How to fix your Hyperlordosis (Arched back)

// What is Hyperlordosis?

Hyperlordosis is a term used to describe the excessive curvature in the lower back.

It is also referred to as having a significantly arched back.


// What are the causes?

1. Tight lower back muscles:

This includes:

  • Erector spinae group
  • Quadratus lumborum
  • Latissimusi dorsi (through the thoracolumbar fascia)
  • Psoas

Collectively as a group – when these muscles are tight/overactive, they will pull the lower back into an excessive arch. (Hyperlordosis)

2. Weak abdominal muscles:

With Hyperlordosis, the abdominal muscle group are placed in an inefficient stretched position.

This makes them particularly weak and inhibited.

…. This is a problem! A big problem.


The primary role of the abdominal muscles is to oppose the strong pull of the lower back muscles in order to maintain a normal lumbar spine curve.

// Hyperlordosis increases the risk of:

  • Nerve impingement
  • Joint degeneration
  • Muscular tightness
  • Postural issues
  • Lower back pain


// How can you tell if you have a Hyperlordosis?

1. Take a photo of yourself on the side:


Do you have a significantly arched back?

(… If you have it – you can not miss it.)


2. Feel the muscles on the back:

In Hyperlordosis, the muscles on either side of the lumbar spine are prominent and significantly firm to touch.


// Things to avoid

Do NOT place your body in positions where there is an excessive amount of extension in your lower back.


The 8 steps to fix your Hyperlordosis

Image courtesy of Paul Gooddy at

Note: All exercises must be conducted in a gentle and pain-free manner. If you have any doubts, please feel free to contact me and I’ll help you out.

1. Release the tight muscles

a) Lower back


  • Lie on the floor with you hip and knees bent.
  • Place a massage ball on the tight muscles under the lower back region.
  • Relax your body weight on top of the ball.
  • Move your body in a circular motion on top of the ball to target the tight areas.
  • Proceed to cover all the muscles for at least 1 minute each.
  • Do not hold your breath. Remember to breathe!


2. Stretches

a) Prayer Pose


  • Kneel on the floor.
  • Spread and reach your hands as far in front of you as possible.
  • Sit back into your hips.
  • Aim to feel a stretch in the lower back.
  • Take deep breaths in/out
  • Do this for 1 minute.

b) Lat stretch


  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Bend all the way to one side.
    • To emphasise the stretch, reach your arm over. (see above)
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your body to the lower back.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute.
  • Alternate sides.

c) Hip flexor stretch


  • Assume a deep lunge position as above.
  • Tuck your tail bone underneath you.
  • Remain up right.
  • Make sure you feel the stretch in the front of the hip of the back leg.
  • Hold the stretch for a minimum of 1 minute.
    • (If you are particularly tight in this region, I strongly encourage you to hold the stretch for 2 minutes)
  • Repeat at least 3-5 times on each side.


3. Learn to breathe

“Breathing?… What has that got to do with my Hyperlordosis?”


Your breathing is crucial in maintaining the correct posture. (especially when it comes to fixing your hyperlordosis)

Not only do your abdominal muscles help with full exhalation, they also help maintain the ideal lower alignment by controlling the position of the lower ribs.

Here’s what to do…

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
    • You can tilt your pelvis backwards to help flatten your back on the floor.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly let the air out through your mouth.
  • As you reach the point where you completely empty out your lungs, notice how your lower ribs and lower back drop towards the ground.
  • Maintain this lowered rib position by gently engaging your abdominal muscles
    • Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button in.
  • Continue diaphragmatic breathing for 10 repetitions
    • Imagine you are breathing deep into your stomach. Your upper chest should not be moving excessively as you breathe.
  • Practice this as many times throughout the day!
    • It takes time to get good at breathing properly.


4. The Dead bug exercise

This exercise is king.

If you do not practice this exercise, you will not get rid of your Hyperlordosis!

The aim of this exercise is to engage your abdominal wall to keep your spine in neutral.

As everyone is at different strength levels, I have included 3 variations of the Dead Bug exercise for you to try.

Thing to keep in mind:

  • Keep the lower back COMPLETELY flat against the floor… ALL OF THE TIME.
    • It is imperative that you do not let your lower back arch and lift off the ground.
  • There should be NO tension in your lower back whilst performing these exercises.
  • Think about keeping your lower ribs down at all times. Your chest should NOT flare out.
  • Remember to engage the core and abdominal muscles throughout all movements.
    • (Think about drawing your belly button down into your spine.)

a) Leg drop (bent knee)


  • Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees. (feet off floor)
  • Keep both knees bent throughout the movement.
  • Keeping your right knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower the left leg towards the ground.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Alternate legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.

b) Leg drop (straight leg)


  • Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees. (feet off floor)
  • Keeping your right knee bent towards your chest, slowly lower AND straighten the left leg towards the ground.
  • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Alternate legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.

c) Alternate arm/leg drop


  • Lie on your back with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees (feet off floor) and arms straight up into the air.
  • Slowly lower the left leg AND right arm towards the ground.
    • Only lower as far as you can whilst maintaining your lower back completely flat on the ground.
  • Return back to starting position.
  • Alternate opposite arm/legs.
  • Repeat 10 times.

