By Lindsey, Contributing Writer
As women, our structure is designed a bit different than males so that we can support a growing fetus and then give birth. In general, the female pelvis is shorter and broader, while a male pelvis is tall and denser. The pelvis is the bowl-shaped structure at the base of the spine that supports our vertebral column and protects vital organs.
Our pelvis is designed to move dynamically. Not only is this a fundamental element of walking to dissipate shock throughout the body, but for childbirth. The female’s pelvis is designed to move and accommodate the baby’s head. Therefore, if the joints of your pelvis and spine are not functioning optimally, this can create discomfort throughout the pregnancy and can possibly slow labor.
There are things you can do right now- week twelve or even week 35- to promote a dynamically functioning pelvis.
The most fundamental of all movements is your posture. Think about having an active posture rather than a lazy posture. If you have shoulders that are rolled forward, then you will have shoulder issues especially when the baby comes and you are breastfeeding and holding the little one.
If you cannot squat properly, as in below ninety decrees, then I would bet money that you do not have a dynamic pelvis. Knowing how to establish proper posture before a movement as well as throughout your normal workday is a vital component to your health and longevity.
Optimal Posture Tips:
- Engage your glutes by externally rotating your femurs (hips). This will lift the arch of your feet and prevent valgus strain on your knees.
- Set your scapulas down and back. Basically, think of placing them in the back pockets of your jeans. This is the ideal starting position for all shoulder-associated movements.
- Lead with your chest ever so slightly. This will you cause to lean a bit forward and engage core and glutes even more so.
- Breathe into and expand your ribs from side to side rather than front to back.
- Your head and neck should basically fall into place directly over your shoulders.
Many cultures that engage in physically demanding tasks insist on correct posture because movements and productivity are more sustainable. Throughout history women have given birth while squatting. Working in the fields, people used to consider the squat a comfortable resting position. Women used to be competent in lifting their children and not just 3lbs weights. People throughout history moved, rather than machines.
Dynamic Functioning Pelvis
While most of us sit rather than squat in a comfortable resting position, it’s still possible to take steps that will improve how your pelvis functions. How do you get a dynamic functioning pelvis? Following are some tips that you can and should implement right away:
- Squat ten times a day. Remember chest up, knees out, whole foot stays on the ground, and booty goes below parallel. Here’s a video.
- Breathe while in pigeon. Try to rest in pigeon 30-60 seconds a day.
- Get adjusted regularly. I treat patients out of Berlin Wellness at the Santa Monica. If you are in Los Angeles, do not hesitate to come in.
- Get bodywork done regularly. If muscles are tight or dehydrated, then other musculature can compensate. This causes a shift in the pelvis and can cause joints to become fixated. Prenatal massage, Reiki, Maori healing, specific chiropractic muscle work, or whatever you feel comfortable with is fine.
- Stay hydrated so the muscles do not dry out. The idea is for the muscles to have vitality to them and supple so that they can move without roadblocks.
Are you taking action to ensure a dynamic functioning pelvis? Are you facing any challenges in doing so?