sitting posture/ l sit and difficulty keeping low back straight

Mnkchckn

Level 1 Valued Member
hey new to forum first post, I’ve been have issues sitting up straight with my legs straight out in front of me, my butt/low back wants to tuck. No painful for low back so much as legs. Any clue? I asked my physical therpist but she said she can only tell me if I need to go to dr based on states guidelines for treatment. I’m 6 ft relatively long legs. Is it the inflexibility in low back hamstrings ?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sounds like tight hamstrings, yes. Pavel's "Relax into Stretch" has lots of tips to get muscles to release their tension, like contract/relax, breathing, etc.
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
Is it the inflexibility in low back hamstrings ?
Probably yes, but you have to ask "why?"

Likely common causes in our "sit too much" culture is Lower Crossed Syndrome:

--Weak abs
--Sleeping / weak glutes
--Tight hip flexors
--Excess lordosis

1592067692885.png

All of this leads to excessive anterior pelvic tilt (APT).



With excessive APT, the hamstrings are tight because they're already stretched to near max because the pelvis is hiked up in back.

Once upon a time, I had this issue.

Stretching alone won't fix it much. You need to also work on the muscle imbalances causing the situation.

Core work is a good place to start; if you're not doing serious core work 3x a week, I would start.

I do a core triplet of Paloff press, either bird dog or ab rollout, and side plank glute with medius raise, 3 sets of each, after every strength training session.
 
Last edited:

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
hey new to forum first post, I’ve been have issues sitting up straight with my legs straight out in front of me, my butt/low back wants to tuck. No painful for low back so much as legs. Any clue? I asked my physical therpist but she said she can only tell me if I need to go to dr based on states guidelines for treatment. I’m 6 ft relatively long legs. Is it the inflexibility in low back hamstrings ?
Well to be fair, I think I have fairly flexible hamstrings (can put palms to the floor with straight legs, no problem) but I can't sit on the floor with legs straight out in front without some lower back rounding either. I mean the amount of flexibility you need for that is actually very high. I'm not sure having a rounded back with legs straight in front is a problem but rather how excessive that rounding is.

Probably yes, but you have to ask "why?"

Likely common causes in our "sit too much" culture is Lower Crossed Syndrome:

--Weak abs
--Sleeping / weak glutes
--Tight hip flexors
--Excess lordosis

View attachment 10634

All of this leads to excessive anterior pelvic tilt (APT).



With excessive APT, the hamstrings are tight because they're already stretched to near max because the pelvis is hiked up in back.

Once upon a time, I had this issue.

Stretching alone won't fix it much. You need to also work on the muscle imbalances causing the situation.

Core work is a good place to start; if you're not doing serious core work 3x a week, I would start.

I do a core triplet of Paloff press, either bird dog or ab rollout, and side plank glute with medius raise, 3 sets of each, after every strength training session.
Forgive my ignorance but why would excessive APT be the culprit?

If anything, I would think it's the opposite. If you sit rounded over (like many of us are guilty of at work haha), in a posterior pelvic tilt, all day, then the hamstrings will be in a very shortened position throughout the day. So when you sit with the legs out straight in front, they will try to maintain that shortened, lower-back-rounded position.
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
Forgive my ignorance but why would excessive APT be the culprit?
It could be the culprit; it's a common cause.

Basically, excessive APT causes the hamstring muscles to already be stretched / maxed-out at end range of motion because the back of the pelvis, where the hamstring attaches, is hiked up, lengthening the hamstring, allowing for little extra ROM.





The diagram above illustrates it.

But it's all part of Lower Crossed Syndrome.
 
Last edited:

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
If anything, I would think it's the opposite. If you sit rounded over (like many of us are guilty of at work haha), in a posterior pelvic tilt, all day, then the hamstrings will be in a very shortened position throughout the day. So when you sit with the legs out straight in front, they will try to maintain that shortened, lower-back-rounded position.
That's not how lower crossed syndrome typically manifests.

Sitting (poorly otherwise) can cause the glutes to become sleepy / inactive, the hip flexors become dominant.

You may wish to read the NASM article on Lower Crossed Syndrome that I linked in my first reply; relinked here:

 
Last edited:

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
It could be the culprit; it's a common cause.

Basically, excessive APT causes the hamstring muscles to already be stretched / maxed-out at end range of motion because the back of the pelvis, where the hamstring attaches, is hiked up, lengthening the hamstring, allowing for little extra ROM.





The diagram above illustrates it.

But it's all part of Lower Crossed Syndrome.
You're saying excessive APT and Lower Crossed Syndrome is a common cause for people who have a rounded back when they sit with legs straight in front of them?
Like I said, I would think APT and Lower Crossed Syndrome would be a common cause for the exact opposite: people who can't display good hip extension.

