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  • Writer's pictureJeanine Yutani

March: "Anterior and Posterior Oblique Slings"

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

Anterior Oblique Sling and Posterior Oblique Sling


The Anterior Oblique Sling is part of the lumbo-pelvic complex essential for both stabilization and mobilization of the spine and pelvis. It consists primarily of:

  • The internal and external oblique

  • Connecting with the contralateral adductor muscles of the thigh

  • Through the abdominal fascia

When these muscles contract they provide stability by compressing the pelvic girdle and providing force closure of the symphysis pubis. When working in conjunction with other parts of the Outer Unit (Deep Longitudinal System, Posterior Oblique Sling, and Lateral System), it also causes relative movement of the pelvis.

The Anterior Oblique Sling is particularly important for stabilizing the pelvis throughout the gait cycle, and its activation becomes more important as walking becomes running and speed increases the demands on the sling, as well as in rotating the pelvis and spine in the multi-directional movements required for sports such as tennis, football, basketball, volleyball and soccer.


Because humans are designed to exist in an upright bipedal posture, the demands on the body require additional support for walking, a form of movement unique to humans. The Posterior Oblique Sling is made up of:

  • The latissimus doors,

  • The contralateral gluteus maximus, and

  • The inter-connecting thoracolumbar fascia

It provides stability and force transference for the body allowing kinetic energy to be released for efficient locomotion. This evolutionary adaptation has made upright walking a very efficient form of ambulation requiring a relatively low metabolic expenditure. Put simply, efficient and synergistic functioning of our Anterior and Posterior Oblique Slings is why humans walk upright!

Sling training with lunges on the CoreAlign

To effectively train and strengthen the Anterior and Posterior Oblique Slings, consideration of their respective roles in the the gait cycle are essential. Alternating step-back lunges, for example, train movements of the leg, hip, pelvis, trunk and upper body. Balance and synergistic movement of the Anterior and Posterior Oblique Slings help provide both stability and mobility of the lumbo-pelvic complex during such highly complex movements. As with any exercise, ensuring form and body mechanics are at their optimum is an important consideration, so working with a well-trained instructor is often best.

Via Pilates’ instructors often use lunges in Pilates Mat, barre, reformer, chair, Bodhi, CoreAlign and other classes to help develop strength, stability, control and balance in clients’ Anterior and Posterior Oblique Slings. Besides contributing to strong backs, hips, legs and gluteus, having properly-trained slings can often help prevent or manage many types of low back pain. Want to know more? Contact the studio to set up a session today!

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