Lower Crossed Syndrome - 3 Exercise Posture Video

Here are HealthOut's top 3 exercises to reverse Janda's lower cross syndrome, in which the hip flexors are usually tight, tipping the pelvis forward excessively.  It is associated with poor strength of the lower abs, hamstrings and gluts.

The exercises take about 5 minutes to complete, and should be done daily in order to effectively inhibit the hip flexors and gain flexibility in the front part of the pelvis and leg.

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Hip Flexor Stretching - What's the Big Deal?

Those of you who have been around for a while may have noticed that I focus a lot on being able to extend your hips while exercising, which requires coordination and strength in the hamstrings, glutes and lower abdominals, as well as flexibility in the psoas and hip flexor group muscles.  Dr. Vladimir Janda was a famous Czech neurologist and physiatrist that recognized deficiency in this pattern and coined it the 'lower crossed syndrome".  Here are some of the ways that inflexibility in the hip flexors and weakness in abs and hip extensors can adversely affect you:

Pain - while this pattern does not specifically cause pain, it is positively associated with several chronic painful disorders such as low back pain, hip pain, foot pain, or knee pain.

Tight psoas muscles can create excessive sheer and compression in the lower spine, as well as chronically "unlock" the SI joint making it more unstable.

Excessively tight muscles can cause excess compression across the joints they cross - so the hips, low back, sacrum, and even the knees can be affected in this fashion.

Gait - Your running and walking will not be optimal and may feel awkward.  Your hips extend maximally while walking, and limiting this extension will require that you either lean forward, extend your spine and/ or compensate in complex ways to make up for this decreased range of motion.

Posture - standing around is much more comfortable when your hips are balanced - tight hip flexors make motionless standing feel miserable for many people, and those people are always stretching their lower backs to feel better...only to feel uncomfortable again in minutes. 

Sports - the list of how ab strength can improve your sports is too long to list.  Glut and hamstring strength are essential to feeling powerful and explosive for sports and even for hiking and simply stepping up onto things.  Strong abs help you reach new positions and find new power that you thought you never had. 

Strong abs, gluts, and hamstrings both feel and look great, and the freedom of more flexible hips can be a life changer for many.  If any of these things ring true for you, you can check out the video below and take your first steps toward more balance hips.

 - Dr. Ryan Oughtred, ND