Today we tend to sit for breakfast, sit down on the way to work, sit for most of the day at our desk and watch more TV than ever in our spare time. Often caused by tight hip flexors and lengthened hip extensors, it is easy to see why so many people (in particular women as high heels do not help) have an anterior pelvic tilt. Anterior pelvic tilt is simply when the front of the pelvis drops and the back of the pelvis rises. This is very easy to see; stand side on in the mirror and look to see if your trousers / skirt wasit band sits lower at the front than at the back. You will also notice an excessive arch in the lower back.
Not only can an anterior pelvic tilt cause back problems but it makes it hard for you to firm and activate your glutes.
A great exercise that will stretch out your hip extensors and firm your glutes is the Cook Hip Lift. The exercise solves the problem of using lower back extension, as opposed to hip extension, by maintaining the lumbar spine in a neutral position and effectively isolating the glutes.
Perfomring the Cook Hip Lift
1. Lie on you back with your knees bent at 90 degrees & your feet on the floor
2. Pull one knee tightly to your chest. To ensure the knee stays against your chest, place a tennis ball just under the bottom rib so that your thigh must pin the tennis ball in place.
3. Pushing through the heel on the floor, extend your hips upward. Do not allow the tennis ball to fall out of place.
You should feel a very good isolation and contraction of the glutes. Keeping your hip flexed tightly by not allowing the tennis ball to fall ensures that the lumbar spine is not called on to achieve the range of motion.
This is not an easy exercise and clients are continually surprised at the results they get from using this. Try this next time you have a work out.