How to Do Pelvic Tilts: a Step-by-Step Guide

Pelvic tilts are an exercise comprised of very subtle spinal movements that strengthen the support muscles around the low back, particularly the abdominals. They are a good preliminary exercise for those seeking low back pain relief, and they feel great because they give your back a little massage.

Pelvic tilts can be done lying on the floor (supine pelvic tilts), standing with the back to a wall, on all fours, or seated on an exercise ball. The standing version is a bit more difficult, but it is a good option for pregnant women who are not comfortable on their backs or people who can't lie on the floor.

Supine Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilt
Ben Goldstein

This version is appropriate for most people, including women postpartum. You can do it on a firm bed, exercise mat, or on the floor if you are comfortable.

  1. Lie on your back with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the floor. This is your neutral position, with the natural curve of the lumbar spine causing the low back to be slightly elevated from the floor.
  2. On an exhale, gently rock your hips towards your face. Your butt will not actually leave the floor, but you will feel your low back press into the floor. You are essentially taking the curve out of the low back. Think of the pelvis as a bowl of water. When you do the pelvic tilt, the water would be spilling towards your belly.
  3. After a few seconds, inhale and return to your neutral position.
  4. Repeat this movement five to 10 times.

Standing Pelvic Tilts

This version may be more comfortable for pregnant women or anyone who has low back pain that makes it uncomfortable to lie on your back.

  1. Lean your back on the wall and bend your knees slightly.
  2. On an exhale, lift the pelvis slightly up off the wall toward your face, causing your low back to press into the wall.
  3. On an inhale, return to neutral.
  4. Repeat this movement five to 10 times.

Kneeling Pelvic Tilts

This version should only be done if you have no wrist pain or knee pain. You should do it on a padded surface.

  1. Kneel and get into an all-fours position with your wrists aligned underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Breathe in.
  3. Exhale and pull upward with your abdominals while rounding your back and pressing into your arms.
  4. Release slowly and return to neutral position.
  5. Repeat this movement five to 10 times.

Seated Pelvic Tilts

You can do this version on an exercise ball. Choose a ball of a size that allows you to sit on it with your hips slightly higher than your knees.

  1. Sit on an exercise ball with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Breathe in.
  3. Exhale and tuck your tailbone under you, rolling slightly forward on the ball.
  4. Return to neutral by pressing your tailbone back and rolling the ball back, away from your feet.
  5. Repeat this movement five to 10 times.
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Article Sources
  • Pelvic Tilt Exercise. Mayo Clinic.