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RFESS for Anterior Pelvic Tilt?

I’ve seen it recommended by a few coaches, because, if you take a long step and keep tibia vertical and trunk upright you’re meant to strengthen the glutes at the same time as stretching the hip flexors.

That’s the theory at least - trouble is - I do them long stride vertical tibia and trunk, yet I’m sure they’re doing the opposite - strengthening my hip flexors and stretching my glutes. Often the back leg is fatigued before the front leg - the back leg is the limiting factor. That isn’t right at all… Is it good for anterior pelvic tilt for the hip flexors to be stretched (and fatigued) under load?

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong - I stretch my hip flexors throughout the day constantly whether training day or not - I spend a LOT of time each day stretching each hip flexor. I also do a hip flexor stretch/glute bridge complex before doing RFESS to hopefully quieten down the hip flexors and wake up the glutes - but it’s still the hip flexors of the back leg failing first.

Anything I can do to stop this problem?

Thanks!!

sounds like you are pressing your rear leg too hard into the bench

it’s just there for balance remember.

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
sounds like you are pressing your rear leg too hard into the bench

it’s just there for balance remember.[/quote]

Yeh, but at the same time, imagine the position you’re in - taking an extreme long stride out and your tibia is vertical. But you’re not leaning forwards to regain balance - your torso is vertical. This means the back leg must bear some weight otherwise you’d fall over backwards.

Like in squats, it’s impossible to keep the tibia vertical AND the torso upright at the same time. But this is exactly what you’re attempting to do in the RFESS - and you’re able to do it because of the back leg’s contribution, isn’t that right?

I dunno man, personally I think I do lean forward a bit on bulgarian SS. What’s wrong with leaning forward a bit? Your body mechanics might just not allow you to keep an upright torso. Don’t stress it, if a slight forward lean feels more comfortable then do that.

And yeah your back foot must bear some weight but it shouldn’t be the limiting factor.

Try not elevating your foot as much, see it that helps

[quote]lunk wrote:

[quote]rds63799 wrote:
sounds like you are pressing your rear leg too hard into the bench

it’s just there for balance remember.[/quote]

Yeh, but at the same time, imagine the position you’re in - taking an extreme long stride out and your tibia is vertical. But you’re not leaning forwards to regain balance - your torso is vertical. This means the back leg must bear some weight otherwise you’d fall over backwards.

Like in squats, it’s impossible to keep the tibia vertical AND the torso upright at the same time. But this is exactly what you’re attempting to do in the RFESS - and you’re able to do it because of the back leg’s contribution, isn’t that right?[/quote]

Your are right mate, in theory you should get lengthening of the hip flexor on the support leg on the downward phase. The problem with this exercise is that it can be really tough on the pelvis if you load the exercise to quickly. For example if you load this exercise too quickly the hip flexor will tighten up to stabilize the pelvis - ultimately caused by a lack of stability higher up the chain. If you have a weakness/dysfunction on the external rotators this can cause some movement in the lateral plane, which can change the whole mechanics.

My advice would be:-

  1. Only do this exercise @ BW (bodyweight)
  2. Hold brush poles (or something similar) in each hand to provide extra balance/support, gradually work towards using no support aids e.g. from sticks to bands etc.

NB: Get some one to put you in a Thomas test position and stretch you.

Good luck mate

I don’t think Bulgarian split squats help anterior pelvic tilt that much. Your front leg will be levering your pelvis into a posterior pelvic tilt position, but your rear leg will be levering it into an anterior tilt position.

smallmike - what do you recommend, then, for anterior pelvic tilt?

BSS will absolutely help correct APT, they train the hip extension function of the glutes and hamstrings. It’s all good baby

I use similar positioning when I practice muscle energy techniques on patients to realign their pelvis (for example, to posteriorly tilt on one side, I flex their hip up fully and have them isometrically contract against my resistance), so I am skeptical that Bulgarian split squats are the best way to correct anterior pelvic tilt since it is much like performing a muscle energy technique that increases anterior pelvic tilt on one side while simultaneously increasing posterior pelvic tilt on the other. I agree that probably any hip extension exercise could help though, including squats and deadlifts.

Squats and deadlifts are glute exercises in which the lumbar spine should be extended and the pelvis should be in anterior tilt. The only glute exercise I can think of in which the lumbar spine is flattened and the pelvis should be in posterior tilt is hip thrusts.

Look at this form of doing RFESS…

The guy is using a long stride, but also a forward torso lean. The front foot is also elevated.

Do you think he is doing it in a quad-dominant or glute-dominant way?

[quote]smallmike wrote:
I am skeptical that Bulgarian split squats are the best way to correct anterior pelvic tilt since it is much like performing a muscle energy technique that increases anterior pelvic tilt on one side while simultaneously increasing posterior pelvic tilt on the other. [/quote]

perhaps, but I just don’t think that any lift that strengthens the glutes and hamstrings, plus challenging the core, could have anything but a positive effect on posture.

also we can’t overlook how little spinal loading there is during the movement (assuming you’re using dumbells), which is good stuff for people whose ATP is causing them back pain.

So in my book, bulgarian SS and ATP go together like peas and carrots.

Different strokes for different folks though