Everything You Need To Know About Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Let’s first discuss what anterior pelvic tilt is. It’s often called Lower Crossed Syndrome, and it’s a posture problem where your pelvis tilts forward, which causes your butt to stick out and your lower back will arch, which puts extra pain on your back and creates pain. This has recently become more and more of a problem for people, both because of the lack of exercise in our lives, but also because we tend to sit a lot. What is the anatomy of this? Well, you’re about to find out. This chapter will go into full detail to help you better understand what causes anterior pelvic tilt.
THE ANATOMY OF APT
The anatomy behind this is simple really. Essentially, this happens when the hip flexors get shorter and the hip extensors get longer. When this happens, the front of the pelvis will drop, and the back of the pelvis starts to rise up, creating almost an angle with the pelvis.
You’ll notice as soon as you do his that it actually causes a lot of lower back pain. Typically, the reason why one has lower back pain from this is because there is a muscle imbalance in the following muscle groups:
- The hip flexors
- The quads or front thighs muscle
- The erector spinae which are the lower back muscles.
While those are tightened, it creates looser or weaker muscles in the following areas, which creates a problem:
- Lower abdominals
- The hamstrings, which are the back thighs muscle
- The glutes, also known as the butt muscles.
With those being loosened and the others being tightened, it causes a strange muscle imbalance because you’re sitting in a position that doesn’t work. This will cause your muscles to start to adapt to this, which is why there is often problems with the pelvic tilt, and you’ll notice immediately that there is lower back pain slowly following this.
CAUSES OF APT
So what happens with our hip flexors when they “shorten”? Well, if you have hip flexors that are short, when you stand up, the hip flexors will then start to pull on the femur on one side of the hip. From here, it will also pull on the lumbar muscles, which are the lower back muscles. From here, with this it will cause the hips to lean forward in a tilting position. You’ll notice with that that the lumbar increases in curvature.
Basically, this will lead to lower back pain, hip pain due to the femur being rotated, knee pain since you’ll have a knocked knee position, and also feet that are flat. You also will have a stronger curve of the spine, because if you don’t have this you would end up leaning backwards a lot of the time. However, this causes another problem for the person, and that is the risk for neck, shoulder, and other muscle pain, along with headaches.
Now, you do have a certain degree of tilt to your pelvis. That is normal, but after a certain point, it ends up becoming a problem in the body. Women tend to have more of a tilt than men do.
CAUSES OF THIS
Essentially the main cause of this is sitting way too much. About 85% of men and 75% of women suffer from this condition. Typically, if you have muscle imbalances because you sit, and not enough exercises in the core muscle groups, such as the hip flexors, the hip extensors, the hamstrings, glutes, and stomach muscles, you’ll start to suffer from anterior pelvic tilt. Poor posture is also another contributing factor in this, so it’s something to watch out for.
These core muscle groups, if they’re out of balance because you sit too much, can cause a lot of problems for you later on, so make sure that if you do suffer from APT, you take the exercises listed later on and apply them to your life.
DO YOU HAVE APT?
You might wonder yourself if you have APT. Remember that everyone has some tilt to their spine to a certain degree, but there is a chance that you might have it. You need to first look at the shape of your spine. If you notice that you have a butt that sticks out more and a stomach gut that does stick out more as well, chances are you have APT.
But, there is another way to judge this, and that is through the Thomas Test. You should have someone watch you, or take a video. To do this, sit on the edge of a stable surface, grab your knees and lean back until you’re flat on whatever you’re sitting. Let go of one leg and then extend until you feel your thighs against the table.
Now, if your thigh touches the table, your knee is bent, and your hip or legs don’t rotate or move outward, then you’re good. However, if you feel the need to straighten out the knee in order to touch your thigh to the surface, then chances are your femur is short, which means you have to some degree APT. If you find out that your thigh can’t reach the table even after you’ve extended the knees, that means that you have short psoas.
If you notice that your hips and legs have to be to the outside to reach the surface of it, it means then the tensor fascia latae is lacking. Simply put, if it’s not straight when you bend the knee, you do have to some degree anterior pelvic tilt.
