Finding a Neutral Pelvis to Achieve Better Alignment

Learning how to find and maintain a neutral pelvis is key to core stabilization and learning and practicing this correct form will help to avoid injury and overuse of other muscles groups.

There are three natural curves in a healthy spine:

Neutral Pelvis
  1. The neck or cervical spine, which curves gently inward
  2. The mid back, or thoracic spine, which curves outward
  3. The low back, or lumbar spine, which also curves inward

It is important to maintain the neutral alignment of these curves to assist with cushioning the spine from excessive stress or strain. Learning how to maintain a neutral spinal alignment will also help to stabilize the spine during strenuous, advanced movement patterns.

As the pelvis is rotated forward in an anterior tilt the curve of the lumbar spine increases and as the pelvis is rotated back in a posterior tilt the curve of the lumbar spine is flattened. Both of these exaggerated positions can cause changes to the structure of the spinal curves that in turn potentially cause pain as well altered movement patterns

Finding Neutral Pelvis, Anterior and Posterior Pelvic Tilt:

The anterior, or front, group of muscles includes the hip flexors. The posterior, directed toward or situated toward the back, group of muscles includes the hip extensors, which consist of the hamstrings and the Gluteus maximus.

Photo by Gene Schiavone

Photo by Gene Schiavone

Setup

Lying supine, legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Arms long by sides of the body.

Action

  • Inhale as you pull your navel in and up, tucking the pelvis under.
  • This will bring your spine to an imprinted position, where your entire spine is pressed into the floor.
  • Exhale tilting the pelvis anteriorly, feeling your sitz bones reaching toward your heels and coming into a neutral spine by finding your natural curve in the lumbar spine.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Cues

  • Keep legs parallel with your toes, heels, knees and hips all in one line.

Dancer Tip! Proper or neutral pelvic alignment allows for efficient execution of movements and effective muscle recruitment, which is the building block for achieving the aesthetic line and skillfully accomplishing the movement patterns required in dance.