I’ve been struggling with back, neck, shoulder and hip pain for quite a few years now. I’ve also been told several times to “stand up straight” and that I look hunched over. I assumed at first it was my upper back that needed strenghtening, but that didn’t fix the problem.
While reading this article it just struck me that I might have anterior pelvic tilt.
I attached some pictures, what do you guys think ?
Given that your pains are back, neck, shoulder and hip, I’d assume it’s more than just your hips. This doesnt look like APT to me, but your posture is doing you no favors.
IMO, best way to fix posture is a LOT of trap work. Kelso Shrugs, Band Pull-Aparts, Face Pulls, High Rows, etc. Strong traps (and strong rear delts) will help pull your shoulders back, which helps you straighten up your neck.
May not do much for hips, but it should help a good number of your upper back issues.
Look how the back of the waist band of your pants is higher than the front of the waist band of your pants.
And how your lower abs, like under your belly button are all dumped forward and protruding.
The good news is that in the 2nd picture you’ve taken yourself Out of anterior tilt, and all the way past “Neutral” into Posterior pelvic tilt. You can control your hips and abs just fine. Dudes who have problems with ATP are “stuck” that way.
Moving forward, when you train think about a nice, neutral hip tilt, with a strong “brace” or tight abs.
Just like low traps and rear delts help your upper back posture, hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors will help your lower body posture. So train those.
I think, when stuff like this comes up, the next two logical questions are:
Is it a problem?
If so, what do I do about it?
In those cases, we have a cool new thread where someone qualified will actually take a look for us!
If you have concerns or pain, maybe it’s worth filming a squat or deadlift and posting it up there? I did, and got very solid feedback. I still need to upload the videos @Dr_Grove_Higgins asked for so we can keep moving forward, but it’s a pretty cool (free!) opportunity.
Yes, the main issue is the kyphosis. I tried to address it by training the upper back and stretching the chest and it didn’t do much. My upper back and lats are my best bodyparts.
When reading the article I referenced to in the original post, I read that the upper back kyphosis can actually be caused by APT: the excessive kyphosis in the upper bacl compensates for the overlordosis in the lower back. So now I’m wondering if strengthening my core and glutes and stretching the hip flexors will be of any help to my pain.
@Minutia, Thanks for bringing this out for everyone to take a look at, learn from and hopefully help you.
I agree with you that there are APT issues, but I do not think that is the driver from what you are showing and describing. It is nearly part of the complex of issues. But I agree with @flappinit that there appears to be a bit of hyperkyphosis.
These are all muscles that hold a lot of postural tension. So, when you are doing all the good things you do for yourself, stretching and strengthening, these do not necessarily get worked as well as they need to to help you get the result you desire.
So, do this first to assess the situation, and then we can make a plan for your self-treatment and training. A little data you can give us combined with some video will be helpful.
Get someone to help “poke” these areas, and if there is pain and tension. (See the video)
Traps at the angle of the scapula
Sternoclidomastoids - pinch the belly
Subocciptials (base of the skull)
Lats - Pinch the area below and to the side of the scapula
Tensor Fascia Lata
Glutes - Med/Min
Deep Compartment of the Calves
Shoot a video of the same movements in this video:
Get that posted, and then we can make some real progress.
First I would like to thank you for your help. I greatly appreciate it.
I will list below the muscles that are tight/tender
Pec Minor: Tenderness right and left
Traps at the angle of the scapula: Tightness right and left but left is tighter
Sternoclidomastoids: Right is tender and hurts when pinched, especially at the top of the muscle.
Subocciptials (base of the skull): Tightness right
Lats: Tenderness both sides
Tensor Fascia Lata: Tightness left
Glutes - Med/Min: Tightness left
Deep Compartment of the Calves: Tightness left
And here is the video: Spinal movement home assessment- T-nation forum - YouTube
The left lunge felt quite uncomfortable actually. I’d like to mention that I got quad tendonitis about 3.5 years ago. It improved with time but never fully healed. I also used to do a lot of heavy lifting when I was younger (squat/bench/deadlift/ohp) and spent several hours per day on gaming.
Edit: I edited this post several times, this is because I wasn’t sure which muscles are actually tight/tender.
Did some ring dips today for the first time ever, as I’m looking for ways to work my chest other than the bench press (tends to really bother my shoulders).
They were super hard in terms of stability, as expected. Did 2 sets of 3 and 1 set of 2.
I didn’t feel any pain while doing the movement, however, a few hours later my right lat, front delt and trap feel tighter than usual.
Here’s a video: ring dips - YouTube
@Minutia, you definitely see from your first rep to your last rep that the Right shoulder elevates, protracts, and internally rotates significantly. Pecs and traps take over stabilizing your shoulder, and thus the shoulder is no longer in a scapular stable position. Because of this, you have to work a lot harder, and you are trying to balance protecting the joint versus performing the ring press.
What is failing you and when is hard to say, but it appears your scapula elevates first, so lat is likely inhibited. Run through the movement assessment above and test the lat.
Extension here is much more pronounced. When you extend backward, your spine ceases to move at all from the sacrum up through your thoracic spine. The model needs more upper thoracic extension and has more extension concentrated in his lumbar than I am happy with, but at least there is some extension.
Your squat is actually very helpful in highlighting the kyphosis in the upper back and how little movement is in the area below from your scapula to your low back.
Static pictures are helpful but watching how you do the movements and when and where things move was more helpful. But a shot I did not ask for actually revealed a key clue. Here is a transition when you were standing just before the spinal rotations.
There is a little spinal curve towards the Right too. It may contribute, but does not have to.
So, what I’d say is you have a lot of latissimus dorsi dysfunction. Remember, the lat controls the Humerus but also helps depress the Scapula. At the same time, it helps stabilize the lower spine and pelvis. So, when movement is missing or joints are dysfunctional that a muscle crosses, that muscle is dysfunctional too.
Concentrate on mobilizing the mid Thoracic and Low back and see how that helps. Here is a link to something to try:
Try this for a bit, and then work at doing complete lat contractions (pose the muscle). See if your dips improve. Then let us know.
Wow! Thank you so much for your analysis. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude.
My lats are actually one of my most developed muscles, I also have excellent mind-muscle connection with my lats, especially when squeezing in horitzontal pulls (think cable rows with elbows tucked and a narrow neutral grip) but I’m guessing that a muscle can be well-developed and still dysfunctional ?
You can find some pictures where I’m doing back poses… maybe they will help you highlight something.
Once again, thank you so much… I’m going through a great deal of pain especially in my back and it’s rough psychologically. I haven’t been able to find a doctor in my country who will actually help me solve these problems, most will just suggest that I stop lifting altogether.
You are very welcome, and its wonderful to be of help.
YES, you can be strong in an exercise and even have great muscular development, but you have a dysfunctional function.
Your Right lat in your pictures is definitely different in morphology/shape than the Left side. But does look well developed otherwise. I am going to send you a link to an app I use to do at-home posture analysis… let us see where this leads!
Guys that do lots of lat training (pull ups) can have tight lats, as the lats are also involved with internal rotation. Stretching them can indicate an issue, and point you in the right direction. Lower traps help to adduct and glide the scapula inferiorly, and are often neglected in even the most hard-core trainees. Think prone over Swiss ball T and Y exercises, as well as lying supine on the floor, and Y to W slides. Mobility work can include the kneeling “world’s greatest stretch,” face pulls into external rotation (think finishing into a W),