Testing this and knowing the anatomy of this is something important, since it can immensely help you. By better understanding anterior pelvic tilt, you’ll be able to fix the problem before it becomes worse over time.
THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF APT
APT has a lot of negative effects, and not just in terms of the tilting of your pelvis and poor posture. There are more problems here to be had, and here are just a few of the major negative effects to consider if you do suffer from anterior pelvic tilt.
Your posture is greatly affected by anterior pelvic tilt. When you have good posture, typically everything is mostly even, and you are straight. However, with anterior pelvic tilt, it causes your body to look slouched, and it can make your spine start to curve a whole lot more.
This curve causes problems. You’re putting a lot of stress there, and often, it causes you to naturally lean forward, which in turn makes you look a bit like you’re slouching. With APT, it can make you look like you’re unable to really hold yourself up, and it does affect your overall body language too.
With this, it also causes your neck to move forward a bit too, which in turn can cause neck pain. You’re not standing up straight, but instead putting stress on the wrong parts of the body, and it is something that many don’t notice.
Your balance can negatively be affected as well. This is more particular in those that are older, but it could be the start of a serious issue.
Another serious condition that can come about because of this, is the joint irritation, and disc pressure that is put in the lower back area. If you’re putting pressure there, it can cause a disc to start to bulge or rupture, which can be a serious issue if you’re not careful.
With posture, it’s often something that you need to look in the mirror or have someone else point out. However, it can be a major problem in people if it’s not treated.
CAN MAKE YOU LOOK FATTER
Yes, it can make you look fatter, and here is why.
First of all, you will be tilting your pelvis to make your butt look bigger. Which might not be a problem, but because of the way you’re holding your body, it tilts the front end of the pelvis outward, and the back of it as well. By tilting both of these outward, it will cause your butt to protrude outward as well. This might not be a problem, if not for the fact that when the pelvis turns outward, it can cause the abdomen to push outward too. Your abdominal muscles also are weak as well, which in turn will make your gut look like it’s pushed outward. Typically, with this, you have weak stomach muscles too, so it will make everything look ugly and slouchy, and it does make you look like you’re a lot fatter as well.
Even if you aren’t fat, if you have APT, it can make you look like you’ve gained about ten pounds. So, in a sense, it could be a great way to help you look skinnier, and if you don’t feel like doing too much dieting and exercising, take a moment and look at your posture. Who knows, it could be the solution to the problem that you’ve been meaning to fix.
SEX LIFE PROBLEMS
Now, APT can cause the uterus to be retroverted, and this could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, or endometriosis. While the tilt might not be a problem right now, if you’re trying to get pregnant and your uterus is tilted due to APT, it can pose a problem.
Another thing that can happen is that pelvic inflammatory disease can come about because of this. Pelvic inflammatory disease causes painful periods and pain during sex, which isn’t fun. This can be tied into the tilt of the uterus, especially if it is inflamed.
However, it’s more than just the condition of the uterus that’s affected by the pelvic tilt. It’s your sex life period. The key part to sex is the pelvic tilt. If you control this, especially the anterior and posterior tilt, you’ll have great sex. However, if you don’t have control and strength here, it will cause problems, and even pain. If your pelvis is aligned properly, you won’t have any consequences when doing the pelvic motion. However, if you don’t have the strength and control, it can cause your back to be thrown out, and if you get a herniated disc, it can cause major problems. So, if you want to have great sex, getting rid of anterior pelvic tilt and working on strengthening the pelvis is essential to great sex.
For men, having APT actually can cause sexual performance to suffer. This is because when the pelvis tilts, it can create a bit of an angle for the body, and it can make it harder for the penis to perform. It puts your hips at an angle, which is something that makes it harder to control the penetrative movements when pleasuring a woman, which in turn makes it harder on both the man and the woman. So, if you’re looking to better your sex life, chances are, APT might be holding you back.
Having good anterior and posterior movement can help with the effectiveness of sex, for it can make penetration feel better. If you want to have a better sex life, simply look at the shape of your pelvis, and if you do suffer from APT, consider possibly finding a solution to this that will help you.
Back pain is probably one of the biggest symptoms of anterior pelvic tilt. If you feel pain, especially in your lower back, and you’ve got an exaggerated curve, then chances are, you’re suffering from anterior pelvic tilt.
