One Simple Exercise to Help Clear the Active Straight Leg Raise

The pelvic tilt is one of the most basic, low-level exercises you can do in any position.  Simply taking the pelvis through a series of anterior and posterior tilts in multiple positions can add a tremendous value to your warm-ups.  I’ve seen this exercise drastically reduce back pain, open up the hips a little, and teach people how to control their pelvis and lumbar spine.


If you’re stuck with some of your clients, check the pelvic tilt and see if they have the ability to control the pelvis as they take it through anterior and posterior tilts.  They should be able to naturally tilt their pelvis forward and back without much effort.  If there isn’t hardly any movement, this is no good.  Also, if they CAN do it, we want to observe the effort level.  We’ll see a lot of people that can take the hips through both forward and backward tilting.  However, when they go through the posterior tilt portion, they’ll do a little “shake and bake.”  The hips/lumbar spine may shake a little and you’ll notice that it’s a little challenging for them to control the movement…so the movement is there…it’s just hard to control.


Simply adding these into warm-ups, rehearsing during active recovery time, and sneaking them in periodically can have tremendous value.  Try them in prone, supine, quadruped, kneeling, sitting, and standing.  In each one of those positions, we’re looking for the ability to maintain proper breathing and the ability to do a series of pelvic tilts under control.  If you’re not able to maintain a normal breathing pattern and have the ability to control your pelvis, lumbar spine, and rib cage (pelvic tilting), than you’re not going to progress to the highest levels in that position.  You’re body may be able to do training in that position, but if breathing and low level posture is difficult or altered, you’re simply surviving the exercise and not truly adapting.


Start checking this with your clients and you’ll be surprised at how many people have issues with this.  If you can retrain their brains and give them the awareness to control the pelvic tilt, they’re going to see the benefits.  Give it a shot!