Fix your tilt for untapped glute gains
If you go on the knowledge forum that is google and search pelvic tilt, you’ll be bombarded with tons of “Fix your anterior pelvic tilt” articles.
And with good reason too. Fixing your pelvic tilt goes right up there on the priority list along with world peace and end world hunger.
The thing is you rarely see any on posterior pelvic tilt. Yes anterior tilt is the most common and is important. But over the past 2 years there’s been an epidemic of the posterior. A shifting of the poles so to speak. More and more people are coming in with some form of posterior tilt and like a snowball effect it wreaks havoc on movements and creates all kinds of issues.
I have 2 theories as to why this is becoming common.
1- Sitting. Don’t get me wrong sitting isn’t the worst thing in the world. But sitting incorrectly or for long periods of time is.
2- My short people theory: I have a theory (I haven’t finished all the clinical research on it yet……..actually I haven’t even started) that short people are more prone to having this tilt. The reason is when you have a bit of a height disadvantage, chairs and stuff tend to be tall. So we tend to tuck our butts in order to add an extra inch or two (insert your own thats what she said joke here) and have our feet touch the floor. Now remember this is just a theory. But im 16 for 16 on my tally.
So what does all this mean and why is it important to you? Well I’m glad you asked. Having any tilt wether it be anterior or posterior will cause you pain and inefficient movement. Not to mention rob you of potential gains that you’ve been working so hard for.
The 3 biggest things i’ve seen affected by posterior tilt are back pain, shitty deadlift form that leads to more back pain, and inability to recruit all your glutes in certain movements. Being in a posterior tilt is useful for exercises like hip thrusts, which is why people with posterior tilt feel the hip thrusts in the glutes alot more than people with anterior pelvic tilt. But thats not the case for “meat” movements like reverse lunges.
Oh and here’s one more thing. If those 3 affected things above hasn’t scared you enough to want to fix this issue this will. Constantly being in a posterior tilt affects aesthetics. More specifically muffin top syndrome and especially while sitting. Your low back is way tucked under and its like folding something where it shouldnt be folding. What happens is your love handles tend to spill out and are more pronounced than they actually are. This is the opposite of the mirror that says objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
Admittedly my love handles are usually the last thing to go and I keep a spare reserve until I’m down to 7% body fat. Or at least I thought so. In reality my posterior tilt made those love handles more pronounced. And like those scammy late night infomercials, I will tell you in a bit how I “lost” my love handles without any cardio.
I worked daily on correcting it with this mini routine I’m about to show you. I made sure to put it in my habits pile and do for at least a month to see improvement. Technically this doesn’t have to be done daily and you can see results with even 3x a week. But I’m more of a daily habits type person and if it isn’t in my habits repertoire then itll probably end up in my afterthought pile. Also its nothing thats really strenuous or requires a ton of recovery so frequency isn’t a big issue.
The whole thing should last you……..um…….Now that I think of it I haven’t actually timed myself doing it. Rather then come up with an answer as to why I haven’t timed it Ill just go on and say if you have a problem that you really need fixed, however long it takes is the acceptable answer.
I went through a bunch of different protocols and did my homework on some of the cool movement greats (Eric Cressey, Tony Gentilcore, Mike Robertson, Dean Somerset). But this little sequence is what I found that worked best.
Step 1- Stretch and release tight and overactive muscles
Step 2- Wake up “sleepy” muscles
Step 3- Strengthen weak muscles
Step 4- Open hips
Step 5- Retrain the brain
Before I go any further, for reference, this is what posterior tilt in a seated position looks like.
And this is what a neutral position should look like
Ok so now for the sequence.
Stretch and release
This is my favorite way to work on stretching the hamstrings. Rather than going for time in stretching I prefer going for breaths. Breathing is an important piece to all this and allows you to “relax into the stretch”. For this I will do 30 deep breaths. Taking a big deep breath and releasing all of it is one.
Same thing here. 30 big breaths. Work on really feeling the glutes and hips stretching.
This one is one of the most important ones. One of the reasons for posterior tilt is tight and over active abs. Specifically lower. On another note, if you’ve ever had a groin or adductor injury then you might wanna look into your psoas and hip flexors since the majority of the time they end up tight because of it. Same thing here 30 big deep breaths. Work on really filling the lungs with air and pushing your stomach out. Then release it and really let the stomach sink in towards your spine.
