By, Sean Light CSCS
One of the cues coaches look for when coaching a squat is the pelvic alignment. When squatting, we are taught to tighten your back and try and maintain an anterior tilt of the pelvis. Once the athlete can longer maintain this form, then they have reached their maximum squat depth.
If we want to keep the pelvis in anterior tilt, we must think about what muscles are pulling the pelvis posteriorly. The muscles of the posterior thigh musculature will be the primary pullers here. The hamstrings, specifically the biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus, pull the pelvis down from behind the leg. The tighter these muscles are, the quicker in the squatting movement the pelvis will lose its anterior tilt. Thus we must decrease the tension in the muscle in order to increase your squat depth.
It’s also important to recognize the rectus abdominis role pulling the pelvis posteriorly. The rectus abdominis, which is essentially your six-pack, is often overlooked in this process due to its anterior bodily location. However the inferior attachment of this muscle is on the bottom of the pelvis so when this particular muscle is tight, it pulls the pelvis from the bottom and into posterior tilt.
Now we know from my article “Hamstrings and Back Problems are KINECTed” what the tilt of your pelvis can have on the health of your back, so we also know why it’s so important to maintain a proper pelvic tilt throughout the squatting motion. If your technically efficient squat depth is not deep enough, we need to work on the muscle flexibility of these muscles.
PNF Stretching is a great option for increasing flexibility in the hamstrings but can be difficult for the rectus abdominis. Read about PNF Stretching HERE. For your six-pack, some prone press ups will work well. Livestrong.com has few more for you HERE.
- THE PICTURE DISPLAYS LEBRON JAMES PULLING HIMSELF INTO POSTERIOR TILT (AS WELL AS SOME GOOD T-SPINE FLEXION) WHILE TYING HIS SHOES