If you do notice that you have back pain, you should definitely get this checked out. Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of APT, and while it might be something else entirely, it’s important that if you do feel any back pain that you get it checked out. Often, if you don’t take care of this, it’ll continue to put more pressure on the back, which will make it hurt even more.
Remember we talked about ruptured and herniated discs, right? Well, often that can come about if you have back pain for a long time, and a lot of stress being put on the body. With back pain, it can lead to something serious, especially if it’s due to anterior pelvic tilt. The best thing to do in most circumstances, is to go see a medical professional the moment you start to notice that your back is really hurting. You’ll thank yourself later.
SENDS MORE STRESS SIGNALS OUT
Now, if you’re feeling pain a lot of the time, your body will send stress signals out, creating the flight-or-fight response in your body. With this, it will cause you to feel more anxious, feel more stress, and the like. The biggest problem with this, is that you might feel this stress, but not know of the cause.
Some stress is good, but too much stress can cause some major problems, including too much cortisol in the body, weight gain, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and the like. It can make you feel like your body is also burdened as well, since you’re carrying all of this stress. That’s why, often if you do have back problems, it can lead to excess stress on the body, both mentally and physically, which can lead to hormone imbalance. It’s also why correcting your posture and APT can help in other ways, not just in terms of your posture, but even your stress levels on your body as well.
ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS
Having APT can actually hinder your athletic performance. With weak hip flexors, lower back, knee, and even shoulder pain, this can dramatically affect your overall athletic performance as well.
Many athletes don’t even think about their hip strength, but having good posture, and strong hips will dramatically help their performance. Their power comes from two areas: the hip extensors and the glutes. If these are weak, and not developed, it can totally mess with athletic performance.
So not only can it hurt an athlete because of the fact that they’ll be sitting out due to pain, it can actually cause them to not reach their full potential because of it. They’re missing out on gains, including lifting more, running faster, and even the jumps that they make. So, if you do have anterior pelvic tilt, chances are it can majorly limit you. This is why if you do notice that you have anterior pelvic tilt, you should as an athlete work to rectify this so that you’re able to make better gains. It’s so much more common than you’d think. It’s almost an epidemic among athletes, due to the fact that a lot of times, outside of training and practice, they aren’t moving all that much.
There are a lot of negative effects of anterior pelvic tilt, but that doesn’t mean they have to completely ruin you. Instead, let’s discuss ways to fix this, and that’s what the next chapter will go over in terms of what you need to as an athlete do next in order to fix APT.
HOW TO FIX APT
There are a few ways to fix APT. mostly, you’re going to want to look at two things: posture, and strengthening various core muscle groups and working on them. We’ll discuss here in general what you need to do to fix APT in your body if you notice that you have it.
Chances are, you’re not stretching your hip muscles enough. Before you can start to work on the muscles that you’re not using enough, you need to stretch the tight muscles. This is usually what will inhibit the actual growth of these weak muscles.
So how do you do this? Well, there are a few core muscle areas that you should focus on. The hip flexor for example, is probably super tight within you, and that’s a problem. You should begin by making sure that it’s stretched out.
From here, stretch your quads, which are being used too much, your groin, and also your lower back.
Now, if you’ve already got lower back pain, take care when you’re doing this. Work on this though, because chances are, if you lower back is tight and in pain, you’ll need to fix this before you even begin to consider fixing the anterior pelvic tilt.
We will go over better stretches to do in the next chapter, but for now, before you even begin, you should try to make sure that you’re targeting these areas of the body, and before you even begin to take on trying to work on your muscles, you work on this first.
WORK WEAK MUSCLE GROUPS
Now, once you’ve taken care of the overactive and tight muscles, you can now work to strengthen these muscles that are weak. Chances are, these are the abdominals, the glutes, and the hamstrings. These three areas are often the weakest, and they contribute heavily to APT.
With abs in particular, you want to start to bring core tension of the ribs down and then pull the hips back until they’re neutral. Make sure you breathe with this while you’re doing each abdominal exercise. Often, many times people don’t use their core and engage, even in everyday activities, and that’s where problems come in. But, working on abs can markedly help you, and by strengthening this, you’ll be able to train your pelvis so that it doesn’t tilt.
