Moving with APT
After about ten years of training, I realized I had to tackle my own anterior pelvic tilt (APT). It was not pretty:
I thought it would be an easy fix since I thought I knew what to do.
At first, I thought postural changes like focusing on sitting and standing would help me get out of APT. Nope.
That’s fine, I added in extra strength training for my obliques, glutes, and hamstrings. This would definitely get me out of anterior pelvic tilt, right? Nope.
Okay, I’m going to throw in some stretching for my hip flexors and my low back. This would be the clincher, right? Nope.
Then, I thought if I make sure I start every exercise neutral, this would help me get out of anterior pelvic tilt. Once again, nope.
After this, I really questioned whether I had anterior pelvic tilt because nothing seemed to be changing.
I had my wife check my anterior pelvic tilt using the SEA test, and both sides were clearly in anterior pelvic tilt. I felt stuck. I thought I was doing everything I could. I began to take a closer look at how I was doing my strength training exercises.
One of my favorite lifts is the deadlift. I did a video analysis of my form and realized that while I started out in a neutral pelvic position, I quickly reverted to anterior pelvic tilt at the top of the lift. I also saw this in other lifts when I looked at the video like squats, ab wheel rollouts, and even bench pressing.
I knew I had to go back to the basics. This meant reducing the intensity and range of motion for all of my exercises.
What I found was the difference-maker for getting me out of excessive anterior pelvic tilt.
However, this meant me being a complete newbie again. I really had to humble myself in my old exercises by focusing on two things.
1.Reduce the intensity
I could no longer have hundreds of pounds on my deadlift. I literally had to go back to a bodyweight deadlift. I couldn’t even have a bar. Instead, I had a stick on my back to make sure my pelvis was neutral.
My preferred way to make sure I stay neutral is using a stick on my back with my thumb placed behind the biggest gap. I then touch my low back to my thumb (and my thumb is about one inch in thickness). I keep the low back in contact with my thumb throughout the whole range of motion.
This brings me to the second tip if you cannot keep neutral throughout the whole range of motion.
2.Reduce the range of motion
If you find that you cannot be neutral throughout the whole range of motion, simply reduce it. However, you should only use a range of motion you can stay neutral in. Don’t go beyond that. Over time, the more you practice simply staying neutral, the more you will find that your range of motion will increase.
Staying neutral reminds me of product recalls where the car manufacturer makes a bolt which should have been a sixteenth of an incher larger to prevent the screw from falling out. It might work for awhile, but there will be problems at some point, and likely a massive recall.
The same is true for not being neutral with your lifts. If you keep lifting in anterior pelvic tilt, there will likely be a breakdown. Don’t let this happen and stay neutral.