Constant low back pain. Tight hip flexors and hamstrings. Weak abs. Does any of this sound familiar? Instead of looking at each of these symptoms individually, we have to remember the body is interconnected. Each of these can be tied back to one structure: the hips.
Let’s take a look at the common posture. This is often referred to as the “open scissor” position because our diaphragm and hips are open in a ‘V’ position. See the image to the left for an illustration of this concept.
From this position, we can see the hips are tipped forward, or anteriorly tilted. This causes a multitude of misalignments from head to toe:
Upper spine, or neck, tipped forward
Lengthened and “weak” core
Overly arched lower back, causing pain
Short, “tight” hip flexors
Lengthened, “tight” hamstrings and calves
By moving into a neutral spine, or “closed scissor” position, we can alleviate these symptoms of the anterior pelvic tilt. As the illustration shows, it reverses many of the causes of pain and discomfort we feel throughout the day.
So how do we practice moving into this position?
Some of my favorite cues are to think about “tucking your tail like a dog” or “bringing the bottom of the ribcage to your belt buckle”. This closes the scissors and brings the hips into their natural position. Once we have this position, we can practice breathing into our stomachs to maintain it.
Increasing your core strength and stability also helps with maintaining a neutral spine outside of the gym. We can work on exercises such as dead-bugs and bear crawls in order to brace our core and breath into the proper positions.
Do you have questions about your individual posture or movement? Ask a fitness trainer next time you’re at RCW or email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Key Word: Hips