We’ll go over target exercises that help with this in the later chapters, but keep this in mind that this is the next step.
FIXING FLAT FEET
One area that isn’t always touched upon when looking into why you’re suffering from APT is the way your feet sit. Flat feet are a common problem with people and this can cause the pelvis to move forward.
If you do have flat feet, you should consider getting arch support inserts, but also, consider trying to improve your arches.
One way to do so, is to sit on a chair with your feet planted to the ground. While your toes start relaxed, start to scrunch up the area under the foot. You should feel the muscles tense. Hold it for a few, then relax. Do this thirty times, and try to do it every single day until you can get into the standing position that you should be able to keep and maintain.
Your feet actually do play a part in this. Arches tend to help keep the pelvis neutral, so if you don’t have them, your pelvis will tilt, which is why many who struggle with this tend to have flat feet.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PELVIS INTO THIS POSITION
Next you want to start taking control and tilting the pelvis into a neutral position. If you can’t control this, you won’t be able to get rid of it completely. Now, you should determine how your spine sits by planting your fingers there, and if one is lower than the other, then you have a tilt.
Now, you want to learn how to rotate your pelvis so that you can make sure that it’s neutral. You can do this first by stretching out, then doing this, and you can then work to loosen this.
One way to get used to the movement, is through planking. You want to make sure the spine is neutral, and when you do, chances are you’ll feel your abdominals working. Now, from there, start to apply that to your daily life, engaging both the glues and abdominals whenever you’re doing so. This is a huge part of it, and it will help train your pelvis to quit tilting.
We will go over in another chapter as well how to sleep, walk, and move around while training your pelvis to stay neutral and normal, but for now, imagine the plank position, and have it standing up. You’ll definitely get a nice head start if you do this.
Now, breathing is a huge part of this. If you’re not keeping an even, deep breathe through the nose, and out through the mouth, this can cause APT to happen.
This is mostly seen in athletes rather than the average person, but you should keep this in mind if you’re doing exercises. It’s incredibly important.
The main part that you should focus on is the exhale. When you exhale, your ribs go down, which creates abdominal engagement. A sharp exhale through the mouth whenever you finish a movement can make a huge difference.
If you’re deadlifting for example, you want to inhale right before you get to the upright pose that you hold. This will then let everything set. However, it must be deep, and it will help with the power. With any exercise, as you get to the top of it, you want to make sure that you breathe. This will keep the abs engaged.
When working these core areas, definitely keep this in mind.
PAY ATTENTION TO RIBS
Finally, and this goes along with virtually everything, including the abdominals and breathing, is to start looking at how your ribs sit. If you’re breathing with your torso extended, you are creating the tilt, and the back problems, which is why you want to keep your ribs down. Essentially, you can do this in your daily life, right from your chair.
To do this, you should put a hand on the upper abs, and from there, exhale as you tighten this. You’ll feel the engagement, and that should be what you should strive to activate. You should work to do this first in your daily life, but then, with the various exercises that you do as well.
To fix APT, you need to start looking at these target areas, and begin to fix them completely. By doing this, you’ll feel way less pain, much fewer problems, and it will help you feel like a new person the second you start working on these.
STRETCHES TO HELP WITH APT
There are many stretches to help you combat APT, and we’ll go over the top ones that you should be considering. By adding these to your routine, you’ll be able to help get rid of the tight muscles, but also prepare you to do various exercises that can help you combat APT.
This is the first stretch that you will want to do. Now, with this stretch, you should feel this, and if you don’t, then you’re doing it wrong. The ideal feeling should be a pull near the front of the hip.
To do this, you want to take the right leg and push it out, keeping your knee slightly bent past the ankle. Slide the left leg back, keeping it straight, and keeping the spine neutral. You will feel a stretch near that front hip area, and once you do, hold it for at least thirty or so seconds.
Now, the key to this one, is to mess with the angles, and make sure you move it around until you can feel the stretch. This might take a little bit.
