Pelvic shift lateral- an element of Gait

Pelvic shift lateral- an element of Gait

Tangos & TanglesThe pelvic shift lateral is about how we shift our weight side to side in gait as well as many other movements.  The pelvic shift lateral is the tennis player prancing side to side as one volleys the tennis ball.  The dancer performing a side leap, a glissade, is the pelvic shift lateral.  The pelvic shift lateral is about the adduction and abduction of the legs in weight bearing.

The hip socket is a ball-and-socket joint.  The head of the femur should roll inside of the deep socket of the hip.  With abduction and adduction, visualize the head of the femur pivoting inside of the hip socket on the coronal- vertical plane.  moves?  If the greater trochanter did not move, were you initiating the movement from the pelvis?

The greater trochanter is a great landmark to understand the connection of the leg into the hip socket.  The top of the femur is a wonderful structure like a flying buttress.  It  supports the pelvis and the entire torso.  Feel the sides of your hips for a bony knob.  This is the location of the greater trochanter.

With the pelvic shift lateral,  you want to make sure that you are not rotating the pelvis or unleveling the hips.  The movement should happen in the muscular connections of legs into the hip socket.  This movement has similaries to the pelvic shift forward.  The legs initiate the shift with core support.  The back muscles should not shorten to get greater height.

Pelvic Shift Lateral

The movement

  • Press down on both feet and perform a small pelvic shift forward.
    Lift your hips only a few inches.

  • Glide your greater trochanters to the left.
    The greater trochanters should remain in the same line and equal distance away from the floor.
  • Lower your pelvis back to the floor remaining to the left.  Your tailbone is in relationship to your left heel.
  • Lift your hips up a few inches with your pelvis remaining in this shift.
  • Glide your pelvis back to center
  • Lower your pelvis back to the original position
  • Perform a small pelvic shift forward and glide your hips to the right
  • Lower your pelvis down in the right shift
  • Lift your pelvis up in the right pelvic shift lateral
  • Shift your pelvis back to center and lower
  • Repeat the set three more times

Were you able to shift the pelvis side to side with the greater trochanters remaining horizontally parallel to the floor? Where did you feel the movement, the legs or the back?

In standing, the pelvis shift forward and lateral is a dynamic relationship of the head-tail- heel relationship.  It changes as we shift from one leg to another. Because of lack of stability of the muscles of the legs and torso, there could be a malfunction of this dynamic alignment.  Sometimes the rotators of the hips are needed to maintain a good alignment of the leg.   When the thigh is not well aligned over the shin and foot, this could lead to unleveling and/or rotation of the hip.

Triangle pose

With the spine in neutral, pelvic shift lateral to the side.  The movement should happen at the hip socket.  This is a great exercise to open the hips especially the ITB’s.

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