These 4 sacroiliac joint exercises are general buttock strengthening exercises directed towards conditioning the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joints. These exercises are not a substitute for medical treatment from your health practitioner. These SIJ exercises are the type of exercises commonly prescribed for SI joint instability.
Sacroiliac joint exercises demonstrated in this video:
1. Floor bridge
Lying supine on a firm surface, knees bent and feet flat
– Push down through your heels and raise your buttocks off the mat
– Breathe out as you raise your body
– Lower your body back to starting position
Bridge Exercise Progression
Place a dumbbell weight on your pelvis
Commence lying on a firm surface on your side, knees bent, head and neck supported
– Raise the top leg just above the lower leg keeping your feet in contact
– Lower the lifting leg back to starting position
– Repeat lying on both sides
Position a weight on the upper outer thigh close to the knee or use an exercise band around the thighs
3. Alternate arm and leg raise
– Lying prone with/without a cushion supporting the hips and pelvis
– Keep the forehead resting down on the back of the hands
– Gently contract your deep abdominal muscles
– Raise one straight leg off the mat
– Lower the leg back to the mat
– Repeat on both sides
Alternate arm and leg raise progression
Lift and lower alternate arm and legs simultaneously
4. Heel prop
– Lying prone with/without a pillow supporting the hips and pelvis
– Keep forehead down supported on the back of the hands
– Bend one leg at the knee to approximately 90 degrees (right angle)
– Lift the bent leg pushing the flexed foot towards the ceiling
– Lower the bent leg back to starting position
– Repeat with the other leg
Physical Therapy Tips for Safe Sacroiliac Joint Exercises
– Cease any exercise that causes physical discomfort
– Support the hips and pelvis with a cushion when lying prone
– Progress gradually
– Avoid tensing the pelvic floor pelvic floor muscles during these exercises.
How Many Sacroiliac Joint Exercises?
Commence with whatever feels comfortable for your body, even 1-2 repetitions at a time
Generally aim for 10-12 repetitions of each exercise at a time (1 set)
Repeat up to 3 sets of exercises/day
SIJ strengthening exercises can be performed 3-5 times per week
Research has shown that SIJ exercises for stabilization were effective in postpartum women for pain and disability (1) however some research has failed show that stabilization exercise is any more effective than other treatment regimes (2).
(1) Stuge B, Laerum E, Kirkesola G, Vollestad N. (2004) The efficacy of a treatment program focusing on specifi c stabilizing exercises for pelvic girdle pain aft er pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial. Spine 29:351–359.
(2) Nilsson-Wikmar L, Holm K, Oijerstedt R, Harms-Ringdahl K. (2005) Effect of three different
physical therapy treatments on pain and activity in pregnant women with pelvic girdle
pain: A randomized clinical trial with 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up postpartum. Spine ;30:850–856.