…ok, so the title MIGHT be a little bit misleading but hear me out. It’s not that instagram is evil. Far from it (I’m a big fan on Insta; here’s ours) or even that posing for photos is wrecking your lower back. It’s THAT pose. You know the one I’m talking about right? Hip cocked to one side, lower back excessively arched to make it look like you actually have an arse, unfortunately the peace sign and duck face don’t wreck your back…just your credibility as an intelligent life force.
You know that big curve in your lower back when you do that pose? It’s called an anterior pelvic tilt…and nothing good comes from an anterior pelvic tilt.
Let’s not get too geeky about this but I’m going to try make sense of what anterior pelvic tilt (ATP) is. Imagine your pelvis is a bowl of water filled right to the brim, in a “normal” posture the water in that bowl should remain flat and balanced. With ATP the bowl is tilted forward and water’s spilling out the front. Make sense? Cool.
Now, why is ATP wrecking your back? Well there’s a couple reasons. If you live permanently in ATP then a few things happen, your glutes can’t contract in that position, meaning your glutes aren’t driving hip extension, so all the work to extend your hips comes from your hamstrings and (you guessed it) your lower back. So you’re in a position where the biggest muscle in your body (your butt muscle) can’t do it’s job, and the much, much smaller spinal erectors (ha) have to take over their work load.
This is bad. Firstly it’s going to lead to lower back pain, so instead of your hips moving and doing work, your lower back does it all. Secondly, your glutes aren’t doing any work. So, ladies (and guys) if you want to build a jaw dropping ass it’s goddamn hard unless you sort this out. A joint or muscle typically gets sore or strained when it’s asked to do more work than it’s capable of doing. So there’s a couple ways to fix that, make the area do less work and then make it stronger. In the case of ATP you make your lower back do less work by fixing the reasons ATP is happening in the first place.
So what do you need to do? Well ATP happens because your hip flexors are too tight, your abs are weak, your glute medias is too tight and your glute maximus is a lazy bastard. Stretch your hip flexors, stretch your glute medias, focus on keeping your pelvis neutral while you exercise and do some glute and ab activation drills (glute activation is not a workout in of itself despite what the vapid, brainless fitfammers would like you to believe). Make sure you do some work to strengthen your lower back too, I like back extensions on the GHR and reverse hypers.
Don’t let being an insta-hun ruin your gains and wreck your back.
Train smart, train hard, make progress.