The anterior pelvic tilt look is still in.
Unfortunately, anterior pelvic tilt (APT) is a glute killer. The biggest problem is that the glutes are responsible for posteriorly tilting the pelvis. If you go into anterior pelvic tilt, you deactivate your glutes.
By definition, APT puts your glutes in a lengthened position. Because the glutes are on stretch, they are more likely to be deactivated.
Want to see if your glutes are really deactivated?
Simply lie face down on the ground, press your hand into your glute, and lift up your leg. If you feel a protrusion of your glute throughout the whole range of motion, you're glutes are not deactivated. (Don't cheat it by squeezing your glutes, they will fire automatically if they are not deactivated.)
If you don't feel any protrusion, your glutes are deactivated. Also, if you only feel a protrusion at the top of the range of motion, your glutes are deactivated.
Remember, in APT, position is everything. If we are going to work the glutes properly, we need to make sure we are in the best position to do that.
Begin first by flattening your low back to the ground. Take notice of your pelvic line.
Before lifting up, flatten your back using your obliques. Now, squeeze your glutes before you lift up. As you lift up, keep your glutes squeezed. At the top, squeeze your glutes and pause for one to two seconds. As you lower, you can relax your glutes, but try to keep a near-vertical pelvic line.
The most important thing is respecting the vertical pelvic line. As you lift up, this vertical line should remain vertical relative to the body.
As you can see, the pelvic line stays vertical with the body.
It should not look like this:
Since getting out of anterior pelvic tilt is all about maintaining a neutral (or posterior) tilted pelvis, we need to follow a few guidelines when doing our vertical line hip lifts. These are:
1. Don’t go into a range of motion which compromises your vertical pelvic line.
In other words, you should not lift up past the point where your vertical pelvic line is no longer vertical. If you do, you are going into an anterior pelvic tilt. I realize I’ve said this in half of the articles I’ve written already, but you are not going to get out of APT while going into APT.
2. Don’t lift any weight which compromises your vertical pelvic line.
If you lift a heavy-enough weight, your pelvis will go into APT. Don’t let it. Instead, you should use as heavy a weight as possible while insuring you don’t lose your vertical pelvic line.
If you follow these guidelines, your glutes are not only going to become activated, they are going to help get you out of anterior pelvic tilt.
The next exercise which I see almost always butchered is the birddog.
The birddog is a tough exercise.
The reason it’s hard is because it’s damn-near impossible for someone with anterior pelvic tilt to go through a full range of motion with a neutral pelvis. How can you tell if you have a neutral pelvis in the birddog?
You should be able to get the apex of your thumb (or about one inch) to touch the stick while you lift up your leg.
Once again, do not lift your leg past the point where you can’t touch your thumb to the stick. If you have anterior pelvic tilt, most of you will likely benefit by starting out by using a very small range of motion.
Once again, before you lift up your leg, squeeze your glutes on the leg you will lift up. Keep it squeezed all the way up and hold at the top while squeezing your glutes. When lowering, you can relax, but don’t lose your neutral pelvic position.
If you didn't pass the prone hip extension test, you should only do bent knee dead bugs. The bent-knee position will diminish your dominant hamstrings. It's also possible that you have tight quadriceps, so using a bent-knee position will also help stretch them out.
For those who have very tight hip flexors, quadriceps, or low back, if you go above 45 degrees, you’ll quickly lose spinal stability.
What this means is you need to do your stretching of the hip flexors, low back, and quadriceps before you do these exercises.
Many individuals will also benefit by doing exercises like the dead bugs before birddogs or hip lifts.
Feel free to load up the hip lift with weight as long as you can maintain a neutral pelvis. You can also add ankle weights to the birddog, but make sure you can first hit a full range of motion birddog first.
If you did pass the prone hip extension test, and can do a bent-knee birddog with a full range of motion, then you can do the straight leg version.
The glutes are the biggest muscles in the body. When the glutes are activated and strong, they help you lift more, look awesome, run faster, and perform better with fun-like activities in the bedroom.
Unfortunately, the hip lift and birddog are some of the most poorly performed exercises I see. Just about everyone I see who performs them is not keeping a neutral pelvis. I encourage you to be extra-strict with your form, squeeze those glutes, and add some load as long as you have perfect form.