Let us start by understanding the term. Pelvis is the area between our thighs and torso. To make it easy, it is the lower part of the trunk of the body.
The function of pelvis is predominantly to protect the organs responsible for digestion and reproduction. It also connects our lower limbs to the spine and transmits the load from upper body to lower body. But that’s not it. Pelvis has various other mechanical functions on human body. Check the table below:
Anterior pelvic tilt (APT):
APT is a postural condition where the pelvis drops anteriorly (towards the front of the body). This results in your butt to stick out, exaggerated lumbar arch and protruding tummy. This happens to a majority of people who sit for extended hours without a break. It can potentially cause lower back pain/problems, knee pains might result in sciatica (nerve pain that starts in the lower back and runs down the lower limbs) over time and a bunch of other functional discomforts!
What causes APT?
APT happens if the hip flexor muscles are tight/ have limited flexibility OR if the lower back muscles are tight.
How to test if you have an APT?
This can be done using The Thomas Test. (Source: http://www.fix-knee-pain.com/)
Sit on the edge of a table or another stable surface (not on a spongy surface like bed), hold both of your knees and lean back until your back is flat on the surface. Now let go of one leg and extend at the hip until your thigh touches the table.
Good result: your thigh touches the table, the knee is bent and neither hip nor leg rotate or move outward (abduct).
Problem areas otherwise could be: If you need to extend the knee (i.e. straighten it) to touch your thigh to the surface of the table, your rectus femoris is short. If your thigh cannot touch the table even after you’ve extended your knee, your psoas are short. If your leg and hip need to move to the outside for the thigh to touch the surface of the table, your tensor fascia latae is short (which means you might also have a tight iliotibial band).
Conclusion: If you look like the person in the image demonstrating the APT and fail the Thomas test, you have short/tight hip flexors which is an active determinant of APT.
How to fix APT?
There are various ways to fix anterior pelvic tilt. Be aware that it is a postural problem caused by tightening of the hip flexors. Since the hip flexors are tight and pelvis is dropping forward, the hamstring muscles tend to stretch a little bit more than its resting length.
Postural correction exercises for anterior pelvic tilt:
1. Stiff legged dead lift
2. Glute bridge
3. Hip thrusts
5. Static crunches
All these exercises should be done both in dynamic and static manner. Dynamic stretches would look like your normal exercise repetitions while static will be a hold of 5-10 seconds at the peak of a stretch. These should be done in no overload environment, which means the load used (if any) for the exercises should be low and should be very gradually increased as the condition improves. Anterior pelvic tilt can be corrected only with the help of corrective exercises but sure requires consistency in doing them. A frequency of 3-4 times a week should be good enough to start with and slowly as your advance, push it to 5 days but make sure not do over do anything or over stretch/load the muscles.