With your quads, you want to make sure you hold this for at least thirty or so seconds. To begin, stand up, and keep yourself upright. Don’t bend at the hips since this will lessen the tension and make the stretch less effective.
If you’re the type of person that can’t hold themselves up due to balance, grab a well, and from there, take the one hand that isn’t doing anything, grab the foot, and pull it back so it’s bent. You should press the hip area forward and tighten and use the glutes if you don’t feel the stretch, but you should be able to do so.
Another effective stretch, that also targets the glutes and abs, are bridges. To do this, you want to be down on the ground with your legs bent. Keep your back flat and have your feet about the width of your hips apart, and keep your arms at your side. From here, push the hells into the floor, and pull the pelvis up until it creates a straight line with the upper body and the thighs, so about that height. Hold it for a couple of seconds, move down, and then repeat this till satisfaction. If you do this, tighten the glutes and the abs while you’re holding this to create the best alignment that you can make.
BRIDGE INCLUDING LEG KICKS
If you want to truly stretch out everything, and give yourself more of a challenge, try the bridge that was specified before, and from there, once you have created the straight line, you want to then extend one of the legs that you have, completely out and completely straight. You hold this for a certain amount of time. You then do the same thing, but with the other leg, and from there, you should feel it. This will help you get a good feel for how your pelvis should sit, and it also gives more of a challenge. Try this after you’ve done the bridge.
Probably one of the best ways to get a great stretch in the hip flexor area, and also the other muscles that you need to stretch out as well, is the pretzel. There are a few variants of this, but we’ll go over the first position, and then how you can put yourself completely into a pretzel stretch once the tightened area loosens up slightly.
Begin by first flying on one side, taking your knees and bend them to the height of your hip. If you need something to brace yourself, get one of those foam pads. From there, you should grasp the top leg, and hold it there. You can bend the other one, but for the beginning exercise, you should keep it straight and neutral. You should feel the stretch in your hip flexor area.
You good with that? Well, from thee, you want to take that back leg and hold the ankle with the arm that is closest to the ceiling. From there, you should hold the knee as well and press down.
From there, get your torso so that it’s not on the side, but facing the ceiling and start to lightly press on both of your legs. You should exhale, and from there twist it a bit more holding this for a couple of breaths. You’ll feel it immediately, and it’s a great one to consider if you realize that your body is super tight, and it needs to be stretched out.
This is another great one to help stretch out the back. Now, before you do any sort of stretch involving your back, you should first try to rectify any lower back pain issues that might be there, such as maybe seeing a chiropractor if it’s really bad. If something is out of place, it might be a problem, but once that’s finished, you can begin this. What you want to do, is stand up straight, being careful, and from there, extend your arms straight up and push them together, palms facing one another. From here, you want to breathe in deep. Bend at the hip area and slowly move towards your right side. While you do this, you should exhale, engage the core and the glutes, and from there, hold it for a little bit before you bring yourself right-side up. You should then switch sides, and repeat this a few times.
Now, if you wanted to make this a full exercise, you totally could, and it’s a great way to actually target the hamstrings. But, for the purpose of stretching out the hip area, we’ll discuss this. It also strengthens the hips and glutes and also starts to condition the back muscles.
To begin, you want to be on your hands and knees, putting your hands about the width of your shoulders apart. If not already, make sure that your hips are in line with your knees and pull the belly button towards the spine, arching during the exhale of this. You can hold it for a couple of seconds, and then bring it back to neutral.
Now, once you have a good feel for how you should have your body, you should then extend a leg until it’s in line with your body. Keep your spine neutral, and from there hold it for a couple of seconds, and then repeat this about ten times.
If you want to make this one not just a fun stretch, but also a challenge, you can get those small weights to put on your ankles to further condition the hamstrings, glutes, and the abdomen.
Your groin muscles tend to be pretty tight if you’re struggling with APT. Luckily, this exercise can target this area, making it easier on you.
To begin, sit with your back up against the wall, the hips neutral, and have your legs spread out. Take each one in, and pull it as close to you as you can. You should feel a stretch along your groin muscle. From there, bring it as closely in as you can, holding it there for about thirty seconds. To give yourself an even deeper stretch, you can lightly push down on the area, just don’t be too forceful.
