If you want to train your core muscles properly, then you need to be able to hold your pelvis in the “neutral” position. The pelvis hinges on the thigh bones and, due to various lifestyle factors, alignment problems can develop. As a result, the pelvis ends up with a resting position that is either tilting forwards or backwards. A forward tilt is very common in women, especially after pregnancy. This causes excess stress on the low back, poor posture and poor muscle tone in the abs and glutes (butt muscles). The first step to being able to do core exercises properly is to understand how to find neutral pelvis.
Reasons we lose the neutral pelvis position
There are lots of lifestyle factors that can cause a pelvic tilt to develop. In pregnancy, the weight of the growing baby can cause the lower back to arch and the pelvis to tilt forwards. Inactivity and being overweight can lead to various posture problems developing, including poor pelvic alignment. Wearing high heels shifts the body’s centre of gravity, which causes posture to change. Again, this can lead to a tilted pelvis.
How to find neutral pelvis
The easiest way to do this is to first understand how the pelvis tilts backwards and forwards. Once you understand this, you can find the midway neutral spot. Start by laying down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Once you have found your neutral pelvis position, you can start some beginners core training. This involves holding onto the neutral pelvis position while you do arm and leg movements. A good exercise to start with is heel taps. The core muscles have to work to hold onto the neutral position as you lower your feet to the floor. You’ll only benefit from the exercise if you can keep your pelvis in neutral, so make sure you focus on this.
Find neutral as described above, then take both feet of the floor and hold your legs as shown:
Holding on to the neutral pelvis position, lower one leg to the floor. It’s important not to let your pelvis move – your core muscles will have to work to hold on to neutral. Bring your leg back up to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Start by doing 10 repetitions on each leg and try to increase the number by 2 repetitions every week. Ideally, you should do the exercise 3 times a week. After a few weeks, you can progress on to some more advanced exercises – try one of these workouts: