Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

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Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Hey everyone,

I've been training CMA for almost 10 years, which is not much at all to most of you, but I only mention it to say that these years have been extremely beneficial for me not just in regards to self defense but also health and other ways as well (such as body awareness). That said, one of the things I became more aware of over time is that I definitely have a case of hyper-lordosis/Anterior pelvic tilt. I dont think it's all in my head and it's been confirmed by doctors (western med & chinese med), but lately I feel like I can see how that tilt is affecting my sinking as well as a lot of the finer details to my movement and structure. This isn't to say that I can't do such movements at all, but rather that it doesn't feel like I'm getting the maximum benefit, if that makes sense. I can actually move my hip to correct the tilt, but it feels like it's making me expend a lot of energy (but my structure does indeed feel a lot better).

Has anyone dealt with this problem and tried to somehow correct that tilt? Any suggestions would be welcome. I could just be whining like a child, but I really feel like it's something I want to fix (even in part if I can't do it completely) because it's clearly becoming a hindrance (and it'd be great to not look like I have a small gut forming).
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby P. Li on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:26 pm

This seems very common in our sedentary world. I've found that working the joints above and below the pelvis have really helped me get to a neutral alignment. I roll out the muscles on the front my hips with a firm roller and stretch them in lunges (common in most forms). For the lower back I've found static positions to be useful: wall standing while pressing the lower back into the wall to open the ming men, or lying on the floor and working the same area (if you can't lie without the pronounced arch in your back elevate your legs). It's taken me a while to change these areas because there's so much dense tissue there but these are some moves that have worked for me. Good luck!
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby Steve Rowe on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:39 pm

Try sitting straight with hips shoulder and head crown in a straight line and then keeping your shoulders and head still roll from the front to back of your hips repeatedly, this will help you to open the lower back. When you can do this seated, repeat it standing.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby Mr_Wood on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:42 pm

I find standing postures zz help and over time you can learn to make the necessary adjustments to a more neutral posture. Also lying on the floor helps. You can place a cushion or a few books under your head, bring your feet towards your bum about half way and let your spine lengthen and let the weight of your body flatten out the curve from spine to pelvis. Also I have found sleeping with a pillow under my thighs if im sleeping on my back helps a lot.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby kenneth fish on Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:44 pm

FInd a certified Pilates teacher - learn basic Pilates on the reformer machine for about 3 months. It will give you the strength in the postural muscles that you lack, as well as help to lengthen chronically shortened flexor groups.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby zenshiite on Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:34 pm

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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby NoSword on Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:55 pm

I can certainly relate -- not to your problem specifically, but in general. Learning this IMA stuff can be very awkward and at first. (Not that you are a beginner yourself -- you say you have 10 years' practice already.)

One thing I can say is that different people tend toward different habitual patterns in their spines -- an exaggerated "s" (you) or an exaggerated "c" (me). In part this is a question of innate skeletal structure, particularly the shape of the pelvis, that no amount of training will remedy.

Don't try and contort your spine into unnatural, idealized postures. I think Marcus Brinkmann called this "spinal envy," he could hilariously imitate a tense, locked-up taiji practitioner with a stick up their ass.

More important is that it be free to take on different shapes as needed. Toward this end it's helpful to train global extension and flexion patterns -- back and forward bending, arch and hollow, etc. This will bring out the eccentricities peculiar to your individual physiognomy and help you understand what you need to focus on.

If a movement's hard for you, you should probably focus on it.

Hope that helps

AK
Last edited by NoSword on Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:05 pm

P. Li wrote:This seems very common in our sedentary world. I've found that working the joints above and below the pelvis have really helped me get to a neutral alignment. I roll out the muscles on the front my hips with a firm roller and stretch them in lunges (common in most forms). For the lower back I've found static positions to be useful: wall standing while pressing the lower back into the wall to open the ming men, or lying on the floor and working the same area (if you can't lie without the pronounced arch in your back elevate your legs). It's taken me a while to change these areas because there's so much dense tissue there but these are some moves that have worked for me. Good luck!


Thanks for the advice. Now that I think about it, I did roll out that same area in the front of the hips (hip flexors?) during the summer and forgot to bring my roller to school with me to Chicago, though it seems worth it to get another one. I actually can't lie without the pronounced arch unless I raise my legs like you mentioned, so I do prefer to do it against a wall. I noticed that sometimes I slouch my upper body when I alight my back to the wall, which I'm assuming is not a good thing. I totally feel you on the dense tissue part. I have a close friend who is a DO and two others who are studying Oriental medicine, and they both have given me some massages and treatments and commented that my lower back and glutes feel rock hard.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:07 pm

Steve Rowe wrote:Try sitting straight with hips shoulder and head crown in a straight line and then keeping your shoulders and head still roll from the front to back of your hips repeatedly, this will help you to open the lower back. When you can do this seated, repeat it standing.


