One of the major causes of poor posture is letting your butt stick out. When the muscles along your posterior chain (e.g., glutes and hamstrings) are weak, and your frontside muscles (like the hip flexor and quads) are tight, your hip rotates forward. The hip-rotated-forward position is called anterior pelvic tilt, and it results in an unattractive butt, poor posture, and a host of biomechanical problems like low back pain.
Anterior pelvic tilt is especially common among people who sit at desks for long stretches of time. The sitting position tends to shorten your quad muscles and disengages your glutes. When you try to walk—or dance—those muscles are less able to hold the correct hip orientation, and the result is poor posture.
The exercise in this post is an important tool to help you fix your pelvic tilt. However, developing good postural habits won’t happen overnight. You will need to practice this exercise over several weeks, at a minimum, in order to restore your natural alignment. The good news is that the benefits of good posture aren’t limited to your dancing: you will improve your mobility in all areas of life and will keep your body in better shape for the rest of your life.
If you want to dig into more of the details behind anterior pelvic tilt and the exercises you can use to improve your posture, there is a well-written guide at SwolePT.com (I have no relationship with SwolePT).
The Drill: Lay on your back. Put your feet flat on the ground in front of you, with your knees bent. Contract your glute muscles in order to lift your hip off the ground. Height is not as important as form—make sure that you are only using your glutes and not cheating with your back or hamstrings!
This exercise is great because most people have dormant glute muscles. When we sit all day, the glutes become weakened. As a result, the glutes aren’t strong enough to counterbalance their hip flexors and quads, and the hip rotates forward. By strengthening the glutes, you will be able to keep the hip rotated backwards into a stable position.