Welcome to the Straight Posture Series! If you have low back pain, then make sure you check this out, because in here you might find the culprit behind it!
Also, if you want to avoid getting low back pain, or if you want to grow an inch or two taller, then keep reading.
Today we’re covering lordosis. I’m showing you how to do a home lordosis assessment so you can find out whether the curve in your lumbar area is ok, or “excessive”.
You can also use this assessment to measure whether you’re progressing posture-wise or not. As I share in the video below, last time I did it, my results were worse. This shows that what I’ve been doing to improve my posture in the past year has been working. I’m on the right track!
What is lordosis?
Lordosis is related to “anterior pelvic tilt”. You get this when your pelvis is leaning forward and your butt sticks out. This creates an excessive curve in your lower back area.
This position is commonly acquired by chronic bad sitting habits, and puts excessive strain on your low back. If you’re lifting weights or doing any type of exercise, you must be especially careful not to strain your low back.
Now, there are other causes for lordosis too, like osteoporosis, and discitis, and that’s why I recommend that if today’s home lordosis assessment shows that you got it, then pay a doctor a visit so that you get a professional opinion about what’s really going on.
Postural misalignments like lordosis are correlated to muscular imbalances. If you find out you have lordosis, then most probably your butt and abdominal muscles are weak and “lengthy”, while your hip flexors are “stiff”. To reverse lordosis, you’ll need to strengthen your butt and ab muscles, and stretch your hip flexors. But more on that, below.
How common is lordosis?
Oh my, it’s extremely common. If you spend a big part of your life sitting, like if you have a desk job, or study, then you probably have this. If you’ve found out that you have kyphosis, then your chances of having lordosis rise dramatically.
How do I know if I have lordosis?
Do this home lordosis assessment, and you’ll know!
I did the lordosis assessment, I think I have it, what do I do?
First, If I were you, I’d go to the doctor to either confirm, or disprove the results.
Second, don’t fret. Lordosis is usually not something you should worry about, and if it’s caused because of bad sitting habits, then it’s reversible with the right stretches, exercises, and of course, better sitting habits.
Third, lordosis rarely comes alone. Our body is like a chain, and if one part of it is out of balance, then it’s highly likely that other parts are out of balance too. In the straight posture series, I’ve already shown you how to check for kyphosis, and for rounded shoulders. If you haven’t yet done those posture assessments, then do them now and get the bigger picture of your posture.
What should I do to get rid of lordosis?
First, go to the doctor and get his advice. Second, below are 5 guidelines that will help you improve the situation.
1. Walk with a dancer’s posture.
We’ll cover this in more detail in a following episode of the Straight Posture series. For the time being, I want you to keep three things in mind: Shoulders back, butt tucked in, contracted abs.
Contracting your abs while squeezing your butt will push your pelvis to straighten up, reducing the anterior pelvic tilt, and the lordosis of your back.
Putting your shoulders back will prevent you from developing further kyphosis – one of the most common causes of lordosis.
2. Sit straight.
Yes, I know this is easier said than done. But give it a shot. Activate your upper back muscles so that you don’t lean over your desk. Contract your abs so that your butt doesn’t stick out but it’s nicely tucked in. Do this for 5 consecutive minutes and it’ll start being easier to stay this way without you having to consciously think about it.
Also check out those office stretching exercises to help your body get used to a new, straight posture.
3. Focus on ab and butt exercises.
Strong abs and buttocks will tremendously help your body keep up the right posture. For abs, check out these best abs exercises. For butt, check out the best butt routine and these butt exercises from the Lazy Exerciser Series.
From the best butt exercises I specifically recommend for lordosis:
The bridge: Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
The snowboarder’s squat, where you jump 180 degrees. Make sure you TUCK YOUR BUTT IN as you get into the squat position. It’s ok to not go as low, as long as you keep the right form, which includes strong abs, and your butt NOT sticking out.
From the best abs exercises, I specifically recommend for lordosis:
4. Stretch and Release.
Lordosis is mainly caused because of muscular imbalances. That’s why I suggested you do butt and ab exercises. They’ll do wonders to fix the anterior pelvic tilt and get your back in alignment.
But strengthening exercises are not enough. You’ll also need to do stretching exercises for the muscle groups that are now too stiff, especially your hip flexors..
We’ll cover the best hip flexor stretch in another episode of the Straight Posture series. In the meantime, check out this release technique for your upper back.
5. Make it a habit to stand up and stretch frequently.
Sitting straight when you’re used to slouching is not easy. To reverse those bad habits you need to build sneaky good habits that will help your back adjust and your current poor posture habits to die.
And that’s why I recommend to stand up every half an hour or so, and do a back stretch. Stand up, correct your posture, and get into the dancer’s posture. I’ve created the Office Exercise and Stretch app to help remind you to get up and stretch, check it here for Android and here for Windows 8.
So now let me know: Do you have lordosis? What did the lordosis assessment show? Post your findings on Facebook, I read every response.