Archive for the ‘Posture and Performance’ Category

When you are dealing with an athlete that has anterior pelvic tilt, what certain steps would you take to train them? -Will Franco


This is something I’ve learned a lot about from training myself and will be a common finding in most athletic populations.  It is not neccessarily a bad thing, as it puts the hamstrings at a greater mechanical advantage, but when it is excessive it can lead to a host of problems.  Anterior pelvic tilt is caused by some combination of tight lumbar erectors (lower back) and hip flexors.  Due to reciprocal inhibition, relatively weak glutes and abs are usually found.  Tight hamstrings are typical and other issues may contribute such as lats (tight), obliques (inhibited), and just about any other muscle that inserts or originates at the pelvis.  For the sake of this post, we will stick to the basics, but watch your athlete/client and take note of how they compensate to see what is really going on.

It is important to start by teaching them what a neutral spine is and how to correct their posture throughout the day.  Foam rollers are a useful tool to help loosen people up.  For mobility and activation work, I like hip flexor mobilizations because they are easy to coach and don’t take a lot of time and bridges with a narrow base and the knees spread to get the glutes firing.  Both of these are easy to add to a warm-up.  Resistance is what will make a lasting change and this will need to be coached closely.  Sumo deadlifts, wide stance box squats and hip thrusters will be money exercises to restore activation in the glutes if done correctly while a physio ball/bar rollout will hit the anterior core hard if the right progression is chosen and a neutral spine can be maintained.



14.wellness_report_postureandpain.aiOver the weekend when I was visiting my girlfriend, her friend made a comment about the headaches she’d been having.  At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I decided to bite my tongue and not immediately blurt out that it may be related her forward head posture that I saw immediately upon stepping foot in her house because these are things everyone notices right?!

Forward head posture is when you hold your head further forward than the rest of your body.  For example, is your head reaching forward towards your computer screen as you read this post like a turtle poking its head out of its shell?  Is your head the first thing that enters a room when you pass through a doorway?  Are you incapable of touching your chest with your chin?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you have the postural deficiency.

The reason that this leads to headaches is because the forward position of the head has the potential to cause an impingement of the suboccipital nerve at C1.  On a basic level, this is due to weak cervical flexors as well as a tight upper trap and  levator scapulae.  Causes include sleeping with a pillow that is too big for you and a constantly displaying a slumped-over, hunch-back posture throughout the day.

What does this have to do with lifting?  Well, chances are your pecs and anterior deltoids are also tight.  You will have a tendency to “shrug” the weight up with some lifts rather than using your back efficiently.  This leads to a host of compensation problems, with some of the biggest implications being related to shoulder health (that goes for you guy who benches every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and wonders why it never feels right and he’s been plateaued for months).

I assume at this point anyone who is actually still reading this would like a solution to their problem laid out on a silver platter.  Well here you go:

Activation work to be added to your warm-ups or do throughout the day:

  • Scapular Wall Slides
  • Scap Push-Ups


  • Doorway Stretch for pecs and shoulder
  • Levator Scapulae Stretch
  • Pec Minor Self-Myofacial Release with a tennis/lacrosse ball
  • Anything improving mobility at the thoracic spine


  • Chin-Tucks
  • Supinated (palms up) Rows (perform in chin tuck position and fight the urge to let your head poke forward)
  • Behind the Neck Pull-Aparts
  • Low Trap Raises or Reverse Flys