Pelvic tilt control is something that frustrates both coaches and athletes, but it is often not addressed very thoroughly. Coaches may recognize an exaggerated arch in the lower back, but that’s just one part of the equation. The ability to control anterior and posterior pelvic tilt is critical to sprinting, squatting, hinging, and a variety of athletic movements. Many athletes struggle with these movements because they simply don’t know how to create or control pelvic tilt.
For example, when you see an athlete struggle to maintain a flat back during squatting or hinging, they may not be able to control anterior pelvic tilt. When you see an athlete sprinting with excessive lordosis, it may look like they can’t get their knees up or they have excessive backside mechanics, but this often stems from an inability to control the pelvis and maintain a neutral position.
Coaches often want to assume that these issues stem from strength or mobility issues, so we begin with stretches in an attempt to create better muscular balance. This is not wrong at all – tight muscles can create all sorts of issues – but flexibility may not be the root problem. More often than not, I’ve found that athletes simply cannot control or create anterior and posterior pelvic tilt. They don’t have the proprioception or muscular control necessary to control these motions. If he/she doesn’t know how to fire their abs, lower back, and glutes properly, they will appear to be “stuck” when asked to perform certain motions.
When this happens, I often use something I call the “Rubber Pants Full of Water” technique to teach athletes what it feels like to control anterior and posterior pelvic tilt. The following video goes into much greater detail on this technique and others I use to help teach athletes how to control this important motion:
Try the Rubber Pants Full of Water technique or the homework exercise described in the video to get athletes to begin controlling their pelvic tilt. You will find it much easier to teach common movements, and it will help them develop the ability to control their posture during any kind of movement.
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