Straightening Things Out: Dealing with Lumbar Lordosis

Feb 20, 2024

Lumbar Lordosis, or an overly pronounced curve in the lower back, can cause pain, soreness and even fatigue. Often impacting day to day life. The good news is with better understanding and some practical exercises, you can live better with Lordosis in the longer term and even overcome many of the symptoms you’re experiencing. But it’s not just about stretching exercises, as you may have been lead to believe.

In the tutorial above I focus on the 3 things you need to do before you begin those exercises:


  1.  Foam rolling the anterior parts of the hip

With Lordosis, it’s important to understand that the main culprit is the psoas muscle. This is the one that joins onto the spine, pulling it in to create that inward curve. The anterior pelvic tilt we see actually comes as a secondary effect, caused by your body compensating as it moves.  And this often results in tightness through the front of the hip.

This is the bit we can access with foam rollers.

First, place the foam roller mid-thigh and work all the way up to the hip and further up to the bony part of the pelvis. Here, work around the front to the inside and out again and then back to the mid-thigh. Take it section by section, or work the whole area as one, whatever feels most natural to you. It’s a little like kneading dough; to start with it will all feel tough and lumpy, but as you work through with the roller it’ll become more pliable. This is important before moving onto stretching.

Watch from around 1:15 in the tutorial to learn more about the various muscles we’re working during foam rolling, and to see a demonstration.


  1.  Stretching

IF your goal is to overcome your Lumbar Lordosis, it’s important to approach stretching into the correct way. Not only do we want to stretch the anterior part of the hip, but also the inside of the leg.

There are a few different ways to do this, but the first and most important thing is to make sure you position your pelvis correctly.

You should have already foam rolled both sides. So come down onto one knee, with your knee directly below your hip. This may or may not feel like too much of a stretch depending on what your Lordosis is like. Either way, start by positioning the pelvis, tuck your bottom under, engage your abdominals and glutes – only as far as you need to, to begin feeling that stretch. You can start to just nudge the hip forwards if you need a little more, but your knee should stay still.

Again, you don't want to lose the position of the pelvis, so keep the abdominals in, the glutes on and hold. This will start to lengthen out those tissues in your thighs, already made pliable by the foam rolling. Take it a bit further if you like, but be carefully not to allow your pelvis to tilt or move forwards as this will only exacerbate that lordotic posture that we’re trying to overcome.


  1.  Flattening the lumbar curve

So far, with the foam rolling and stretching, you’ve created the ability for your body to flatten out that lumbar curve. Now we use a very simple exercise to train your body, and to some extent your mind, to overcome that lordotic posture. We must do this before we move onto further exercises.

Begin by laying down on your back, with your knees bent. If you've got Lordosis, you should be able to get a hand underneath the bottom of your spine, with plenty of space. Then you want to deliberately flatten that lumbar curve. Leave your hand in place and engage your abdominals and compress your lower back down onto your hand, so you can feel the difference.

Once in that position, straighten one leg, resting it on the floor, making sure you maintain that feeing of your spine pressing onto the back of your hand. If you are able to maintain that position, take the other leg and place that along the floor too.

Here, you’re proving that your hips have the ability to flatten that exaggerated curve, so as you move into more exercises, you’ll be better able to help the spine maintain that flattened position.


Exercises to improve Lumbar Lordosis

This is where we start to bring everything together, the anterior pelvic tilt and the flattening of the lumber curve.

First we look at a set of exercises down on one knee, and then bring it down onto both knees which makes it a little harder. This is all about training our body to be in the position we want it to be in.

At its simplest, this is balancing in that one knee up, one knee down position, maintaining stability, keeping the muscles engaged and keeping the pelvis and spine in position. Only once this becomes easier, should you move on to adding other things in.

We’re not looking to build muscles, we’re not looking to put them into fatigue. This is all about getting into the right position and maintaining it over a period of time. This helps to build the myelination and the engram neurons to be able to remember and hold the position.

Watch the tutorial from around 7:10 for further explanation as well as the introduction of weights, rotation and how to move to both knees in the correct way.

From here you’ll be able to advance to kneeling and half kneeling planks, side planks, bridges, bird dogs etc. The important thing is to get the pelvis in position before you begin and then check in as you go through the reps to ensure you’re maintaining it.

The fundamental part to all these exercises is being able to get the pelvis in the position that you want it to be in. This is supported by foam rolling to put length into the muscles that need the length, and simple stretches to activate the muscles that need the activation.

If you would like help with your Lumbar Lordosis, you’ll find it in my online 12 week program which delivers you new workouts every two weeks. With persistence and time, you’ll be able to use these to build and straighten out your spine and overcome your Lordosis.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our free monthly newsletter to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.