KNEES TO CHEST
This is a stretch that you will feel mostly in your hamstrings, and around your hip area. It’s a good way to stretch out these core muscles before you continue.
To begin, you want to be flat on your back with your toes pointed upwards, not outwards. From there, start to slowly bend your knees, walking them up, and then, when you’re at the point you can pull them, do so and bring them as close to your chest as possible. From there, move from one side to the other, breathing evenly to help loosen up all the muscles down there. From there, hold it to the middle towards your chest as tight as you can, bringing your forehead as close to your knees as you can. This will help to stretch out the back.
Do this for at least 20 seconds and then extend the leg. You can do this at least three more times, and then do it three times again single-leg for each leg that you have.
RELEASING THE LOWER BACK MUSCLES
This is a unique stretch that can really help if you’re suffering from slight pain due to the back muscles. For this, you will need two tennis balls, but it’s a good way to take care of the tender spots and help to stretch out the back muscles.
To do this, you should lay down with your back against the floor area. Put two tennis balls under your lower back. Put it between the bottom of the ribs and the sacrum, so that little lower back area. You will start to want to reduce the pressure as you roll over this. Now, move your pelvis from one side to the other, and the balls should go across the lower back area. You want to do this slowly, to help massage out the tender spots. Do this for at least five or so minutes, breathing as you go along, since often, that will help to release tension and drop the ribcage.
STANDING GROIN STRETCH
This is another stretch that can ultimately help you out a lot. You should stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart. From there, slide your left leg as far out as you can, keeping it straight. You should take your other leg and bend it into a partially bent position. You will feel the stretch right there, and in turn, this can be something that feels good for you, and helps to stretch out those troublesome muscles. It’s amazing what this can do, and it certainly does help.
TOUCHING YOUR TOES
One way to stretch out the lower back is simply by touching your toes. You can stand up or sit down, keeping your spine neutral. From there, you can start to move your hands down, touching your toes and holding it there. With this, you should take your time and try not to overstretch since it can cause a lot of back pain. You can start to fix the tilt as well by doing this, keeping your pelvis neutral with the movement. It’s okay if you don’t actually touch your toes, just get them as far down as you can.
These stretches can help you combat your pelvic tilt, which can really make it easier on you now, and in the future. Do these with care, and it will make you feel so much better.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE GLUTES AND CORE TO HELP WITH APT
Now, two target areas that you want to strengthen when combatting APT, are the glutes, and the core. The reason why you’re suffering from this period is due to the strength of your glutes and your core. Fortunately, there are ways to combat this problem, and this chapter will go over various abdominal and glute strengthening exercises to help with APT. we’ll go over how to do them, and why they matter.
Okay these tend to look kind of dumb, but they are helpful. How you do this, is you lie on your back, bending both of your knees in the air. From there, you want to engage the core and the abdominal area. To do this, you pull your belly button in and tuck in the tailbone. From here, you want to keep your lower back in complete contact throughout this whole movement, not letting it arch. From there, you want to lightly extend one of your legs, bringing the other to your chest. You want to keep this engaged the entire time. Don’t let yourself get sloppy! From there, you should then alternate each leg, and do this about twenty times each leg, feeling the burn the entire time.
Ahh the dreaded squats. If you want to have a good butt in general, and fit APT, then this is for you. Squats are how you fix it, and to preface this, you don’t have to go super heavy on these. What you want to do, is first and foremost to do bodyweight squats. Squats are one of the best ways to strengthen the glutes, which not only make them look good, but the aid in fixing the tilt, since you’ll be strengthening these muscles.
To do this, start with your knees about shoulder-width apart, standing up. From here, you want to keep your legs in the same position, and start to lower your body until your butt is in line with the ground, often called “ass to grass.” This is a huge part of it, since you’re not getting the full exercise otherwise. From here, you want to then bring yourself back up.
Now, with this, the movement is in the glutes area. You almost want to be sitting back, leaning back and bending the knees, but not over the ankle. You should keep your spine neutral the entire time, and from there, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then go back to your original position. You should continue to do at least twenty of these each day.
