too far forwards which will put to much excessive curvature in the spine.

Although you should naturally have a degree of anterior pelvic tilt, this should be natural and you should not have to try and force it.

If you think that you have excessive anterior pelvic tilt, then it may pay you to visit a trained Alexander Technique professional or a posture expert, rather than trying to figure it all out by yourself.

Because if you attempt to correct your posture without knowing what you're doing then you could be heading for more trouble and you may end up trying to correct something that does not really need fixing that much.

Returning back to your natural poise and balance

When we are in good alignment, balance and organization, you should not have to try and find your natural pelvic tilt as your whole body should find its own natural curves and alignment naturally.

Ideally you should aim to sit and stand at your full natural height and expansion without stiffening, if you want to achieve this so you can sit, stand and move with good organization and with the least amount of effort.

Then your whole body needs to come back into balance because our body and muscles work as one whole, therefore you cannot obtain good poise and alignment, by focusing on trying to correct one specific area of your body.

Just by paying a bit of conscious attention to what you're doing, so you can start to try and eliminate any bad tension habits that you may have created, is probably far better than trying to physically correct your posture.

The key to good poise and balance is to start to return back to your natural poise, grace and balance rather than trying to correct your posture of fix your pelvic tilt.

If you want to obtain your natural poise and balance so you can eliminate any back or joint pains or free yourself of excessive tension, then you need to start to focus on the head, back and neck relationship.

One of the main instructions of the Alexander Technique, which you do through thought and not any physical effort is.

Allow the neck to be free, as this instruction will release any tension in the neck, then think the head to go forwards and up, without trying to make any physical effort, so the head balances freely on top of the spine and your spine will rest at its full natural height.

Many people make the common mistake of allowing the back of the head to be pulled down when they attempt to sit down, this will cause the compression of the spine and the contraction of the muscles in the neck and back.

The video below, will demonstrate to you, how to correctly get in and out of a chair, so your whole body, including your pelvis, returns back to its natural position without you having to make and physical effort, or spend ages performing exercises.

You should always try to maintain your backs natural arch and curvature so your spine is fully elongated but avoid over straightening the spine.

If you have a posterior pelvic tilt then it will push your butt too far forwards and throw your upper body out of alignment which can result in the collapse of the body causing you to hunch up.

Having a posterior pelvic tilt can also make it very uncomfortable to sit down, as it will cause your pelvis to drop backwards and your spine will go into a big unhealthy curve. 

This can lead to a rounded back, your shoulders will become hunched up, and it will compress your torso and vital organs which will restrict your breathing and the blood flow around your body not to mention the risk of back pain and sore joints.

If you have watched the video above on good sitting, then you will be aware that when you're sitting right, then you will be resting on the top of your sit bones and your pelvis will be positioned underneath your spine and your spine will be stacked upright.

When you are standing correctly, so your pelvis are positioned underneath you, so your hips are not pushed too far forwards or back and your legs are vertical, but not braced/stiffened and your knees are soft, and you allow your neck to be free and your head to go forwards and up. 

Then you can relax your pelvis and just allow your bones to do all the supporting work, if you're unsure, check out the video below.

Aligning the pelvis

Before you attempt to find neutral pelvis, you may need to align the position of your pelvis, so it is positioned underneath your rib cage, giving your upper body, the maximum amount of support, sometimes doing this may be enough to put your pelvis into its neutral angle.

Many people have their hips pushed too far forwards or too far, when your hips are too far forwards, the back has to slant backwards to compensate for the out of aligned hips, and when they're pushed too far backwards it causes the back to flatten.

A good technique that you can apply to gauge if your pelvis is in the right position is, when you're standing, if you can lift up the front of your feet off the ground, both at the same time, then this usually implies that, your hips are in the right position, as demonstrated by the excellent video below.

Although it is perfectly healthy to have a small degree of anterior pelvic tilt, if you have over exaggerated anterior pelvic tilt, then you will find it hard to maintain a good healthy alignment and balance.

