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Exploring Pelvic Tilt and the Top 3 Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises

Have you been diagnosed with this unpleasant curvature? Or maybe you just have a hunch (no pun intended) that you do! Either way, you’ve landed on a page meant to dive into anterior pelvic tilt (APT) exercises along with the ways APT is caused, treated, and assessed. So let’s get to it!

Top 3 Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises

Let’s head straight on to the good stuff, anterior pelvic tilt exercises! These are meant to strengthen lower body and abdominal musculature while remaining in proper spinal/body alignment. The goals of these exercises include:

  1. Strengthening
  2. Increase flexibility
  3. Reduce injury risk

Abdominal Crunch - focuses on: core muscles, rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head (or across your chest)
  3. Engaging your core, slowly lift your shoulders off the ground while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor.
  4. Lift your upper body towards your knees, pausing at the top, and lowering back down with control. 
  5. Repeat for the number of desired reps.

Hip Bridges - focuses on: glutes and hamstrings (with some core and back sprinkled in)

anterior pelvic tilt exercises include the hip bridge


  1. This can be done on a Swiss ball or on the floor.
  2. Place your back on the floor (or ball) with knees flexed 
  3. Extend your hips, lifting your lower body upwards. Remember to engage your core and squeeze your glutes! 
  4. Hold this position. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. 
  5. Lower back down slowly.
  6. Repeat 8-10 times if able.

Reverse Hyperextensions - focuses on: lower back and hip extensor muscles

  1. Lie facedown on a flat, elevated surface (a waist-high area or table would work!) with arms at your side and feet hanging off the edge.
  2. Lower your legs so they’re almost to the ground.
  3. Engage your lower back and glute muscles to swing your legs up parallel to the rest of your body. 
  4. Try to pause at the top (horizontal/straight) position. 
  5. Try for 10-20 reps for 2-3 sets 

The above exercises were deemed “top 3” (by yours truly) based on the simplicity, need for little equipment (none, except for maybe the reverse hypers), and the different muscles they focus on. For variety, I’ve included a table below to categorize different exercises (some with equipment) that you can try based on the muscles you’d like to focus on. 

 Abdominal Exercises:

Medicine ball/russian twists

Overhead medicine ball throws

Posterior pelvic tilt

Rotation medicine ball throws


Regular bridges

Swiss ball bridges

Hamstring Exercises:


Romanian deadlift

Hip Abduction Exercises:

Manual hip abduction

Resistance band hip abduction 

Hip Extension Exercises:

Manual hip extension

Resistance band hip extension [2]


Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises: Looking for Balance

As you move forward with an exercise routine, it’s important to note that you’ll want to have adequate stretching beforehand. Remember, muscle tightness and shortening are what got us here in the first place! So a good warm-up along with proper form during your routine is also key.

If you decide to pick and choose which exercises you like from the chart above, remember to balance out your abdominals with lower-body gains. Balance is the keyword here. 

So, Do You REALLY Have Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

How do you know if you have anterior pelvic tilt? According to an article in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, “Anterior pelvic tilt is when the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) is either lower than the posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) in the sagittal plane or rotating inferiorly relative to the PSIS.” [1] 

For a definition that’s less science-y, it is a common postural concern that occurs when the front of the pelvis tilts forward - leading to excessive arching of the lower back. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it?

Some Causes of Anterior Pelvic Tilt Include:

  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Muscle imbalances (usually in the lower back and abdominal muscles)
  • Tightness in hip flexors (common)
  • Tightness in lower back muscles 

Anterior Pelvic Tilt Symptoms:

  • Lower back pain/discomfort
  • Hip pain
  • Reduced hip range of motion
  • Exaggerated curve in lower spine
  • Potential stomach protrusion
  • Potential glute and abdominal muscle weakness [1] 

It may be worth mentioning that just because you have pelvic tilt doesn’t necessarily mean you will have symptoms - some individuals remain asymptomatic as well. 