Now, you want to keep your neck neutral and not flexed or tightened. You should keep your breathing even, and exhale during the lowering. You will definitely feel this with them, and as you continue to do these, you’ll feel it increase.
Now, in terms of weight, start with bodyweight. From there, you can use some light dumbbells to help with adding extra challenge to these. You can from there, add a barbell if you want to start lifting heavier, but do make sure that when you do this, your pelvis stays neutral and doesn’t try to stick out. Tighten your core and use your abdominals when you do this, and you’ll feel it.
There are other variants as well, such as the sumo squat, which involves a much wider stance. You can also do jumping squats, and also some shoulder work and other exercises if you desire. But the basic squat is where you want to begin, since it can help you immensely if you’re struggling with APT.
Deadlifts are the other great exercise. Now, with these, you want to start by getting the form right. Even if you’re just lifting twenty pounds, knowing your form before you go into this can certainly help.
To begin, start crouching with your knees bent, about shoulder-width apart. You can grab the bar either with one hand over or one under, and you should keep your pelvis neutral, your tailbone tucked in, and you should keep your neck neutral. Don’t try to crane it, because that causes problems. From here, you want to lift with your legs and your abs, bringing it up as slowly as you can. Hold it there, and then lower.
Now with these, you can go heavier once you get the hang of it, but if it hurts your back, you’re doing something wrong. You should keep your chest extended, so that you’re able to get the perfect form without over-arching the back.
Now, with this, you should be squeezing your glutes the entire time. By doing this, you will feel not only the burn of the exercise more, but I’m going to be honest, it’s actually essential. It’s essential to tilting the pelvis during not just squats and deadlifts, but everything. It creates a good form, and it will stabilize your spine. It also targets the glutes themselves. It also will help finish off the contraction in a clean manner. If you’re doing any sort of lifting, definitely squeeze this to help tilt the pelvis.
Okay this is another one that might look “dumb” but It’s actually a super helpful one as well. If you’re struggling with strengthening your abdominals, this is for you. To begin, have the bottoms of your feet planted against the wall, knees on the ground, and hands shoulder-width apart. From there, you want to tuck in the tailbone, rotate the pelvis in a backwards motion, and also engage the core muscles by pulling them in and lowering your ribs.
You should exhale as you do this, holding it for as long as it takes to exhale, and then do these another ten times. If you don’t feel the core working, it’s not engaged, so make sure you’re using the core if so.
Planks are your best friend when you’re trying to fix APT when focusing on both the glutes, and the abdominals as well. But lots of people tend to do this wrong, so it’s important that you watch how you’re doing this before you do it.
To do this, you want to first begin with your stomach facing downwards. You want to from there, prop up both of your elbows, and start to have your body held by that, and the tiptoes. You want to make sure that you keep your pelvis inwards, making your spine neutral, and you have to engage your core by bringing it in. don’t bring your head up, since that can throw you out of alignment. You should squeeze the glues with this as well.
The ideal way to do this, is if you have your body in this position, and it makes a small, oblique line going downwards from the top to the bottom in an even manner. If it’s not doing it, then you’re doing it wrong. You need to not arch your back, bring your pelvis in, and make sure that your core is engaged.
With this, try to do it for as long as you can. Usually a minute is more than enough, but some like to do it for way longer. Try to see how long you can hold this, and if it does help.
This is a great one to work out the abdominals, and even part of the glutes. To do this, you want to lay down on your back with your legs straight up in the air, with a slight bent if you can’t keep them fully straight. Engage your core and tighten your glutes, and from there, lower your leg as far down as you can control it, but don’t let it hit the ground with a thud. From there, hold this for a couple of seconds, and then bring it back up. You should repeat these ten times each leg, or as many as you possibly can. Make sure that you exhale during the lowering to help you get more of an exercise out of it.
This is one that requires you to hold onto something as a way to brace yourself at the onset if you need help. Ideally, a lifting bench can really make this easy. To begin, hold onto this, keeping everything neutral. Pull your pelvis in, and make sure those glutes and abs are engaged. From there, you want to lightly lower your legs, but not a whole lot, and then bring them back up. It’s like a crunch, but it’s targeting a different muscle group than they normally do. This is a great one, and if you keep everything aligned, it works wonders.