I've been doing this often after reading this post. Just to make sure I'm doing it right, am I pretty much sitting up straight while moving my lower back forwards and backwards (is that what you mean by rolling from the front to the back of my hips)? Hopefully I'm not doing it wrong, but it does feel like it's slowly loosening the lower part of my spine.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:09 pm

Mr_Wood wrote:I find standing postures zz help and over time you can learn to make the necessary adjustments to a more neutral posture. Also lying on the floor helps. You can place a cushion or a few books under your head, bring your feet towards your bum about half way and let your spine lengthen and let the weight of your body flatten out the curve from spine to pelvis. Also I have found sleeping with a pillow under my thighs if im sleeping on my back helps a lot.


Ooh, I've never tried the pillow under the thighs part, that sounds like it could be helpful. Sometimes laying on my back can be annoying because of the arch. As for standing in ZZ, I've been trying to use this as well though I often slack off a bit too much. Do you use a mirror to make sure you're properly aligned? Sometimes I feel that I keep losing alignment and lose focus on it and have to constantly correct myself, but after a while I begin to just feel confused if I'm standing correctly or it's all in my head lol.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:12 pm

kenneth fish wrote:FInd a certified Pilates teacher - learn basic Pilates on the reformer machine for about 3 months. It will give you the strength in the postural muscles that you lack, as well as help to lengthen chronically shortened flexor groups.


I'll admit that I'm a relatively broke college student and probably will not do this right away, though it seems very possible in a few months. But just to make sure I know what I'm doing, is the reformer machine something that I'd find at any place that offers Pilates under a certified teacher? Or is it something specific I have to look for specifically?

Also, in the case that I end up doing this sooner than later, after 3 months of training, what would I do to maintain the strength and flexibility that I'd have built up from the classes?
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:14 pm

zenshiite wrote:Back Bridges and L-sits


The back bridges are definitely something I want to work on. I recently bought a kindle book called Convict Conditioning. Nothing groundbreaking but a lot of ways to work up a strong body through calisthenics, and one section specifically works on back bridges. L sits sound like a good idea, I'll definitely look into those more as well, they might even be mentioned in the book I got.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby kenneth fish on Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:24 pm

Work on the reformer is the foundation of learning Pilates. After one has learned how to engage and isolate the muscles used in the Pilates exercises (which the reformer pretty much forces you to do) you can then learn to do exercises on the floor or mat. Unfortunately, a lot of Pilates studios teach only mat work, and students end up recruiting the wrong muscles to compensate for lack of strength and stability. You definitely want to find a studio that traces its training back to the original Pilates school, and begins with Reformer work.
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby GrandUltimate on Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:36 pm

NoSword wrote:I can certainly relate -- not to your problem specifically, but in general. Learning this IMA stuff can be very awkward and at first. (Not that you are a beginner yourself -- you say you have 10 years' practice already.)

One thing I can say is that different people tend toward different habitual patterns in their spines -- an exaggerated "s" (you) or an exaggerated "c" (me). In part this is a question of innate skeletal structure, particularly the shape of the pelvis, that no amount of training will remedy.

Don't try and contort your spine into unnatural, idealized postures. I think Marcus Brinkmann called this "spinal envy," he could hilariously imitate a tense, locked-up taiji practitioner with a stick up their ass.

More important is that it be free to take on different shapes as needed. Toward this end it's helpful to train global extension and flexion patterns -- back and forward bending, arch and hollow, etc. This will bring out the eccentricities peculiar to your individual physiognomy and help you understand what you need to focus on.

If a movement's hard for you, you should probably focus on it.

Hope that helps

AK


You know, it's funny because one of the things my Sifu said about my tai chi is that it looks like I have a stick up my ass that goes all the up through my upper body lol.

I do see what you're saying about training multiples movements rather than just one. Now that I think about it, that is similar to what my Sifu wanted me to do with certain exercises after pointed out that I'm terrible at bending backwards and rotating my upper body alone. I'm not sure if you or anyone else is familiar with it, but a friend taught me a set of 7 spine qigong exercises referred to as the "7 moves of the dragon." He learned it from a chinese medicine school in NY (though we haven't seen it anywhere else) but it also trains a lot of movements with the spine in different direction as well as some wavelike movements. When you mentioned arch and hollow, do you mean more around the upper part of the spine in the chest/upper back area?
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Re: Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Chinese Martial Arts...

Postby Steve Rowe on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:36 am

GrandUltimate wrote:
Steve Rowe wrote:Try sitting straight with hips shoulder and head crown in a straight line and then keeping your shoulders and head still roll from the front to back of your hips repeatedly, this will help you to open the lower back. When you can do this seated, repeat it standing.


I've been doing this often after reading this post. Just to make sure I'm doing it right, am I pretty much sitting up straight while moving my lower back forwards and backwards (is that what you mean by rolling from the front to the back of my hips)? Hopefully I'm not doing it wrong, but it does feel like it's slowly loosening the lower part of my spine.


I think you've got it right there and it's the most powerful release I've found for students with this problem.
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