How to Strengthen Pelvic Girdle Muscles
The pelvic girdle muscles support your organs and stabilize your pelvis and lower spine to prevent injuries and maintain alignment. When pelvic muscles aren't strong, they promote poor posture and can affect your ability to squat and control the bowels. Because pregnancy can cause of a weak pelvic girdle, the condition is more common in women. Even when pelvic muscles are compromised, exercises to strengthen them can be effective and help relieve discomfort. Consult a doctor, however, if you experience chronic pain or other pelvic problems.
Floor Bridge with Knee Squeeze
Lie on the ground on your back with your feet on the ground about hip-width apart. Place a yoga block or a small, firm cushion between your knees with your legs bent.
Squeeze your knees together and lift your buttocks off the floor as high as you can. Tighten your buttocks together as you lift. Hold this position for two deep breaths.
Lower your buttocks to the floor. Lift your hip up as soon as it touches the floor. Perform three sets of 10 reps.
Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand with your right foot behind you and point your feet forward. Raise your right arm over your head and pull your shoulders back slightly.
Tighten your right buttock and shift your weight to your left foot. Hold the stretch in your hip flexors and your upper right thigh for three deep breaths.
Lean your torso to your left without moving your legs or pelvis. Bring your right arm over your head. Hold this stretch for three deep breaths.
Return to the starting position, switch your leg position and repeat the stretch on your opposite side.
Stand in front of an exercise step. Put your left foot on top of the step with your left heel near the edge of the box.
Push your right foot off the ground and lift yourself on top of the step. Raise your right knee to your ribs and hold this position for two seconds. Do not round your spine or hunch your shoulders as you move up.
Lower your right foot back to the ground and perform two to three sets of 10 step-ups on each leg.
Do not perform heavy weight training exercises, such as barbell squats, if you have an unstable pelvic girdle and weak stabilizers in your hip and trunk, says physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance." Start with mobility and body weight exercises that use your own body as its own resistance before adding additional resistance.
- Pain-Free Program; Anthony Carey; 2005
- NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training; Michael Clark; 2007
- Pelvic Partnership: Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.