T Nation

Tight Lower Back/Anterior Pelvic Tilt


Dear Coach/All

I have noticed that I have some anterior pelvic tilt (both my backside and lower stomach poke out) and when I spend a few hours walking or standing, my lower back gets incredibly tight. As I start to progress on the lower body lifts, I am concerned that this lack of mobility could impair my (long term) progress on the big lower body lifts.

I have been following Jim Wendler's 531 for the last 9 months and I have seen some great gains in the big 4 lifts and would put myself firmly in the 'intermediate' category (BW Press, 1.5xBW Bench, 2xBW Squat, 2.5xBW DL). I live a fairly sedentary life style working mainly in an office, hunched over a computer for most of the day.

I wonder whether you (or anybody else) could offer some advice on a program that would fit into the 'Assistance' to help correct this imbalance? I would also be open to following a different to 531 if it offers long term improvements. Also, I know that this isn't the 531 forum, but different can be positive.

Thank you in advance for any and all advice.


Hip flexor stretches, along with the Limber 11 by Joe DeFranco, work wonders for me.


Colbstar... I just have to say that you look very good in your avatar pic... much improved!!! Keep up the good work.


I have APT as well as a genetic defect ( a tiny gap somewhere around in my pelvis/spine attachment) and get tightness when i stand/walk too much as well

No matter what i did, couldnt solve my APT really

Would love to hear what would you suggest coach Thib


Thanks coach! I finally got lean, which helps a ton. :slightly_smiling:

Eliminating conventional milk (I'll have cottage cheese with nuts on OCCASION) and substituting BROW (mostly oats and wheat) products with rice has really made a huge difference!


Thanks for the suggestion - I do the agile 8 as part of my warm up and sometimes 1-2 times on off days.

I haven't heard of the limber 11 though, I will try adding that to the warm up and just add it more frequently.


Sorry to bump the thread, but I just wanted to say thanks again. I don't know what I was doing (or pretending to do) but it wasn't the agile 8!

I went through DeFranco's videos and did the Limber 11 every day for a week. My hips and lower back haven't felt this good for ages.

I even managed to hit a new PR on the 5/3/1 squat day this week. 140kg (308#) for 10 reps. Felt awesome.

So thanks again ... who would have thought that doing the basics correctly would be beneficial :smiley:


That's great! I wish I had the discipline to do it everyday... awesome job. :slightly_smiling:


Dan Pfaff's pedestal routine helped me a lot. I had the same problem with APT and back pain.


I too have some APT issues and would like to hear what CT says about it. It seems every guy in my family has it slightly but once I start lifting it really exaggerates.

I've read lots of articles about it and many of them suggest doing things like dead bugs or leg lowering etc. I find these very easy to do while keeping my lower back planted, and yet as soon as I stand up it goes to shit.

What I have been doing to try and combat it:

-KB swings
-RKC planks
-Lots of hip flexor stretching
-foam roll hip flexors
-Isometric TVA holds (got that from an article recently here... http://www.T-Nation.com/training/best-exercise-for-a-smaller-waist ). It seems doing this reinforces proper posture as well.
-Some band pull aparts as I believe that proper shoulder posture will help influence proper pelvic posture.
-Massage therapist inflicting nauseating pain in hip flexors and spinal erectors

I see slight improvements sometimes, but today for example, it's just shitty. I haven't done anything other than sit for the past two days though due to my job.

Unfortunately it seems squats are APT in a can and I am really enjoying squatting these days. I may have to shelve it to maintenance status until this gets under control. I have a big enough ass as it is I don't enjoy it sticking out so much, haha.


I would like to add that I am 4 workouts into Dan John's 10,000 KB swing challenge and it has helped immensely. This is a ridiculously beneficial program for me as it absolutely hammers all my weak points right now: Grip, conditioning, glutes, hamstrings, abs, lats. During rest I stretch my hip flexors and do some of the exercises from Defranco's Limber 11 and try not to pass out.

The main point I want to get across though is to definitely try it out if you have problems with APT. I decided to do it with the 2 days of pullups and 2 days of presses, thereby shelving the squat for a while, which is also helping the pelvic angle.

Plan to do 915 after I'm done this, regular strength workouts are going to feel like a walk in the park (I've always found it easy to lift heavy often, but conditioning... damn, not since I was in hockey in high school)

edit: also would like to share that foam rolling has made a big difference too with the APT. IT band, hip flexors, quads, glutes... groin area. I bought a rumble roller, it friggin HURTS.


A stretch that I use a lot is as follows: Hold a fixture about navel high, back away from it until your ears are between your elbows, keep stretching as it there were a door handle behind you that you were trying to butt grab. If you have a friend/wife have them stands behind you and gently pull backwards on your hips. This is a really good stretch.