Core exercises

Key points to consider:

When performing the following core exercises:

  • Keep the lower back COMPLETELY flat against the floor… ALL OF THE TIME.
    • It is imperative that you do not let your lower back arch and lift off the ground.
  • There should be NO tension in your lower back whilst performing these exercises.
  • Think about keeping your lower ribs down at all times. Your chest should NOT flare out.
  • Remember to engage the core and abdominal muscles throughout all movements.
    • (Think about drawing your belly button down into your spine.)
  • DO NOT progress to the next exercise unless you are able to maintain this position.

Core exercises

1. The Starting position:

This is the starting position that you will be commencing in most of the below exercises.

startingpositionstarting position 2

Instructions:

  • Bring your knees all the way to your chest.
  • Feel your lower back completely flatten against the floor.
  • Let go of your knees.
  • Maintain leg and pelvic position by engaging your core (… “drawing belly button into your spine”)

2. Breathing (…the correct way):

Are you breathing the correct way?

You might be thinking, “what has breathing got to do with my anterior pelvic tilt?”.

It actually has a lot to do with it.

Breathing efficiently is extremely important in correcting an anterior pelvic tilt.

Not only do your abdominal muscles help with full exhalation, they also help maintain the ideal alignment by controlling the position of the lower ribs.

How to breath correctly:

Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Tilt your pelvis backwards to help flatten your lower back onto the floor.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly exhale ALL of the air out through your mouth.
  • As you reach the point where you have completely emptied out your lungs, notice how your lower ribs and lower back sink towards the ground.
  • Maintain this lowered rib position through this breathing exercise by gently engaging your abdominal muscles
    • Draw your belly button in.
  • Take a deep breath in.
    • Imagine you are breathing deep into your stomach. Your upper chest should not be moving excessively as you breathe.
    • Aim to expand the entire circumference of your lower chest wall.
    • (Imagine you are inflating a balloon.)
  • Breathe out all the air out of you lungs.
    • Allow the lower ribs sink to the floor as you do this.
  • Continue this diaphragmatic breathing for 10 repetitions
  • Practice this as many times throughout the day!
    • It takes time to get good at breathing properly.

Maintain the correct breathing pattern throughout the anterior pelvic tilt correction exercises.

If you’re like most of the people that I have taught this to, you will probably hold your breath whilst performing these exercises. Make sure that you do NOT hold your breath!

I repeat – Do NOT hold your breath!

You need to learn how to co-ordinate your breathing with your muscles.

They need to work together.

3. Corrective exercises

I have arranged these exercises into 4 different levels – easiest to hardest.

I would avoid skipping any exercise before progressing to the next difficulty unless you feel that it is very easy to perform.


Note: All of these exercises are designed to be safe and gentle. You should NOT experience any pain whilst performing them.

If you do, please proceed with caution and cease if pain persists. 


Level 1:

Single bent knee drop

bentkneedrop

Instructions:

  • Assume the starting position.
  • Keep both knees bent throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your right knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower the left leg towards the ground.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Alternate legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Single straight knee drop

benttostraight

Instructions:

  • Assume the starting position.
  • Keeping your right knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower the left leg towards the ground.
  • Aim to straighten your leg whilst you lower your leg.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Alternate legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.


Level 2:

Double bent knee drop

bothkneebent

Instructions:

  • Assume the starting position.
  • Keeping your knees bent, slowly lower both legs at the same time.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Double straight leg drop

doublelegdrop

Instructions:

  • Assume the starting position.
  • Slowly lower and straighten both legs at the same time.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.


Level 3:

Double straight leg hold with single leg drop

strlegdrop

Instructions:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring both legs as high as possible whilst keeping both knees as straight as possible. (see starting position as above)
  • Slowly lower left leg whilst keeping the knee straight.
  • Only lower the leg as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Alternate sides.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Double straight leg hold with double leg drop

doublelegdropadv

Instructions:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring both legs as high as possible whilst keeping both knees straight. (see starting position as above)
  • Slowly lower both legs whilst keeping knees straight.
  • Only lower the legs as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Level 4:

You can progress any of the above exercises by:

  • Holding the lowered leg positions for a longer period of time.
  • Draw circles in the air with your foot at the lowered leg positions.
  • Dropping your leg even lower. (… providing that you are able to maintain a neutral pelvis)

Note: Remember to keep your

  • a) lower ribs down,
  • b) core/abdominal engaged and
  • c) breathe throughout these exercises too!

What to do next…

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!

3. Start doing the exercises!

21 thoughts on “Core exercises”

  1. Hello Mark,

    Should we basically always be breathing with our belly button slightly drawn in throughout our entire day? Would you say that’s the correct way to breath?

    Reply
    • Hey Josh,

      I am a big believer in “Tension to task”.

      Certain movements/postures will require you to engage the core at a greater intensity (eg. picking up a weight from the floor).

      Whereas in other times, you might need activate the core to a lesser extent (eg. getting out of bed).

      In terms of core contraction at rest, I usually suggests for a 1-2% contraction. (which generally shouldn’t really require too much conscience effort)

      Mark

      Reply

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