Your pelvis is the bony structure that provides the connection between your trunk and your legs, providing the supporting and balancing structure for your trunk and protecting and supporting your intestines, sex organs, and bladder.
When we move around using our legs, the pelvis transfers our upper body weight to the legs. Our pelvis is designed to be mostly immobile to provide a strong foundation for our upper bodies. An ideal position for the pelvis is needed for optimal movement and performance.
Simple Test to See If Your Pelvis Is out of Alignment
Try this simple yet effective exercise and assessment.
- Stand tall, with your feet hip-width apart.
- Draw your body up tall, pull your chin in and your chest up and out.
- Breathe deeply into your belly.
- Think about your postural alignment; imagine a plumb line creating a straight line down the side of your body.
- Adjust until you have achieved this plumb line: ear lobes over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over your knees, and knees over your ankles.
Imagine that your pelvis is a bucket, full to the brim.
- Now, tip your pelvis forward so that a small amount of water can pour out of your pelvis/bucket.
- Now, tilt your pelvis backward so that water spills out the back.
- Continue this pouring action from front to back until the movement is fluid, smooth, and continuous.
Now, tilt your pelvis/bucket down to the right so that the water slips over and down to the side.
- Repeat on the left side.
- Continue this side to side pouring until the movement is fluid, smooth, and continuous.
- Rotate your pelvis/bucket so that water is pouring out in a circular motion, without pause.
If your bucket is jerking, stopping, and water is not always pouring over the rim, you have more work to do.
- Find that place where your pelvis/bucket is in a neutral position; that is, the water in your bucket is still and level and not pouring out anywhere around the rim.
A pelvis that is misaligned can cause postural problems and low back pain.
Helpful Questions to Assess Pelvic Alignment
When you are standing, assess your pelvic alignment.
- Does it feel like you are tilted too far back? Imagine a dog with its tail between its legs.
- Does it feel like your pelvis is tilted too far forward? Imagine a swaybacked horse. This feeling may indicate your pelvis is not in an ideal position.
- Do you often stand with one hip jutted out? This habit may result in a muscle imbalance.
The Importance of Pelvis Alignment
Having our pelvis in an ideal and neutral position optimizes our ability to move. It also is the ideal position for our spinal column, and it allows for freer, deeper, and more effective breathing.
Breathing is improved in this position because our diaphragm can function at its best. Our lower back (the lumbar vertebrae) are less compressed in this position. When we can maintain a neutral pelvis throughout our activities and exercises, we can better utilize our core muscles.
Finally, if we keep a great mind/body connection and awareness of our pelvic tilt, we are more likely to be further optimally aligned through our shoulder girdle, head, and neck.
Tips How to Keep Your Hips in Balance
Don’t worry if you can’t find this neutral pelvic tilt right away. It takes some time, your full attention, and practice. Once you can achieve a neutral pelvis, practice often, and try to remember to maintain the position as you go about your daily activities and fitness routines.
You may want to explore an orthotic insole; if your arches are not ideal, your foot position will make this work harder. Of course, keeping the muscles that serve the pelvic girdle free of tension, knots, and tightness is critical.
Explore the use of muscle massage roller sticks and massage balls. These practical and budget-friendly wellness tools are easy to use, can be taken anywhere, and provide effective release. Consider Physix Gear Sport for all of your recovery and relief wellness gear needs!