T Nation

Lateral Pelvic Shift, Shoulder/Trap Imbalance

So after a while of odd-looking squats, my chiro determined I have a lateral pelvic tilt where my pelvis shifted to the right, making my right hip higher, and therefore bringing the right shoulder lower than natural for a right-handed person.

This effects my squat because in the bottom position, its pretty visible that my right thigh can be above parallel, where my left quad is at or below parallel, which I fear will lead to an imbalance in my leg development.

Now this being said, it’s also apparent that this can cause tight muscles on the right side of the abdomen as well as lower back, causing the right shoulder to be pulled down. I’ve spend weeks, for long periods a day, multiple times a day, doing different stretches that were recommended by my chiro and physio (i.e. laying my left side on a foam roller/swiss ball with right arm outstretched, lying supine and slowly stretching each knee up to my chest). I’ve even gone so far as to completely switch which hand would be underhand if i do mixed grip deadlifts.

All of this to no avail, and if anything, it seems to have gotten worse, and my right shoulder now appears as if its further out away from my body, as well as lower, which is giving my right trap a very elongated look, whereas my left trap is rounded and not pulled out.

If anyone has any idea on what I can do to fix this, I’m all ears. Yes, I know patience is key for these things because it can develop over a period of years… but I’ve been super aggressive (poor term) in sticking to these exercises and stretches, and visually it appears worse.

ALSO… If i look at a mirror, or even take a picture into a mirror, I look quite even. And I look very even from the back view (relaxed, lat spread, or rear double-bi). But any picture from the front, taken directly towards me, it looks horribly uneven (right shoulder much further out and lower, right pec lower, right trap elongated), whereas my hips even seem even.

Thank you very much, and I’m sorry if this is the wrong section.

UPDATE: Okay so not that anybody responded, but I’ve found out one thing, the pelvic shift/tilt must have caused an imbalance higher up, so i dont think fixing the hip will fix my shoulders. If i purposely roll my right scapula out, therefore rolling my shoulder foreward, my shoulder height, and trap length/size seem to even out significantly.

I think I’ll try to incorporate more uni-lateral lat/lower trap exercises to even things out, as well as adding extra stretching of my right lat.

This is a very common pattern described by Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) folks as a Left AIC pattern. Without getting too much into PRI philosophy, the pattern develops due to normal and natural asymmetries in the diaphragm and nervous system which, when left unchecked, can lead to rotational deficiencies in one or both hips, asymmetrical trunk muscle strength, altered rib cage shape and scapular function, and a host of other issues. Note that the root cause of these issues is altered breathing mechanics, so trying to “stretch this and strengthen that” is unlikely to provide any long term benefit.

I highly suggest you try to find a PRI provider in your area, or travel if you need to and really want these problems worked out. Good luck!

Agree with Trevor. Trying to stretch this and strengthen that will drive you to madness. Compound moves will make you worse.

You have to find a way to work your left and right sides independently. You’ve got to work all the important muscles and movement patterns, on both sides, on their own. You need to focus 1000% on symmetry and correct positioning.

My routine goes like;

At home, 2-4 times a day

  1. Hip Hikes
  2. Banded Clam Shells
  3. Seated Psoas Raise
  4. Glute Bridge with banded hip abduction
  5. Peterson Step Ups

I would also suggest you drop into a squat position, and pause down there. Keep Your chest up and your knees out. Use Your glutes to drive your knees open. Support yourself with your hips and glutes. Practice proper bottom position in the squat. Make your hips and legs work symmetrically.

Also, get on your hands and knees and do the “Push Up Plus.” Basically focus on moving your scapula around while you support your upper body with your hands. Make your shoulder blades move all around, symmetrically.

In the gym;

Half kneeling 1 arm press
Half kneeling 1 arm shrug

Standing Psoas Raise
1 arm kettlebell swing

1 leg extension
1 leg curl
1 leg seated calf raise

1 arm bench press
1 arm pull down

Half kneeling Palloff press
Half kneeling 1 arm cable row

Romanian Deadlift, dumbbell in 1 hand
Standing Calf Raise, stand on floor, dumbbell in 1 hand

Start with like 3 sets of 8. The exercises are grouped, so you do like 1 arm presses, then 1 arm shrugs with your left, then your right. Focus on keeping your spine neutral and your pelvis square. Every lift is going to challenge your “balance” and “tightness” and “stability.” Squeeze and hold lifts at the top. Make your sides work symmetrically and evenly.

Any kind of unweighted lunges and calf raises, even just standing on the floor are good too. Balance on 1 foot and lift the other leg. Do farmers walks with one hand. And sidebends. Stretch your tight lats and Hip flexors. Get on those band pull aparts and hand dislocates.

You’ve got to do this stuff super often, multiple times a day, in a non-maximal way. Your life has made you unsymmetrical. You have to switch things up.

did you fix that?