How to Check if You Have Anterior Pelvic Tilt

If you really want to be sure, proper visual assessment via a physical therapist or healthcare professional is the way to go. But there are some obvious signs that can help you confirm. Typically, pelvic tilt will be noticeable during movements such as walking, single-leg step-downs, and squatting. [1] 

The higher the degree of your pelvic tilt, the more it may be noticeable from the side view and the more uncomfortable it may be. Your front pelvis may be lower than the back, showing tilt and imbalance.  While this may not be the most accurate assessment, some practitioners also use an inclinometer.

An inclinometer is a tool used to measure angles hopefully increasing the accuracy of your assessment. They come in different forms such as calipers, hand-held, or even as an app on smartphones. A published systematic review states, “A normal result between the anterior and posterior superior iliac spine is about 8 degrees.” [2] (Check out our page on iliac crest pain if you feel so inclined!)

If your case is really severe, radiographic imaging may be ordered for better visualization. Yes, radiographic imaging can become necessary for those who suffer from a greater degree of tilt and have to move on to surgical intervention. This is not as common as the conservative route, however. 

Here is an awesome video for learning how to test for anterior pelvic tilt. 

Anterior Pelvic Tilt FAQs

What Is the Fastest Way to Fix APT?

In addition to seeing a professional, the fastest way to fix anterior pelvic tilt is with proper exercises, stretches, and body mechanics. Exercises such as those listed above will help to correct the muscle imbalances and strengthen those that are weak. Anterior pelvic tilt takes time to develop so it can take time to “fix” as well. You could say, it is a lifestyle change as you incorporate a routine that helps to focus on the behaviors that led to APT in the first place. 

What Muscles Are Tight in APT?

The muscles that are tight in anterior pelvic tilt are hip flexors. You can see APT develop in those who have prolonged sitting. Lower back muscles such as the erector spine and quads are also tight in people with observed APT. So, want to prevent anterior pelvic tilt? Strengthen and stretch your core (abdominals and lower back), glutes, hamstrings and quads! 

Does Training Abs Fix APT?

Training abs alone won’t necessarily fix APT. However, I won’t rule that possibility out because everyone is unique in their body and healing experience! With that said, training abs and strengthening your core is an integral part of anterior pelvic tilt exercises. 

Deeper core muscles such as the transverse abdominis and internal and external obliques are involved with pelvic stabilization, supporting correct posture, and improved alignment. Note that they do not work in isolation in this role - but ensuring their strength is optimized can help reduce any excessive arching. 

Does APT Make Your Stomach Stick Out?

In a way, yes. Because your pelvis is tilted forward it can appear as though your stomach is protruding. Of course, this can depend on the degree of tilt - the higher the degree, the lower the back may arch and the more it may protrude. 

This excessive curvature is indeed uncomfortable and eventually can cause more problems such as weakened abdominal muscles. Again, don’t fret! Try the interventions (especially the anterior pelvic tilt exercises) mentioned in this article and hopefully, you’ll be able to see some improvement! 

Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises: Conclusion

Thanks for reading this page on anterior pelvic tilt exercises! I hope that you have found the information and exercises easy to digest and even easier to incorporate! Whether or not your tilt is physically debilitating, the more you know about it can help you take the corrective steps to prevent it from worsening in the long run.

So while anterior pelvic tilt might seem technical, the effects on your body can be obvious. It’s like a tug-of-war between your muscles that have either shortened or lost flexibility leading to a jutting belly and back discomfort - no one wants that! 

Let’s focus on the key points of amping up your glutes, lower body, and core - stretching those tight hip flexors and keeping yourself limber. If you can, don’t sit for too long without getting up once in a while, and do some stretching. 

Think of everything as a balancing act for your body - be consistent with your lifestyle changes and stay positive that you can take control of the tilt! 



Now that you've read about anterior pelvic tilt exercises, check out our page on hip hinge exercises!


[1] Suits, W. Clinical measures of pelvic tilt in physical therapy. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 2021.

[2] Brekke, A., Overgaard, S., Hrobjartsson, A., Holsgaard-Larsen, A. Non-surgical interventions for excessive anterior pelvic tilt in symptomatic and non-symptomatic adults: a systematic review. Efort Open Reviews, 2020.

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