OUR HIPS DON’T LIE (APT VS PPT)


Shakira was right.

The hips cannot tell a lie.

In fact, when it comes to health and performance, it may be our hips that will reveal to us the biggest truths.

Our hips, the ultimate soothsayers, tell us 2 things:

  1. Where our strengths and weaknesses lie.
  2. Where (and to what degree) we are predisposed for injuries and pain.

We know dysfunctions rarely happen by themselves (ie we hurt in multiple spots) and no where is this more apparent than with our hips (pelvises).

The 2 primary flavors of pelvises are Anteriorly Rotated and Posteriorly Rotated.

 

While it may not look as extreme as the picture above, you can bet your butt you lean towards one or the other.

So what’s going on here? And why the frick should we care?

ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT (OR APT)

APT is characterized by having a huge arch in the lower back. This occurs more in 1) those that sit a lot and 2) those that fail to train their butts and abs in the gym.

The picture to the right shows how the “arch” is created.

Guys and gals have this indiscriminately, but it is the ladies that mistake this condition for having “booty power”.  In realty, it is the arch that creates that pronounced effect despite the butt being dead asleep.

To grasp this concept a little more, here is a short explanation of what’s going on:

POSTERIOR PELVIC TILT (OR PPT)

PPT is the opposite. The arch has now been replaced by a flat back, so much so that it may be creating a hunchback appearance up top. Once again, this can happen based on how we sit and how we train.

Athletes (like in my case) may be more predisposed to this due to emphasis on developing (and shortening) the hamstrings and abs.

Again, here’s a video:

THE SOLUTION

Our goal, no matter where our pelvis lies now, is getting back to neutral.

This is what that entails:

  1. Find what is tight and loosen it.
  2. Find what is loose and tighten it.

Now, like I said above, we might not be all that bad. For myself, I look like I have ideal posture but I have all the effects of PPT. Some may even have effects of both.

This is what’s certain: If you have a tight muscle then the opposing muscle group more-than-likely is always going to be loose and long.  This is how the above pelvic conditions are created.

These relationships will be the main players:

  • Hamstrings — Quads
  • Glutes — Hip flexors
  • Back extensors — Abdominals

For your homework, look at your pelvis from the side in the mirror.

From this, you’ll know what you’ll need…

Note: I’ve had both conditions. In my experience, APT is far worse. I have pulled muscles in my back from benching, hamstrings from sprinting, and had hip pain so bad I could barely bend.