“Why on Earth am I doing this?!” ….
I am sure many of my clients have had that thought cross their mind when I asked them to work on their “cat/cow” pose during one of our training sessions…
For someone who has never done this exercise before, it is probably even more of a shock. After I demonstrate this exercise, I get some very strange looks! This type of move belongs in a yoga studio, or your bedroom…
But rest assured, there is a method to the madness, let me explain:
-What we are after is pelvic tilt and being able to activate and manipulate our hips. Let’s make sense of this by addressing three questions, and hopefully you too will agree, the pelvic tilt is the most important movement we do at Smart Strength!
What is Pelvic Tilt?
Pelvic tilt refers to our hips and the direction they are pointed in our normal posture. Ideally we would like no tilt at all, or a neutral pelvis.
This image should paint a good picture in your mind of the 3 different tilts we commonly see. Most of the people I have worked with fall into the Anterior pelvic tilt category. The level of severity differs, but due to the lifestyle most of us live, we are inclined to suffer from anterior pelvic tilt (among other things, sitting, office work, driving all create an anterior pelvic tilt).
Why does it matter?
Do you have low back pain?
Do you want stronger abs/ more definition?
Do you want a better-looking butt/ toned and lifted?
When you do “core” exercises, do your hip flexors feel it more than your actual abs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, Pelvic tilts matter to YOU!
Our hip tilting greatly effects the musculature connected to the pelvis. That means if we move away from a neutral position, certain muscles will be affected with some tightening or becoming active and some turning off/becoming inactive. Reference the image below. This image is displaying the effected musculature of an anterior pelvic tilt.
When we learn how to manipulate our tilt, we can then start to reverse the effects of an anterior hip tilt.
This means “turning on” the abdominals and glutes (my number one and two areas that we want to work on- as cited by clients during our goals discussions) and “turning off” / alleviating the low back pain and tightness (my number 3 areas we want to work on- as cited by clients).
Now that funny looking cat cow thing is starting to make sense isn’t it?!….
What can we do about it?
At Smart Strength, we attack these issues in a progressive format.
I must make a client aware of what the tilts are, and how to feel/manipulate the hips through an anterior and posterior tilt. We do this through supported exercises such as cat/cow, wall press abs, dead bugs, etc. These exercises are “supported” meaning the client is laying on the ground and gravity is helping assist your tilts.
These are the exercises prescribed to clients first.
When clients master these gravity supported movements, it is time to bring them to their feet, where gravity and body weight now act as challenges to the tilting motions. Standing pelvic tilts and anti-rotation exercises are prescribed in the second level of the progression.
After a client demonstrates sufficient strength and mastery of the standing pelvic tilts, it is then time to add resistance to the movement (Bands, Kettlebells, Barbells, Dumbbells, etc). We do this through many different exercises at Smart Strength… this is our secret sauce!
Training the pelvic tilt in a progressive overload pattern is one way we change our clients lives.
When a client learns how to manipulate their pelvis, and then gains strength in that neutral pelvis position, the whole game changes.
Not only do they become stronger, but they become healthier.
Yes, pelvic tilt is that important…
Training at Smart Strength has been shown to improve Pelvic tilt… Side effects include:
-Less back pain/aches
-Stronger glutes that are tone, firm and looking good!
-increases body awareness (constantly feeling the abs to make sure they are “turned on”)
-Able to move, lift and experience a full range of physical activity… daily
Work Smarter, not harder