Anterior Pelvic Tilt is by far one of the most common dysfunctions one can have. In the following video, Jeff from AthleanX explains how to reverse the effects of chronic sitting by addressing what muscles are causing anterior pelvic tilt and how to strengthen the areas that are weak. With a step by step attack plan, you are going to be able to fix this muscle and joint imbalance once and for all.
To start, it is important to define what anterior pelvic tilt really is. It is the resultant posture of tightness and weakness in certain muscle groups of the core and pelvis that causes your pelvis to tilt anteriorly and downward. This can be seen pretty easily from the side in somebody that has it. You will notice an exaggerated curvature in the lower back and possibly even a protruding stomach. The belly is not protruding because of it being overweight (although it might be) but rather because the muscles of the abs are not strong enough to counteract the downward pull of the pelvis.
Realizing that our bodies work in a cross pattern muscularly, you will quickly see that the two areas of tightness are the lower back on the posterior side and the hip flexors or iliopsoas on the anterior or front side. The muscles of the hip flexors can become easily shortened because they are in this state for prolonged periods of time from sitting. Whether you sit at work all day or just spend a long time in front of the computer or even driving, your hip flexors will have a tendency to shorten adaptively.
This causes a resultant weakness in the muscles on the opposite side of the joint, the glutes and hamstrings. When this happens, you actually get a worsening of the problem since you don’t have the muscular strength to counteract the anterior and downward pull of the pelvis by the hip flexors. As a compensation to the glutes being weak, the lower back attempts to kick in and help out. It provides extra extension not provided by the glutes and in doing so, compromises its strength and integrity.
When combined with the pull of the iliopsoas on the lumber vertebrae, you get an overly active and tight low back. This not only can cause pain but further exacerbates the problem. Along with this static positioning of the pelvis, you get a disused stretch weakness on the abdominals. In order to counteract this cascade of challenges, you need to stretch the hip flexors, strengthen the abs with exercises that don’t over activate the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.
One thing you do not want to do is stretch your hamstrings. While it is normal to try and stretch whatever muscles are tight instinctively, this would be a mistake here. The hamstring tightness is not causing the anterior pelvic tilt, it is a result of the anterior pelvic tilt. Stretching them will only make the problem worse.