Hip thrusts are actually one of the best things to help combat APT. with this though, it’s important that you do them correctly, or else it could end up making your arch worse. Now typically, if you have this, you’ll be extended in the lower back, so the glutes won’t be as engaged initially.
However, you won’t be able to typically drive your hips forward with this. Instead, you want to tilt the hips up and back, which will tilt the pelvis up, and it will keep the glutes feeling this and reduces the stress on the lower back. You want to when doing this, start by having your shoulders against the edge of a bench, or whatever can brace them without it hurting.
Look at a point of the wall behind you when you thrust up, and imagine your hips driving to that. First, you want to relax, but then slowly raise them up, keeping a neutral spine and your entire body straight. What you want to do, is create the straightest position that you can.
Imagine someone drawing a line from your head to the end of your knees. If you’re engaging the spine, you will notice that your stomach is higher than the rest of the body. If it’s correct, everything is even, and the glutes are working. This is a great exercise to directly target the glutes.
Now with this, I do suggest not using weight until the form is perfected. Later on you can, just be mindful of your form the entire time you do this.
BRACING ABS WITH A FOAM ROLLER
Now, if you’re looking for an easy way to train the abs, glutes, and to eliminate APT, this is actually something that can help. It might seem innocuous, but this actually can make a huge difference.
Now, with this, you want to put the foam roller right on your hip flexors and quads. What you want to do, is to keep the ribs down, and not let the stomach drop towards the floor. If it drops towards the floor, that’s your APT kicking in.
If it’s dropping to the floor and doing just that, then chances are, you have correct tilt, and you can keep that in mind and train your pelvis in order to not do this. This is great for those that lift already, and those that don’t, so it’s an overall exercise to help benefit you.
This is one that can help strengthen the muscles, and is also a stretch as well. It works with the groin too, and a little bit of the butt, and the hip flexors. If you do take care of these, and do this, you’ll decrease the chances of injury if you do others.
To begin, you want to stand about shoulder width apart. Keep one foot off the ground and right in front of you. Point your toes, and put all of the weight on the foot that is on the ground. From here, slowly bring your foot forward, back and then behind you, like a circle. Do this about twenty times each leg, increasing the pace. With all of these, make sure that the core is engaged, and your glutes are tight.
If you’ve got access to either a parallel bar or a bar in general, or you have two places that can hold your weight, this is perfect for you. You want to first hang n there, which can be hard, but engage the core.
Now, you want to exhale, and raise the legs and knees, contracting the core, and from there, bring them to the top before you lower the legs back down once more. This can be a bit of a shocking feeling, but trust me, it can help. It does require you to keep your spine neutral as well, since arching your back can make this hurt a whole lot.
These are great, simply because they tackle the areas in one fell swoop. They’re easy to do, and really, you’ll feel this once you begin.
To do this, start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and then slowly bring one leg back as far as you can. Start to bend it, and then with the other leg, let it start to bend as well, over the ankle. Hold this, and then alternate it with the other leg. You should make sure with this that the pelvis is tilted, that the core is engaged, and that you’re squeezing the glutes during the end of it.
This is a simple exercise, but it’s something that can ultimately change the way your body handles this, and it can be super effective for you.
Finally, we have the hamstring curls, which can be used not only to strengthen the hamstrings, but also to help bring the but higher as well. This is something that doesn’t take too long to really do.
Now, you can do these at home, at the gym, wherever really. If you do these at home, lean over the side of the couch, keeping your legs from the waist down off the surface. Keep your body as flat as possible, and hold your body up against there. If you’re doing this at the gym, there is a machine, or just use a lifting bench. From there, you can slowly bring each of the legs all the way to the butt, feeling it bend. You should keep your spine as neutral as you can make it, and also, do make sure that you keep your core tight as well. This is a key part of it, since it will help to engage everything without sacrificing the arch. Repeat these twenty times each leg.
These exercises are key to helping with APT, and you can really fix this if you know what you’re doing. Try it, see if these work for you, and do them slowly. Get used to the position of what you’re doing first before anything else, since this can be a big part of improving your daily life, and by looking at these exercises, you can effectively fix your APT.