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The Secret to Fixing Your Posture and Alleviating Back Pain

14 January 2022

If you work a 9 to 5 job, whether it’s in an office or at home, there’s no doubt you’ll be spending a large amount of time sitting down. Over time, it can become a habit to slump into your chair or not maintain proper posture. This can lead to back problems and soreness, as well as a host of other more serious problems in the long term.

Now, you might be thinking that you need to exercise your back in order to fix your posture, but there’s another body part that plays a large role in keep our body upright, and it’s mostly overlooked, even by trainers! That’s right; we’re talking about your hips.

Why Are Hip Flexors So Important for Proper Posture?

The majority of individuals are astonished to hear that their hip flexor muscles are essential for good posture since they bridge the upper and lower parts of your body, assisting in spine stability. Stiff hip flexors usually indicate an anterior pelvic tilt, which means the pelvis is tilted forward and the spine is curved excessively.

The weakening of these muscles, along with an overly bent spine, results in a forward movement of the upper body. An inactive lifestyle or lengthy periods of time sitting in one spot may contribute to this stiffness. To assist in reducing hip flexor stress, stand up and move about often if you catch yourself seated for a prolonged length of time.

Whenever you sit the whole day, you strain your hip flexors. They become tense, which often has the effect of 'deactivating' the glutes. This indicates that the glutes do not activate or function properly during movements that would ordinarily need them to be the principal movers. 

What is Anterior Pelvic Tilt and How Can You Deal with It?

Anterior pelvic tilt is a medical term that refers to a forward-tilted or rotated pelvis. It often occurs when your hip flexors are strained and dragging your pelvis downward, and your glutes and hamstrings are insufficiently strong to counterbalance that forward tugging. Back discomfort may be exacerbated by prolonged sitting and donning stiletto shoes, which both lead to shortened, tense hip flexors as well as weakened glutes, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles.

APT increases the lordosis, or curvature, of the lower spine. It may feel as though your hip flexors are tense.  This may result in a variety of complications. With anterior pelvic tilt often impacting the back muscles at the bottom two levels, there are a few possible long-term effects if left unchecked. Fortunately, APT is quite repairable. Along with increasing your mobility and avoiding high heeled shoes, there are various anterior pelvic tilt workouts that may assist you soften up your hip flexors and improve your core and posterior chain.

Why Hip Flexor Exercises are Crucial to Better Posture?

The spine is connected to the pelvis through the deep hip flexors, the psoas major and iliacus. The location of the pelvis has an effect on just about everything above it via the spine's placement. Our pelvis's location also has an effect on just about everything underneath it. It has an effect on how we bear our bodies' weight and also how we take a step, jog, and sprint. For example, if the pelvis is shifted downward and forward on one side, this might manifest as an imbalance on that side. And this may result in further compression of the knee and foot downwards. Furthermore, if one side of the pelvis is out of alignment with the other, it might result in a variety of different compensatory mechanisms in the body.

Preferably, we'd want to extend our hip flexors in order to restore a more stable or straight pelvic posture. However, if sitting or an action such as biking or jogging is aggravating our stiff hip flexors, we may need to consider making certain lifestyle modifications. Contrary to popular belief, although activities such as jogging might result in stiffer hip flexors, the same tense hip flexors can obstruct your motions. Thus, stretching our hip flexors may help us maintain a more relaxed pose throughout the day. Additionally, extending those hip flexors may boost overall performance in certain activities.