How to Do Pelvic Tilts and Back Exercises Using a Pillow

by Lisa M. Wolfe, Demand Media
    Your favorite pillow brings relief during back-strengthening exercises.

    Your favorite pillow brings relief during back-strengthening exercises.

    The same pillow you comfortably rest your head on each night can be used to bring comfort during your workouts. Many times, the discomfort of pressing your spine or hips against a hard floor for certain exercises, including pelvic tilts, may discourage you from adding those movements to your workout. Instead of missing out on the back-strengthening benefits of tilts and other back exercises, slide your favorite pillow between you and the floor and get that dream-like body you desire.

    Pelvic Tilts

    Step 1

    Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Space your feet at a hips-distance apart. Face your toes forward.

    Step 2

    Arch your lower back and pull your spine away from the floor. Slide your pillow into the space you've created between your back and the floor. Then, extend your arms out in line with your shoulders and perpendicular to your body.

    Step 3

    Exhale and tilt up your hips to press your lower back into the pillow. Keep your stomach tight as you do this by pulling your belly button toward your back. Count to two as you maintain the pelvic tilt.

    Step 4

    Inhale and drop your hips as you return to the starting position with your back arched over the pillow. Count to two and then repeat the pelvic tilt.

    Step 5

    Perform the tilts slowly. Aim to do one to three sets of eight to 12 tilts with 60 seconds of rest in between sets.

    Hyperextension

    Step 1

    Place the pillow on the floor. Lie face down with your hips on the pillow.

    Step 2

    Straighten your legs behind you and rest the tops of your feet on the floor. Reach your arms behind your back and rest your hands against your lower back.

    Step 3

    Exhale and raise your head, chest and shoulders off the floor. Maintain the hyperextended position as you count to two.

    Step 4

    Inhale and slowly lower your torso to the floor into the starting position.

    Step 5

    Complete one to three sets of eight to 12 hyperextensions to strengthen your lower back. Use the pillow to protect your hips from the floor and to provide an increased range of motion during your lift.

    Back Stretch

    Step 1

    Sit with your back tight against the base of a wall.

    Step 2

    Straighten your legs. Slide your pillow under the backs of your knees to keep a slight bend in your knees.

    Step 3

    Fold forward from your hips and reach your hands toward your toes. Rest your hands at the lowest point you can reach on your legs to feel the stretch in your lower back. Look down at your legs.

    Step 4

    Breathe normally as you maintain the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly release and return to sitting upright. Repeat the stretch as needed.

    Tip

    • The exercises are best performed when your body is warm. Do them after your cardiovascular workouts including walking, swimming and cycling, or after five to 10 minutes of full-body movements such as stair climbing, dancing or marching in place.

    Warning

    • If you are experiencing back pain, speak with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.

    About the Author

    Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She writes for various magazines such as "Cycle California," "Rocky Mountain Sports" and "American Fitness." She is the author of numerous fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images