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January 4, 2019

How to Practice a Posterior Pelvic Tilt

How to Practice a Posterior Pelvic Tilt

This movement is a game changer to building your abdominals. Seriously.

A posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) is achieved when the abdominals are fired or shortened. It’s a way to engage your core prior to doing any other core exercise. 

The muscles of the trunk can be divided into "mobilizers" and "stabilizers".

The Mobilizers of the spine are the more superficial muscles that cross over multiple joints so that when they contract they move many joints at once. These are the muscles we feel firing with voluntary movement. These muscles are designed for quick, powerful and explosive movements so they fatigue quickly. Their capacity for endurance or sustained activity is limited due to their muscle fiber type (fast twitch). Therefore, their capacity to provide core stability is limited.

  • Rectus abdominus (flexes the spine) *** This is our 6-pack and the muscle we are trying to fire the most with our abdominal exercises!
  • External Obliques (rotation of the spine)
  • Erector Spinae (extends the spine)

The Stabilizers of the spine are the deep, core muscles that go from spinal segment to segment. By their fiber type (slow twitch), the core muscles are designed for long term, prolonged use with a high capacity for endurance. They contract for long periods to support us when we sit or stand for a prolonged time. They fire beyond our conscious control, for the most part.

  • Multifidus
  • Transversus abdominus
  • Quadratus Lumborum
  • Internal Obliques
  • Gluteals, psoas, diaphragm, & pelvic floor play a minor stabilizing role

Here's a video teaching how to practice it!


Here's some other cues you can use when practicing the PPT:

  • Draw your belly button to your spine
  • Pretend there's a gummy bear under your lower back you're trying to smush
  • Pretend someone's about to punch you in the stomach
  • Pretend there's a tire around your waist that's closer in even tighter
  • Pretend there's a cup of coffee just below your belly button, try to spill it into your belly button.
online health and fitness coach

Put it to Practice

Now that you've got the move down, apply it to your other CORE exercises!

  • Decline sit-up: PPT first and then sit all the way up while maintaining your PPT and spine flexion.
  • Bicycle crunches: PPT the entire time and keep your lower back flat on the mat. No one should be able to see a space under your low back.
  • Hanging knee raises: PPT and flex your spine so that you're working your abs and not just your hip flexors.

PS- Click each exercise above to watch a video demonstrating it correctly.

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