If you’re like most of the people that I have taught this to, you will probably hold your breath whilst performing these exercises. Make sure that you do NOT hold your breath!

I repeat – Do NOT hold your breath!


5. “Get a strong bum”

(… also known as activating your glute muscles.)

If the Dead bug exercise is king, then strengthening your glute muscles is queen.

If your bum muscles aren’t doing their job, the lower back tends to take over resulting in an arched back.

Here are 3 glute activation exercises:

Remember: Engage your abdominal muscles and breathe properly!


a) Standing kick back


  • Whilst standing upright, extend your leg backwards until you feel your gluteals contract firmly.
  • Keep your lower ribs down by engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Do NOT arch your back.
  • Do not rotate or bend forward.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Alternate legs for 20 repetitions each.

b) 4 pt kneel kick back


  • Whilst in the 4 point kneel position, extend your leg backwards until you feel your gluteals contract firmly.
  • Keep your back straight by engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Do not rotate your body. Only your leg should be moving.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Alternate legs for 20 repetitions each.
  • (Note: It may look like my back is arching too much, but the truth is, I just have a big bum muscle)

c) Bridge


  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
  • Flatten your lower back to the ground.
  • Keep your lower ribs down by engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • By pushing off with your heels, lift your buttocks off the floor.
  • Only lift as high as you can without arching your lower back.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times.

*** BONUS ***: Want even more exercises for the glutes? Click here to see the full list of all the exercises that you will ever need to know!

6. Learn how to stand/sit properly

When sitting or standing: Your rib cage should feel directly into your pelvis.

In people with Hyperlordosis, the lower portion of the ribs tend to flare forwards (see above) causing an arched back.

How to position the ribs correctly:

  • Place your hand at the front of the lower rib cage.
  • Gently guide your lower rib cage down and backwards.
    • Make sure not to over shoot this movement!
  • You should feel some pressure being taken off your lower back.
    • … if you are very tight, you might even feel a stretch.

Here’s an analogy:

You are iron man. (… this is my personal childhood dream)

You have that light thing on the chest.

In most of you, your light would be pointing in a slight upward direction from the horizontal.

You want to get the light beam horizontal.

Note: With people with Rounded shoulders, this correction will usually find your shoulders will round forward even more. Check out this post to address this problem.


7. Over head activities

If you perform any exercises/activities/jobs where you are using your hands above your head… you need to read this.

A common problem I see with these over head movements is that people tend to over arch their lower back. Don’t do this!


  • Shoulder press at the gym
  • Puting clothes on the line
  • Painting the ceiling

8. Fix your posture (as a whole)

Although you were see significant improvements in your Hyperlordosis by just doing the above mentioned exercises, to make sure you address the problem wholistically you will need to have a look at these postures.

Hyperlordosis is commonly associated with the following types of postures: 

1. Sway back posture

Want to know more? Check out this post: Sway Back Posture.

2. Anterior pelvic tilt

Want to know more? Check out this post: Anterior Pelvic Tilt.

3. Hunchback posture

… Want to know more? Check out this post: Hunchback Posture.

Since a Hyperlordosis never exists by itself, I strongly encourage (in fact, I insist!) you look at the above posts to help you completely address your problem.

In summary:

To fix your Hyperlordosis:

Keep your a) lower ribs down, b) core/abdominal engaged, c) get a strong bum and d) breathe properly!

Leave me a comment! I reply to everyone!


I am a physiotherapist who has personally experienced the pain as a result of bad posture. I would like to offer you some of the solutions that I and my patients have greatly benefited from.

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6 thoughts on “How to fix your Hyperlordosis (Arched back)

  1. Hey Mark! Thank you so much for offering your help. I was wondering if i could put a pillow under my head, , because everytime i do these exercises, I get headaches from the hard floor.

  2. I’m so blessed to meet you! I have had this pelvic tilt problem forever! I am going to do your exercises, but the “bridge” exercise hurts me too much so I can’t do that one. Do you think it’s because I have 2 degenerative disks? That is my question. I am 61 years old but not necessarily inactive until the past 6 months. Either way, I’ve been a commercial cleaner all my life and I don’t want to stop because of my tilted pelvis which is really bringing me down.
    Thank you for YOU!! You are truly a giving person sharing this knowledge.
    I commend you.

    1. Hi Yvonne,

      If you are doing the technique correctly, try raising your hips off the ground to half the height to when the pain starts. This might help your body get used to the exercise.


  3. Hi Mark! I’m so happy that i have found your provide much needed help for people , including myself… thanks alot!
    regarding “things to avoid” section: does this qualify as being a dangerous move for someone with hyperlordosis?
    i saw a TED talk about this exercise, i wanted to know a professionals opinion.
    thanks in advance!

    1. Hey Bob,

      I love that yoga pose. It’s called the Utkatasana pose. Great for posture.

      However – if you are someone who has a significant arch, I would perform the exercise with a more neutral spine and with your abdominal muscles braced.


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