The Rocking Pelvis – A Stable and Flexible Walk

The pelvis is an engineering marvel. The pelvis is not a single bone. It has two halves (right and left), and each half contains a hip joint (ball and socket leg attachment). It bridges the upper body and legs, and it provides tremendous movement capability. The rear portion anchors the sacrum and spine. A large number of muscles attach to the pelvis; some cross all the way through the pelvis.

Not everyone experiences the pleasure of a high functioning pelvis. Multiple muscle attachments provide flexibility and strength, but there’s a downside. There are also many ways that the pelvis can “go out”. For example, the right half might be forward, and the left side backward. Or both top halves might splay outward, relative to the bottoms. Or both halves together could be low in front and up in back. We could go on.

This is important. Small pelvic distortions are repeated thousands of steps per day, 365 days per year. Small insults over time are as destructive as an auto accident. Hip replacement is a commonplace procedure.

So, how could you operate your pelvis to avoid limited capability, restriction or pain?

First, incorporate the “rocking pelvis” into your walk. This is very powerful understanding. When walking, feel a rocking sensation at the bottom of the pelvis as weight transfers to the newly-placed front leg. It feels like a gentle “thud”. An example sequence is

(a) push forward with your weight-bearing left leg. (The right leg is unweighted at this moment, moving frontward.),

(b) place the right foot onto the ground, and begin transferring weight to it,

(c) feel a rocking motion at the bottom of the right pelvis as weight transfer nears completion.

The rocking motion will be noticed near the sitting bones.

Here’s the reason this works. In contrast to common perception, the leg does not rotate around the hip joint during walking. The hip joint rotates around the leg; that’s what you feel as “rocking”.

Second, work toward muscular balance around the pelvis. Tighten weak muscles and soften tight muscles. Upper body weight is best supported through the center of pelvis. Pelvic muscles should be toned and operate in their correct span (according to design). One easy-to-see “standard” for balance are:

viewed from the side, a plumb line should pass through the hip joints, and the pubes and tip of the tail bone should lie in a horizontal plane.

Healthy pelvic movement and balance are worth their weight in gold. Your entire body will feel supported. You’ll sleep better. Capability increases.

A properly-used pelvis will give a lifetime of service.


Jack Menear