Lordotic Posture - Lordosis

Lordosis is an exaggerated curve in the lower back (lumbar). It can give the appearance of a pot belly, as the pelvis is tilted forward causing a larger than normal curve to the lower back.

Lordosis occurs when the stomach muscles (abdominals) and the muscles of the bottom (gluteals) are lengthened and the hip flexors and muscles of the back are shortened.

pregnancy and high levels of fat around the stomach can contribute to this posture type, as the abdominals lengthen and back muscles shorten. Gymnasts and dancers are also prone due to repetitive hyperextension of the lower back required for some positions.

If you have a lordtic spine you may find that your Rectus abdomimus, external obliques and gluteas maximus and medius (bum) are weaker, less active and lengthened. Hamstrings (muscles at the back of the thigh) may be tight and over active and working when they shouldn't as they may be doing the job of those weakened gluteals, but they will not necessarily be shortened. The lower back may be stiff due to the lower back being in constant extension making the hip flexors short.

In order to manage and improve this posture we need to strengthen and shorten the rectus abdominals and external obliques. Develop more flexibility of the deeper back muscles, and hip flexors. Stretch the hamstrings; strengthen the the deep abdominal muscles to be able to hold a neutral pelvic position. Strengthen and activate the gluteal muscles and create mobility and flexion in the lumbar spine.

Recommended exercises

C Curve

Adopt the seated start position. Place your hands behind your thighs, with your elbows slightly bent. If you find this uncomfortable sit on a cushion, or rolled up towel. Inhale to prepare, and exhale rolling off your sitting bones to curve your lower spine tilting your pelvis backwards. Inhale as you roll forwards back onto your sitting bones lengthening your lower spine to find a neutral pelvis again.

Repeat 5 - 10 times

The Clam

Lie on your side, with both knees bent. Keeping your feet together, and squeeze your deep abdominal muscles by drawing the belly button inwards. Open your knees, like a clam, hold, and return to the start position. This is a good strengthening exercise for your gluteal (buttock) and outer thigh/hip muscles. Repeat 5 - 10 each side

Leg Lift

Lift your leg off the floor/bed. This exercise will mobilise your hip joint and strengthen the hip flexor muscles. Lift your leg as far as feels comfortable, but with the aim to increasing your leg lift as your leg becomes stronger and more mobile.

Repeat 5 - 10 each leg

Shoulder Bridge

Adopt the supine start position. Bring your heels slightly closer to your bottom to reduce the stress on your Hamstrings. Exhale as you tilt your pelvis back underneath you, pressing your lower back into the floor. Slowly roll your spine off the mat one vertebrae at a time to the tips of your shoulder blades. Hold this position as you inhale. Exhale, rolling the spine back down, one vertebrae at a time. Make sure you keep your weight equal through both feet. Repeat 5 - 10

Curl Ups

Adopt the supine start position. Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you lengthen the back of your neck and nod your head forward, curling your upper body. Keep the back of your lower ribcage in contact with the floor, with your head relaxed into your hands. Do not allow your abdominals to bulge, and keep your pelvis neutral. Exhale, as you slowly return back to the starting position. Repeat 8 - 18

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