Exercise for Lower Cross

21 04 2011

The following exercises are prescribed for someone who has lower cross syndrome. This syndrome is usually characterized by someone who has an anterior tilt of the hips meaning the hip flexors are tight and the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles are weak.

The goal is to get these weak muscles engaged so that proper muscular balance is achieved.

My recommendation: 2 sets of 8-12 reps


Glute Bridge

Muscles Engaged:
Glutes, Ab’s, Hamstrings

Starting Position:

Head and shoulders should be rested on the body ball with feet shoulder width apart.

Final Position:

With force from the glutes, squeeze up into the bridged position and hold for 2 seconds. Make sure you are squeezing your glutes the entire contraction of rising.

*Weighted ball is optional.


Hamstring Curl

Muscles Engaged:
Hamstrings, Ab’s, Glutes

Starting Position:

Balance feet shoulder width apart on body ball while head and shoulders remain on floor. Glutes are contracted as hips, spine, and head remain aligned.

Final Position:

Pull feet towards your head while flexing the knee. Hips should remain lifted and constant throughout the motion.


Split Squat

Muscles Engaged:
Quad’s, Hamstrings, Glutes

Starting Position:

Legs are wide and in a split stance. Chest is out and shoulders are back.

Final Position:

Drop your back knee towards the ground. Make sure that your front knee does NOT cross in front of the ankle. You should have a 90 degree angle within the front leg.

*Weights are optional. A heavier weight may be used with this exercise.


Front Planks

Muscles Engaged:
Ab’s, Glutes, Shoulders, Back

Ground Plank:

This position will be held for 30 seconds or until the posture of this position is lost. Head, spine, and hips must remain aligned.

Body Ball Plank:

This position will be held for 30 seconds or until the posture of this position is lost. Head, spine, and hips must remain aligned.
*This plank position is more difficult. Balance is key as more stabilizing muscles are contracting to maintain this position.

Side Plank

Muscles Engaged:
Ab’s, Hips, Back

This position will be held for 30 seconds or until the posture of this position is lost. Head, spine, and hips must remain aligned.
Face the other direction and repeat.


Hip Flexor Stretch

A characteristic of lower cross syndrome is tight hip flexors. Stretching of the hip flexors is recommended so that a proper muscular contraction of the lower body can be achieved.

Relax leg on prop and lean slightly forward. This stretch may be performed on a ball, bench, or other prop. You should feel a pull in the front of the hip.


References:

Bryan Fass, ATCL, CSCS, EMT-P (Director). (2011). 225 hrs of internship [Interview Series]. , Mooresville, NC: Precision Fitness.
http://www.fitresponder.wordpress.com

Avoid upper cross syndrome and maintain rotator cuff stability, Reese Haetich
and Jeb Stewart, Active.com August 9, 2006.

Devdeep Ahuja , Initials. (2010). Lower cross syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.physioguru.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80:lower-cross-syndrome&catid=87:blog&Itemid=94

Upper Cross Syndrome – September 2005. CAR Physical Therapy.
http:www.carpt.ie/physical_therapy/publications.asp

Photography: Avery Carlton

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