If singing about posture, instead of love, Elvis might have finished the lyrics of "Don't Be Cruel" with "to Your Pelvis."
When seated, the pelvic bone shifts into a position called "anterior pelvic tilt." This anterior pelvic tilt causes the lower back to scoop forward and the abdomen to protrude. This type of tilt is normal in a seated position, but long hours spent seated with a tilted pelvis weakens core muscles and creates tension in the hip flexors. This pulls the body out of alignment and makes it difficult to maintain proper posture.
Unfortunately, most modern jobs require long hours of sitting at a desk or in the driver's seat of a car. If left unaddressed, these hours of sitting lead to chronic anterior pelvic tilt, poor posture and painful consequences. Fortunately, the King of Rock and Roll left us with a few dance moves that strengthen core muscles and improve posture.
Kick Off Your (Blue Suede) Shoes to Correct and Protect Your Posture
In his early years of fame, when Elvis appeared on television, networks only showed him from the waist up. What was going on off screen? A wild mix of pelvic tucking, hip swiveling and rubber knees deemed too sensational for live broadcast.
When performed with control and precision, these moves – however electrifying – open up the hip flexors and strengthen exactly the right muscle groups to correct and prevent anterior pelvic tilt and the posture-related problems it causes. To achieve the right effect, kick off your shoes, find a surface to brace for balance (the edge of your desk or back of a sturdy chair) and turn up the dance music for a combination of pelvic tucks and rubber knees.
Try the Elvis-Inspired Workout:
- Stand beside a desk, table or handrail (for added balance) with feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees and move onto your tip-toes, as if wearing invisible high heels.
- Tuck your pelvic bone. (You will feel your belly button pull inward, your glutes tighten and your lower back straighten.)
- Then press your knees out and squeeze them in, matching the beat of the music. Try moving your knees double-time for a challenge.
- Be sure to maintain a tucked pelvis throughout. (If your behind sticks out, your pelvis is not tucked.)
- Try to continue this move (alternating normal and double-time) for a whole song.
If your hip flexors and/or calves tire before the end of the music, practice pelvic tucks and tilts without rubber knees by moving your pelvis in and out of a tilted and tucked position.
Offset Hours in Your Office Chair with a Few Minutes of Elvis Each Day
Even if your job requires you to spend several hours each day, seated in an office chair or the driver's seat of a car, you don't have to live with an anterior pelvic tilt, weakened core muscles or poor posture. With just a few minutes of dancing to your favorite Elvis song (or other fast-tempo tune) each day, you can counteract the damage to your posture, sit up straight and strong and prevent the painful symptoms poor posture causes.