Lose The Hip and Back Pain With These Exercises

Lose The Hip and Back Pain With These Exercises

The following progression of exercises combined with “my favorite hip stretches” in my previous blog are silver bullets for hip and back pain. The ability to perform these are also essential for any physical activity or sport. 

It always helps to understand why you are doing something before you do it. So what is the most common reason people have hip and back pain when they come in my office? The answer is something called Lower Crossed Syndrome. Do not get caught up in the fancy name what it means is that the body has an imbalance in the pelvis between tight short muscles specifically tight hamstrings, quads, iliopsoas, and long weak muscles specifically gluts and transverse abdominals which cause the position of the low-back and pelvis to be distorted. This translates to less motion and unequal pressure in your joints, which eventually leads to inflammation and then pain. Lower Crossed Syndrome can be a vicious cycle because if this dysfunction continues even more inflammation occurs in the joints which causes more pain and more dysfunctional muscle patterns due to your bodies attempt to compensate for the already existing dysfunction.

Before doing these exercises it must be stressed that if you do not have proper muscle control to perform the exercises correctly then you are just driving a pattern of muscle activation into your nervous system that is dysfunctional and this will cause more pain! Here are some signals that you may be doing these wrong: low-back pain, sore or quickly fatiguing hamstrings, and looking down at your pelvis while doing the exercise and noticing one side (right or left) is sitting lower than the other. If you notice these signs or are questioning if you can do these exercises, stop, go see a professional to help you “activate” these muscle groups and train you before you start these exercises.

Step 1:

To perform these exercises you need to find “pelvic neutral” and hold pelvic neutral the entire time you perform these exercises.
To find pelvic neutral rock your pelvis forward (anterior) and then backwards (posterior) as if you are exaggerating your low back arch and then flattening it out. Then go right between these two extremes which is pelvic neutral.
It should be noted that pelvic neutral should be maintained during any physical activity to create proper motion and balance in the body.

Step 2:

Lay on your back with your knees bent to  90 degrees. Find pelvic neutral in this position. Once in pelvic neutral contract your transverse abdominals (TAs). If you do not know how, try placing your finger tips right above the two protrusions on the front of your pelvis (the ASISs) and cough. Keep those TAs contracted and now contract your glut muscles taking care to contract as little as possible your hamstrings and maintain pelvic neutral. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Step 3:

If you were able to easily hold the position described in step 2 then you can move on to this step, if not try performing step 2 5 reps of 30sec  3-4x/day until it becomes easy. Now once you are in the position in step 2 slowly lift your pelvis (while maintaining neutral pelvis and not contracting your hamstrings) so that your knees, pelvis and shoulders create a straight line as in the picture to the left.
Hold this position for 30 seconds for 5 reps of 30sec 3-4x/day until it gets easy. Once it gets easy move to Step 4.`

Step 4:

If you mastered step 3, get into position described in step 2, bring yourself to holding position in step 3, then extend one leg while maintaining pelvic neutral, contracted TAs, contracted gluts, straight line from toe to shoulder. Hold for 30 sec 10 reps 3-4x/day for each leg.
If you master these exercises email me and I will place more progressions on my blog. Have Fun!


  1. Good info keep it coming!


  1. […] If you would like information on some of these exercises you can email me at sean@seanmillerhealth.com or follow this link to learn step by step how to regain control of your pelvic stabilizers, http://drseanmiller.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/hipandpelvisexcercise/ […]

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