T Nation

2 Years of Mobility Work and Research...

I joined a gym, did some research and came across starting strength. I loved the routine and kept at it. I was never happy with my form but read that I should keep squatting and flexibility would come. It never did.

I got heavier and heavier adding weight each week ATG, and then started getting lower back pain. I stopped ATG and just tried to go below parallel and no further, which hurt my right knee at 100kg working weight.

I didn’t renew my membership and switched to mma, thinking that I would keep working on my mobility and lift when I could do a third world squat. It’s been almost another year since then.

I have anterior pelvic tilt and general inflexibility. I’ve tried various stretches and foam rolling religiously and haven’t had any noticeable improvement.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEvw2CH9k1g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9KJz2xBp3U http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX0bs6eAjh8

I’m seeing a sports therapist about it soon and maybe a physio if that doesn’t help, but all the advice from “experts” that I have gotten so far hasn’t helped.

I know I lean too far forward and I have buttwink. If I try to be any far back I’ll fall on my ass. I’ve been serious about fixing this for a long time but I’m starting to lose hope, does anyone have any thoughts on fixing this?

Theres nothing ‘wrong’ with your, but i do think you have drawn the short straw when it comes to your leverages.
Try turning out your feet a bit more and try and ‘sit down through your hips’ rather than sitting back, and try and keep as high a torso angle as possible - have you tried front squats?

It’s frustrating when you start doing all the mobility work to try and fix yourself and it doesn’t stick. Thing is though that you’ll be hard pressed to find in most places is that mobility work isn’t enough. You need to take a multifaceted approach, when you do soft tissue work you need to then mobilize, then once you have mobilized you need to add stability. I won’t get into all the details as that would take too long but i’ll give you an example that you can put to use immediately.

A good combo I’ve found for anterior pelvic tilt is as follows
Foam roll quads and hip flexors >Stretch quads and hip flexors > do a glute activation drill (later on load the glutes with barbell hip thrusts/pull throughs etc.) > move up the chain and do planks/rollouts/reverse crunches, just get the abs firing stronger and harder. Then the final piece is practice your new posture in you daily life, make it permanent.

Perfect example, get the mobility then stabilize

I had the same problem. I’ve had multiple lower back injuries, and squatting always hurt my knees and lower back. What I did was spend an asinine amount of time working on hip flexor stretches and strengthening my glutes via reverse lunges and single leg hip thrusts. I have a knee pad at work that spend about a third of my time at my desk using while working. This, with lots of SMR and mobility work (Mobility WOD) has brought me a long way. Now I can finally get down into a parallel squat (using the stance taught in SS) with a neutral spine and no knee pain.

However, I can Reverse lunge 165x5 and can barely back squat 135x5. That will change quickly though, and I’m excited to do SS and see how far I can take it.

Best of luck to you.

Edit: I second the front squat suggestion above. Try using it after doing lunges to work on sitting between your legs. The sitting back que never worked for me as I would extend the lumbar spine rather than maintaining neutral spine. Obviously I’m new but I had the same problems you have.

I saw the lady I mentioned about it. She is like a sports physio but seems to have more practical knowledge and has a lot of athletes and weight lifters for clients. She says my tight hips are a secondary issue and the initial cause is a tight chest and shoulders, and showed me how even lifting my arms above 90 degrees causes my hips to shift out of place to compensate.

This has resulted in a weak core, because anything that normally works my core is transferred to other muscles automatically adding to the problem.

She pretty much described problems I’ve had for 10 years by looking at me move around and giving me a massage.

I’ll keep seeing her for therapy sessions, and do the mobility work she prescribed.

I have new hope.

Yeah dude the core work will definitely help you out.

The main thing I noticed from your videos is that you don’t have any hip drive in your squats, so when you squat heavy your lower back and quads will take on the work and stress that your hips should be doing. Might be something to look at possibly.

[quote]franklu wrote:
when you squat heavy your lower back and quads will take on the work and stress that your hips should be doing.[/quote]

Apparently I have weak quads and glutes but strong hamstrings.


Most people with the anterior tilt have relatively weak abs, weak hammies (but tight), and relatively strong quads and low back. This is why I doubt you have strong hamstrings given your problem.

To test out your hamstring strength, isolate them. Also point your toes in and out. Your hamstrings are 3 muscles and by pointing your toes out vs in you will work on your semi tendinosus and membranosus vs the biceps femoris. Sorry if spellings off. Most people can activate their hamstrings bilaterally (at the same time) fairly well, but are relatively weak unilaterally. Make sure you don’t have an imbalance there. Muscle imbalance causes 95% of low back pain.

Tim Henriques wrote a good article on glute activation not too long ago. Check that out and do it before you squat.

Do weighted abs, do isolated hamstring work. Good luck

[quote]Iamdan wrote:

[quote]franklu wrote:
when you squat heavy your lower back and quads will take on the work and stress that your hips should be doing.[/quote]

Apparently I have weak quads and glutes but strong hamstrings.[/quote]

If you consciously add hip drive to your squats your glutes should come along. Alot of people forget how to activate their glutes over time so you’ve just got to fire them consciously at first

New to the forum but have had years of experience trying to fix hip problems, one of which being anterior tilt as the result of sitting all day long (tight hammies, weak abs, tight lower back, super tight hip flexors, etc.). One type of treatment you might want to try is seeing a Doctor of Osteopath that does Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, you have trouble finding one just pm me and I can provide some resources. For me seeing a DO was an extremely effective treatment in resetting everything, and it might work for you as well.

Do you have a strong neural connection to your abs? For the longest time I really couldn’t flex them, knew where they were but just couldn’t control them. The one exercise that really helped me establish a connection was GHD sit ups. Doing just like 5 before every workout (don’t go crazy with them, you can hurt yourself if not careful) really helped me out, might be worth a shot.