How to do a Pelvic Lift

Pelvic lifts are a great exercise for fitness enthusiasts of all levels and does not require any equipment to be performed. The exercise targets the glutes, hamstrings and abdominals. Pelvic lifts can be used as a rehabilitative exercise for anyone seeking to improve core and spinal stabilization.

Performing regular pelvic lifts will help to improve overall core strength, which can help to improve your posture and has been used as an aid in pain management for people with chronic lower back pain.

How To

  • To perform a standard pelvic lift, lay flat on your back on the floor with your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor just below your backside at about hip width apart.
  • Press your feet into the floor as you squeeze your glutes and drive your pelvis upward. At the top of the motion, your torso and thighs will form a straight line. Contract your abs to help maintain that straight line.
  • Take two slow breaths here as you squeeze your abs and draw your bellybutton in toward your spine.
  • To complete the motion, slowly lower your hips back down to the floor. Make sure to keep your glutes engaged during the entire movement.


A good average to aim for is two to three sets of 8–12 repetitions. Always pay attention to your form, and start out with fewer repetitions if you need to.


Foot placement: If you experience knee or hip pain during the movement, try placing your feet on the floor wider apart. This should help to reduce any potential impingement in the joints.

Hip movement: If you have trouble lifting your hips high enough to form a straight line, try lifting them just high enough that you feel the muscles activate.

Exercise ball: If you would prefer to have more support under your feet, you can place your heels on an exercise ball and then start the exercise with your lower body in that elevated position. This will really make you concentrate on your movements as you will need to really stabilize with your core muscles.

One leg: If standard pelvic lifts are feeling easy, or you want to try something new, give the one-legged lift a try. You will start in the same position as a regular lift, but as you lift your hips, you will lift one of your legs as well. Some people will even lower the leg back nearly to the ground and up again as they hold their position at the top of the movement for even more of a challenge.

Cautionary Notes

Make sure not to push your pelvis up too high; hyperextending your lower back can strain the muscles. Keeping your abdominals engaged will help you to avoid overarching your back.

If you feel your hips sagging at the top of the movement, lower your hips back to the floor. You may only be able to keep your hips up in good form for a short amount of time in the beginning and that is okay. Proper form is always the most important aspect of any exercise.

Although they may look fairly simple, speak to your doctor or a fitness trainer before attempting bridges if you are recovering from any injuries that are affecting your lower back, abdominals, hips or knees.

More Pelvic Lift Related Resources

5 Anterior Pelvic Tilt Exercises
How to Do Pelvic Tilts: Techniques, Benefits, Variations
Difference Between Pelvic Tilt & Pelvic Lift |

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