Flat Low Back Posture

Graphic depiction of a human spine and ribs in the body.
Human spine and posture.. Mads Abildgaard/Vetta/Getty Images

Flat Low Back Posture Definition

As the name implies, a flat low back posture is a reduction or elimination of the normal curve in your lumbar area.

From the side view, a flat low back posture can be seen as a decreased lordotic curve in the lower spine. Flat low back is one of several faulty postures (i.e. kyphosis, scoliosis) or deviations from ideal alignment of the spine.

In flat low back posture, generally, the hamstring muscles are tight, which pulls on the pelvis, tilting it toward the back of the thigh.

This backward pelvic tilt, which is also called posterior pelvic tilt, has a straightening effect on the normal sway (i.e. curve) of the lower spine.

Related:  7 Great Hamstring Stretches (for Noobies and Experienced Alike.)

Along with tight hamstrings, the flat low back posture will also show strong lower abs, back muscles, and weak quadriceps muscles. 

While it is good for your back to have strong abdominals, flat low back posture is a deviation from ideal ​alignment and affects posture and balance. The best way to strengthen abdominals is to perform abdominal strengthening exercises, i.e., and not by means of a postural deviation such as flat low back.

Kinesiologists call flat low back posture a posterior tilt of the pelvis, as they are referring to the position of the pelvis to describe the mechanism of action that causes the flat low back.

Sources

Kisner, Carolyn, and Colby, Lynn Allen. Therapeutic Exercise - Foundations and Techniques. 4th. Philadelphia, Pa: F.A. Davis Company, 2002.

Kendall, Florence Peterson, McCreary, Elizabeth Kendall, and Provance, Patricia Geise. Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. 3rd. Baltimore, Maryland: Williams & Wilkins, 1983.

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