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Best Exercises for Hyperlordosis

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 08, 2020

Hyperlordosis, also known as a “hollowback” or “swayback,” is an excessive curvature of the lower spine. This part of your spine is known as the lumbar region. There should be a slight curve there, but not an excessive one. When your back is curved too far, it can cause pain and spinal damage as well as a protruding stomach. 

Many cases of hyperlordosis are caused by specific muscle weaknesses or posture problems. Hyperlordosis generally involves tight, tense muscles in the front of the body and weak muscles in the back. As a result, it’s possible to correct these cases of hyperlordosis through exercises that target the muscles of the back, thighs, and hips. This helps your muscles maintain your spine’s alignment.

Exercises to Help Hyperlordosis

Correcting postural hyperlordosis requires equalizing weak and tight postural muscles. The goal is to strengthen the muscles that counteract the tight, tense muscles of the front of the body while stretching the tight muscles. The result should be a well-supported spine on both sides. 

1. Finding Correct Posture

Learning how good posture feels can help you maintain good posture between exercises.

Step 1: Sit in a chair with a straight back, so your buttocks touch the chair back. Keep your feet flat on the floor and keep your weight evenly between both hips.

Step 2: Push your chest forward as far as is comfortable and push your shoulders back to emphasize your spine’s curve as much as possible.

Step 3: Relax this stretch until your spine feels “straight.” If your shoulder blades are touching the chair, there should be room to fit your hand and little else between your lower back and the chairback. 

This exercise helps you find correct posture without anterior pelvic tilt. You can repeat it regularly to remind yourself of healthy posture.

2. Kneeling Back Stretches

Stretching and releasing your lower back can help relax the muscles responsible for hyperlordosis.

Step 1: Kneel on the floor and place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Lean forward, round your entire back, drop your tailbone towards the floor, and hold for five seconds. 

Step 3: Slowly rock backwards and bring your tailbone as close to your heels as you can. Leave your hands in place on the floor, and let your head relax down. Hold this position for five seconds.

Repeat this up to ten times daily.

3. Knee to Chest Stretch

Stretching your thigh muscles and hamstrings can help your legs support your posture as well.

Step 1: Lie flat on the ground with your extended. 

Step 2: Lift one leg, place your hands on your knee, and gently pull your knee to your chest. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and your buttock. Hold for five to ten seconds.

Step 3: Repeat with your other leg, then repeat with both legs at once.

Repeat this up to ten times per set and complete three sets daily.

4. Pelvic Tilt Exercise

Strengthening your glutes and trunk muscles is key to keeping your spine supported. 

Step 1: Lie on the floor with your feet plat on the ground, hip-width apart.

Step 2: Tighten your abdominal muscles and glutes to tilt your pelvis up away from the ground. 

Step 3: Check that your spine is completely in contact with the ground, then hold your position for ten seconds. 

Repeat up to ten times per day.

5. Planks

Planks strengthen the entire torso, helping to balance your trunk muscles more effectively. 

Step 1: Lie flat on the floor on your stomach. Lift yourself up on your forearms so that your elbows are under your shoulders. 

Step 2: Tighten your abdominal muscles while lifting your hips off the floor. Aim to keep your entire body in one straight line from ankles to shoulders. If your pelvis starts sagging, focus on lifting it. 

Step 3: Hold each plank for thirty seconds or as long as you can.

You can repeat this exercise five times daily.

Safety Considerations

As with all exercises and stretches, it’s important to take things slowly at first. You may only be able to complete a few repetitions at first, or you may not be able to stretch as far as you would like. Build up to deeper stretches and more repetitions over time. 

If you cannot fully straighten your spine, or if your lower back feels “frozen,” your hyperlordosis may not be postural. If you feel any pain while trying to straighten your back fully, you should contact your physician. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Spine Conditioning Program.”

Cedars-Sinai: “Swayback (Lordosis).”

Cleveland Clinic: “Back Health and Posture.”

EFORT Open Reviews: “Non-surgical interventions for excessive anterior pelvic tilt in symptomatic and non-symptomatic adults: a systematic review.”

European Spine Journal: “Influences of trunk muscles on lumbar lordosis and scaral angle.”

Intermountain Healthcare: “Hyperlordosis.”

Journal of Physical Therapy Science: “Effects of abdominal drawing-in during prone hip extension on the muscle activities of the hamstring, gluteus maximus, and lumbar erector spinae in subjects with lumbar hyperlordosis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pelvic tilt exercise.”

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