And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.
The other day I wrote about the shoulders and mentioned the process of setting the shoulder girdle. This post is going to talk about the other girdle we need to set, the pelvic girdle. Just like how we set the shoulder girdle to properly execute exercises of the upper body the same applies to the pelvic girdle. Having a properly set pelvic girdle will increase your power while working the lower body, the core and will also aid in preventing injury.
It’s not uncommon that you probably haven’t heard of the term ‘pelvic girdle’. I’ve never heard of it outside of my personal trainer course. So what is it? The pelvic girdle handles the transfer of the weight of the upper body to the legs. It’s also responsible for protecting our internal organs. That’s basically all you need to know. I don’t see any sense in listing the bones since I think it makes more sense to list the muscles connecting to the pelvic girdle since the state of these muscles can impact how we perform and ultimately most of what we do day to day.
Ok, get ready for it. The following are some of the muscles that connect to the pelvic girdle: Abdominals, adductors, tensor fasciae latae (TFL), glutes, hamstrings, and the rectus femoris which is one of our 4 quad muscles.
That’s quite a few isn’t it? What I want to focus on are the muscles that have a direct impact to how our pelvic girdle sits; whether it’s anteriorly or posteriorly rotated. Since the adductor muscles are used to pull our legs back to the midline of our body, I’m going to discard them.
Basically these muscles impact how our pelvic gridle sits; neutral, posteriorly (rear) rotated or anteriorly (front) rotated. And as we know from some of the other articles I have written if we have an imbalance with any of these muscles it can cause us trouble. I don’t want to go into the details of what muscle does what but the basics of it is if we have these imbalances it can manifest itself in back, knee, and hip pain. My goal in this post is to go over how to get our pelvic girdle in the neutral position so that when we are exercising we are maximizing our effort and reducing injury. More than likely I will end up writing in more detail about each muscle, but that’s later.
I think now is probably a good time to describe what I mean by posterior and anterior rotation. I almost forgot, but I caught myself. I want you to think of your pelvic area as a full bowl of water, right up to the rim. When it is in a neutral position, the water remains in the bowl. When you have a posterior rotation, the water will spill out the back where your butt is. And obviously if you have a anterior rotation, the water will spill out down your front. Does that make sense?
Here it is
It’s pretty simple to set the pelvic girdle. Here is what I want you to do. Take your left hand and put your thumb on your belly button. Now put the pinky finger on the pelvic bone just inside from the left hip. Now cough! Did you feel your abdomen move in and your pelvis move? If not try again and cough a little harder. That’s your pelvis moving because of the muscles contracting. Next thing I want you to do. Standing, I want you to move your belly button towards your spine having your hand in the same spot as before. You felt it again, right? Try it again and try to feel your pelvic area moving anteriorly and posteriorly. Practice it a few times until you feel you have it.
When do you do this? When doing squats, lunges mainly but you can also do this when standing doing other exercises. It’s the same as with our shoulder girdle that due to tight and loose muscles both the shoulder and pelvic girdle are probably not in the ideal position.
Because of how we have evolved into what is our existence these last 100 years or so, our bodies are no longer in balance or more out of balance. Most of us spend way too much time sitting. I’m not sure most of us exercise either. And unfortunately even when we do exercise I think it might be fair to say that we probably are strengthening already strong muscles and not spending time on the weaker muscles.
That can change. You can make that happen.
Yours in health,