The last couple of years of rehab blitz can be narrowed down into a single thought : the pelvis is important. (Couple that with the pelvic-diaphram breathing connection and you’ve got the last five years at least).
See that first one there on the left? That’s it. It’s mainly characterized by the large low back swoop. Sitting for most of our lives develops tight hip flexors, and those thick, strong ropes pull down and rotate the pelvis forward. Ending result is typically low back and hamstring pain. Low back pain because your body is out of position to use your stomach, and hamstring pain because they are forced to stay in a stretched position. Also, you can’t use your butt if your hip flexors are turned on, so ALL drive must come from those already tight hamstrings.
The thin, black line running vertically through each picture signifies the body’s center of gravity in that position. The ideal, neutral hip posture on the right has the body’s center of gravity (where all the weight ‘sits’ or pulls down) in line with the joints. Your body loves this. The neutral pelvis allows the weight bearing portions of the body to bear weight, and the moveable portions of your body to move without constraints.
Athletes typically have the worse cases of anterior pelvic tilt because they are so often moving and training in this position. They worsen the dysfunction by loading the movement pattern with speed and resistance. (Think sprinting and squatting with everything out of alignment).
The result is very strong hip flexors that want to do everything, and a butt and posterior chain that just goes along for the ride.
So how to fix this?
First you have to get yourself in the most advantageous position against gravity: lying on your back (legs bent and feet on the floor).
USING YOUR DEEP STOMACH MUSCLES (and NOT your upper body or lifting your butt off the ground) squish your lower back into the ground by driving your pelvic bones back and rotating your tailbone forward and to the ceiling.
Note the head should be resting on the ground.
When a human does this it looks something like this:
Anterior tilt with stick emphasizing “hole”. Check out that upward rib flare.
Anterior tilt with no stick. “Hole squished” by posteriorly tilting pelvis.
Look for the shadow. Ribs also flatten out in neutral alignment.
Again, it is imperative that the right muscles are doing the movement. You should not drive your pelvis into this position with your shoulders, upper back, or butt. Your deep, lower stomach muscles should be able to pull and hold the pelvis in the right place.
- Squish the hole
- Breathe through your belly