Pelvic Tilt

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(A=neutral, B=posterior, C=anterior)

           The hip is very important for efficient movement.  You cannot excel at activities such as jumping, sprinting, or deadlifting without a strong and stable hip.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t always occur naturally; one of many things that contribute to inadequate form during exercise is known as “pelvic tilt.” Pelvic tilt refers to the orientation of the pelvis in respect to the femur bones it rests upon.  The two forms of pelvic tilt are anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt (neutral tilt refers to the “in between”).

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  • Anterior pelvic tilt: this is when the front of the pelvis drops, and the back of the pelvis rises.  A person with anterior pelvic looks as if they are sticking their rear out a little more than normal.
  • Posterior pelvic tilt: this is the opposite of anterior pelvic tilt; when the front of the pelvis rises and the back of the pelvis drops.  A person with posterior pelvic tilt drops their butt down and is curved in at the abdomen.

Anterior pelvic tilt is more common than posterior because a certain degree of anterior pelvic tilt is natural in human beings; women tend to have slightly more anterior pelvic tilt than men.  But, too much anterior tilt can lead to lower back pain, hip pain, and knee pain.  Anterior pelvic tilt can cause a stronger curvature of the spine which in turn may lead to neck and shoulder pain.  In other words, you do not want to be a victim of excessive anterior pelvic tilt.

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It is especially important during exercise that you are in a state of neutral or posterior pelvic tilt.  In exercises such as the plank, it is important that you keep your back, hips, and pelvis level and that you are contracting your core muscles otherwise too much stress will be placed on the lower back.  When performing any exercise that involves lying down on your back, make sure that your lower back is always in contact with the mat or the ground.  This keeps your core engaged and spares your lower back.  When lifting weights or doing squats, people tend to forget about their posture and solely focus on performing the task at hand.  Remember to keep your back straight and shoulders back and your pelvis in a normal tilt position.  All of these little things that may not seem to make a difference now will have a much larger impact than you realize in the future and will hopefully help to relieve some of the pain that you may be experiencing.  It may be hard to get used to at first, but soon you’ll realize that a little hip tilt can make all the difference in your workout and your daily life.

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  • Comments (2)
    • Anonymous
    • November 16th, 2012

    Great article and awesome blog, keep up the good work!!

    • TheFitnessAnswerMan
    • March 3rd, 2015

    Reblogged this on Ask Me Fitness and commented:
    This is critical point about planking and I am finding that it is not stated enough or clearly as in this article. I have even found that Posterior tilt is even better than “neutral spine” in plank work because the Psoas is exerting so much pressure on the Lumbar Vertebrae. I believe only with full Transversus Abdominis flexion “max posterior tilt” that the lumbar vertebrae can withstand the psoas pull especially when adding “lifting of limbs” such as in alternating plank work like “birddog” and cycling through lifting each limb off the ground for 15 seconds each.

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