Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Lower crossed syndrome is a posture variation due to muscle imbalances in the abdomen, hips, lumbar spine, and gluteal muscles. People with lower crossed syndrome present with a hyperlordotic curve in their lumbar spine and low back pain.
🤔What is causing this?🤔 Tight muscles such as the hip flexors and low back muscles pull the pelvis forward (anterior tilt) & over prolonged period of time aggrevate the lumbar facet and SI joints (which can cause pain and discomfort). The muscles responsible for counteracting this motion, the abdominals and gluteal muscles, become weak from being undertrained, or inhibited from the overactivation of the tight muscles mentioned above.
In order to correct this posture and alleviate low back pain, tight muscles such as the lumbar errector spinae and hip flexors need to be stretched, and weak muscles such as the abdominals, core, and gluteal muscles need to be strengthened.
Specific instructions and examples of each exercise listed below 👇
💪Strengthen💪: Abdominal, Core & Gluteal Muscles
1) Dead Bug🐞: Begin lying on your back: bring your knees, hips and shoulders to 90 degrees of flexion (arms toward the sky). Brace your core by drawing your belly button & rib cage toward your spine. This should feel like a muscle contraction and not like your sucking in your stomach. Keep your back flat against the floor during this exercise.
3 sets of 10 - hold contraction for 20 seconds.
2) 🐦Bird Dog🐕: Begin in a quadruped position, keeping your spine in a neutral position. Raise one arm forwards and at the same time the opposite leg straight backward until they are in line with your spine. Bring your arm and leg back to the start position and repeat on the opposite side. Focus on keeping your spine and pelvis straight and avoid twisting. 3 sets of 10 (each side) - hold end position for 2 seconds.
3) Clam Shells🐚: Lie down on your side with your knees bent and legs stacked on top of each other. Keeping your ankles together, separate your knees, squeezing your glutes at the top of the motion, return to start & repeat. Adding a band around your knees adds resistance, making the exercise more challenging. 3 sets of 10 each side - squeeze at top for 2 seconds.
4) Single Leg Bridge🌁: While lying on your back with knees bent, raise your buttock off of the floor and extend one knee keeping your thighs parallel. Brace with your core and glutes while keeping your pelvis level (no twisting). Hold for 5-10 seconds, return to starting position and repeat on opposite side. 3 sets of 10 (each leg) - hold contraction for 10 seconds.
5) 🚶♂️Walking Lunges🚶♀️: Begin standing with your feet together, take one step forward flexing your knees and lowering toward the floor (descend until your rear knee nearly touches the floor). Your posture should remain upright (brace your core). Drive through your front heel and extend both knees to return to start position. Take a step forward and repeat on opposite side. 3 sets of 10 each leg!
🧘♂️Stretch🧘♀️: 1) Lumbar erectors: Begin in a quadruped position, bring your hips toward your heels while stretching your hands forward. Hold this position.
2) Hip Flexors: begin in a kneeling position, drive your hips forward to feel a stretch along the front of the straight thigh. To intensify this stretch, grab the ankle of the stretched leg and flex the knee. Repeat and hold stretches as needed!
Dont hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!😁