If you have too much anterior pelvic tilt then, you may need to drop the back of the pelvis down a bit so you can come back your natural anterior pelvic tilt.

Good posture places the upper body and the rib cage over the hips, eliminating the need for muscle workload to balance the body.  

You can end up sticking your butt too far back, and if the pelvis and the butt are pushed too far back it can make your upper body bend forwards too much, causing the top of the legs to lean backward and the knees to become too bent, almost like you're in the starting process of sitting down.

This will put more workload on the back muscles to compensate for the excessive clockwise rotation of the pivot joint of the top the legs and pelvis, which will require extra muscle exertion of the upper body.

Although ideally, you should have a small degree of anterior pelvic tilt, so your upper body is upright, you can end up pushing your hips and butt too far back, 

If this is the case, then you will need to bring your hips and butt back until your legs become more vertical and your hips become underneath your rib cage.

If you have extreme anterior pelvic tilt or you have posterior pelvic tilt, then there are some exercises that you can do to help you find your natural pelvic tilt. 

However, it is not going to help that much, unless you have your whole body in good, healthy, aligned, and balanced posture.

Holding too much tension in the knees, upper legs and the pelvis region, are going to make it hard for you to find that natural healthy, aligned and balanced posture.

Many people tend to hyper tense their knees and legs. The legs should be vertical and go up, as they are your main foundation of support.

But there should be no need to stiffen or brace the legs, your weight should be more towards your heels, and your heels should go back and down, but do not lock your ankles, and your knees should go forwards and away from your heels, do not lock or hyper tense your knees. 

The Alexander Technique suggests, then to think your knees forwards and away, rather than trying to do it physically. You can buy an inexpensive Alexander Technique book from Amazon.

A lot of the tension, pain and strain which people experience in the neck, lower back and knees is often linked to tightness in the pelvis, hip and upper leg area. 

When, we tighten the muscles in the upper legs, hips and pelvis, not only will it throw your body out of alignment, causing tension and strain, it will also restrict your ability to bend efficiently from the hip joints, which can make it hard to sit and stand correctly.

It is important to also be aware, that all bending, squatting and getting into your chair should be done from the hips and not the waist, because many people bend from the waist which curves and puts a lot of strain on the back.

Sitting right

It is also important to find and have a natural spine and pelvis, when you're sitting, especially as these days, more and more people are spending long periods of time sitting down. 

When you have a natural pelvis when you're sitting, then your pelvis will be underneath your rib cage, giving you maximum support and helping to maintain you in a healthy, tension free and upright position.

The best way to achieve this is to learn how to correctly get in and out of your chair, but you can find that natural and healthy spine and pelvis, whilst you're already sitting down.

To obtain this you have to be positioned on top of your sit bones, which are the two hard bones that protrude at the bottom of your pelvis.

If you still have not found neutral spine or you have too much anterior or posterior pelvic tilt, or you want to fine tune your sitting position.

Then first, slump down and roll your pelvis backwards, so it curves your back into a C shape, then go the other way and sit up tall and to attention, so you arch your lower back and tilt your pelvis forwards, where you are pulling your shoulders back.

Then go back and forth until you find that neutral mid point, which should be somewhere in between the two extremes and variations, where you feel upright and comfortable and your sitting directly on top of your sit bones, then without moving, relax, so you're sitting upright but without any effort or tension.

If you have extreme anterior or posterior pelvic tilt, then it can make it very hard to move efficiently, and it can make it extremely difficult and uncomfortable to sit.

So again, having good awareness and understanding of the hip joints and pelvis, is vital, if you want to sit, stand and move in good balance and co-ordination.

If you have too much tension in your upper legs, your knees or your hip region, then, it will make it hard for you to get in and out of your chair naturally, which will leave you sitting in a tense and painful uncomfortable posture.

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