Anterior Pelvic Tilt: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!
You must be thinking, what in the world is anterior pelvic tilt. Well if you’ve been in the gym with the Performance Team, you probably have heard us throw this term around and explain a little about what it is and why it’s important. I’m here to dive deep into this topic in this article and why it’s important for your golf game!
Let’s start off with what is anterior pelvic tilt or APT for short. It is simply when your pelvis is tilted forward. You may also see a slight arch in your lower back due to this as well. This posture will have other parts of the body follow. For example you might see your upper back more rounded to make up for where your pelvis is in space. There are many other actions that come along with this posture. The good thing is that your body is supposed to be able to get into this position! The bad thing is when your body is “stuck” in this position and can’t do the opposite of this. Being stuck in one posture will potentially cause nagging pain and even overuse injury. This goes for any posture your body gets stuck in. Typically APT is caused by your body deciding it needs to be good at tilting your pelvis forward and rounding your upper back. We usually see this in people that sit many hours of the day or drive a lot. Your body is doing this because you are telling it to do this action so often, it deems it as important and becomes the new norm for your body.
In the gym we can attack this by teaching the body to do the opposite action. This opposite action is Posterior Pelvic Tilt. First, we need to open the areas of the body that pull the pelvis forward with some lacrosse ball work and strategic stretches, then we need to explore the opposite range of motion on the ground which will give you feedback on if you are doing it properly. Then strengthen the muscles responsible for this action such as your glutes and abdominals. This is easily seen by doing a hip bridge on the ground. Before you start your bridge, you would arch your back, then flatten it till it is flush on the ground. This is a posterior pelvic tilt. Once you feel your back flat you would then drive your hips up slightly off the ground sensing what you feel. You want to feel glutes and abs while doing this drill. Check out the video here for a demo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf_KhPS1-pk
That’s where we start retraining the body to get better at the opposite action than what it is good at. Once you become good at this, you can then start holding your bridges for time without losing that position. That’s how you build strength through a new range of motion. Once you own this new range of motion, you can then access it in an athletic movement like your golf swing!
So why is all this important for golf? Let’s break down what your pelvis does during a swing! In the back swing your pelvis is at neutral (not tilted forward nor tilted backwards, or no arch in your lower back). As you transition from top of backswing to downswing, your pelvis will slightly tilt forward creating a slight APT, then as you reach impact at the ball your pelvis will posteriorly tilt getting your core and glutes to propel your ball 300 yards down the fairway! Again, if you can’t access both of these ranges of motions in the gym, you have no chance at using this in your golf swing!
So what’s the end goal in the gym? To give you access to both of these ranges of motion and create a stack out of the pelvis and ribcage as your resting posture. We can then add strength and power to this creating a very powerful golf swing without injury or pain! We can determine this and what range of motion you own through the 5 Elements of Success Evaluation! Once we determine where you are, then we can build you a plan of attack in the gym to not only help you feel better but have you playing better and more powerful golf! If you have any questions, come find us in the gym!
Photo Credit: https://www.theanatomyoftherapy.com/post/anterior-pelvic-tilt-the-most-common-lurking-dysfunction