Soft tissue work
Release the hamstrings:
Roll on a foam roller or on a lacrosse ball. Work on 30 rolls back and forth. Take your time to find the “fun” spots and hang out there for a bit.
If you have a bar and rack available to you this is my personal favorite as it allows you to really get every nook and cranny of that hamstring. Find “fun” spots and when you do work on extending the leg and stretching the hamstring while you’re on that spot. I really don’t have a count or amount of time I spend on this. Its really more of a go till I feel change type thing.
Release the glutes:
With a foam roll or a lacrosse ball. Go for 30 rolls
Release your abs:
Again this is a super important one. Anything hard and tall will do here. Wether you have a dumbbell or anything. My preferred choice is a kettle bell. Stick it in the spot in between your hip bone and belly button. Take your time to find where the spots at. You’ll know when you find it. This should feel like you smashing your guts a bit, but not absolutely ripping them. Once you find the spot work on 30 big deep breaths. Work on expanding the stomach as you inhale and relaxing the stomach as you exhale bringing your spine closer to the kettle bell.
Wake up mus-kles:
Wake up the hip flexors:
While seated lift one knee to the ceiling using only your hip flexors. Bring it as high as your hips allow and hold it there for 5 seconds. Do 30 reps on each leg.
After a few days of the sitting ones things felt good enough to really strengthen the hip flexors so I added some resistance in the form of a band. Same 30 reps with 5 sec holds. Making sure you’re spine is neutral and you’re not in posterior tilt.
Wake up low back (and entire posterior chain):
You can argue for days about the superiority of superman over batman. But there’s no argument over the effectiveness of the superman exercise. Lay facedown with thumbs to the sky. Use your low back, glutes, and upper back to extend upwards and hold it at its peak for 5-10 sec. Shoot for 30 reps. Start conservative. Aim for just 5 sec holds until you can bump it up to 10 sec.
This exercise is one of the most important ones of the series. Take your time on them and do them with intention.
Strengthen weak muscles
Strengthen your pelvic tilt:
Before I begin to explain I wanna make note that this is not twerking. But after putting some thought into it ive concluded that people that can twerk are not only highly entertaining but also rarely have any pelvic tilt issues of any kind. Ok moving on. Get on all 4’s and try to start in a neutral position. In the beginning it might feel like you’ll start in a tucked position depending how bad the posterior tilt is. Thats not bad. Once you find the neutral spot, use your low back to arch your back and rotate the hips. I honestly dont know how to describe it. Think of it as you’re ending it at the peak of a twerk. If you feel super awkward doing this then dont worry you’re doing it right. Hold it for 10 sec in that peak and relax. Do 30 reps.
BONUS TIP: Once these become easier. Work on bracing the abs while you’re doing the movement to strengthen the entire core.
Do the same 10 sec hold and the same 30 reps in a seated position. (You can also take note in the mirror and say hot damn like in the right pic)
Chubs from Happy Gilmore had it right all along. Its all in the hips.
Keep both knees bent at 90 degrees and lean slightly forward (while still keeping your spine tall). Go for 30 deep breaths.
BONUS TIP: If you don’t have the required hip mobility yet for this elevate your front buttcheek with a mat or small medicine ball. In this pic I would sit on a medicine ball on my left cheek.
I dont know why its called a butterfly stretch. It doesn’t feel like a butterfly at all. It feels more like yoga on a saturday morning. This ones pretty simple. Put your feet palms together and bring them as close to your junk as your hips allow. Let the knees just drop to the sides and add a bit of resistance with the elbows if you need to. Keep the spine tall still. Work on 30 deep breaths.
BONUS TIP: After about breath 15 or so, work on tucking your chin in and rolling the top of your spine (like a fruit rollup starting with your chin) and see how your nerves react. When this are out of whack for me I feel my sciatic nerve and every deadlift ive ever done that week.
Thats basically it. Its actually pretty simple and straight forward. I started adding it into my wake up ritual. I swapped out morning reading for it and its been amazing to see how much my hips have changed (as well as my dance moves).
If you have posterior tilt or know of anyone who does, urge them to give this a go.
The secret part of all of this isn’t just addressing all the issues causing the tilt. Its doing it consistently enough to create change.
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