I guess the explanation that it's hard to stretch your hamstrings when your posture keeps your hamstrings stretched out didn't quite make sense to me. It runs counter to what I would expect. Will have to read more about it, thanks.

That's not how lower crossed syndrome typically manifests.

Sitting (poorly otherwise) can cause the glutes to become sleepy / inactive, the hip flexors become dominant.

You may wish to read the NASM article on Lower Crossed Syndrome that I linked in my first reply; relinked here:

I think I was a bit vague. I'm not saying that sitting rounded over, in posterior pelvic tilt, is typically how lower crossed syndrome manifests.

I had read that link the first time you posted it. It says you can identify lower crossed syndrome if people do things like squats and display a very tight lower back. Since OP's question is the opposite (whenever he tries hip flexion, his lower back rounds, not arches), I guess I didn't get the connection with lower crossed syndrome.

I appreciate your time responding, thanks!
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
. Since OP's question is the opposite (whenever he tries hip flexion, his lower back rounds, not arches), I guess I didn't get the connection with lower crossed syndrome.

Lower back rounding with strait leg sits is often a compensatory move for those with poor ASLR FMS tests.

But without an FMS screen of the OP, we're all just guessing.
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
Like I said, I would think APT and Lower Crossed Syndrome would be a common cause for the exact opposite: people who can't display good hip extension.
The inability to sit at a 90 degree angle is often a manifestation of poor or compromised hip hinge mechanics.

So, yes, it is a poor / compromised hip extension in that position.

The potential causes are multiple; lower crossed syndrome being common in a sedentary society.
 
Last edited:

Molson

Level 4 Valued Member
@Mnkchckn

Great advice from @watchnerd.

I would only add that, you can work on this while seated for extended period of time.

Sit straight and rotate your pelvis between anterior and posterior tilt. Do not use the upper back or chest, just pelvis. Take a breath in at posterior tilt and out on anterior. This helps to re balance all the muscles in the area and improve your posture while seated.
 

Mnkchckn

Level 1 Valued Member
What what an overwhelming welcoming to the community, you all are truly wonderful and have offered so much amazing information
 

Mnkchckn

Level 1 Valued Member
Probably yes, but you have to ask "why?"

Likely common causes in our "sit too much" culture is Lower Crossed Syndrome:

--Weak abs
--Sleeping / weak glutes
--Tight hip flexors
--Excess lordosis

View attachment 10634

All of this leads to excessive anterior pelvic tilt (APT).



With excessive APT, the hamstrings are tight because they're already stretched to near max because the pelvis is hiked up in back.

Once upon a time, I had this issue.

Stretching alone won't fix it much. You need to also work on the muscle imbalances causing the situation.

Core work is a good place to start; if you're not doing serious core work 3x a week, I would start.

I do a core triplet of Paloff press, either bird dog or ab rollout, and side plank glute with medius raise, 3 sets of each, after every strength training session.
I do core workouts/ athlean x every day
 

Mnkchckn

Level 1 Valued Member
hey new to forum first post, I’ve been have issues sitting up straight with my legs straight out in front of me, my butt/low back wants to tuck. No painful for low back so much as legs. Any clue? I asked my physical therpist but she said she can only tell me if I need to go to dr based on states guidelines for treatment. I’m 6 ft relatively long legs. Is it the inflexibility in low back hamstrings ?
It could be the culprit; it's a common cause.

Basically, excessive APT causes the hamstring muscles to already be stretched / maxed-out at end range of motion because the back of the pelvis, where the hamstring attaches, is hiked up, lengthening the hamstring, allowing for little extra ROM.





The diagram above illustrates it.

But it's all part of Lower Crossed Syndrome.
Does this help?
 

Attachments

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Mnkchckn, is there a problem? Pain? From reading this thread, I’m not quite clear if you’re trying to fix a problem or have just decided that you should be able to get into different positions and postures than you can.

As mentioned above, if you’re interested in understanding more about your movement patterns and what you might wish to work on about them, a movement screen like the FMS sounds like it should be your next step.

-S-
 

bluejeff

Level 5 Valued Member
I guess the explanation that it's hard to stretch your hamstrings when your posture keeps your hamstrings stretched out didn't quite make sense to me. It runs counter to what I would expect.
@watchnerd covered this well, and I could be off base here, but here are my quick two cents:

Think about it this way: If you stretch reeeeeally hard and go as far as you possibly can in a session, what happens to your body the next morning/day? It likely feels tighter. Your body is guarding against the perceived threat of that extreme ROM. If something is under constant stretch, your body may respond by preventing you from stretching further, because it doesn't want you to injure the over/chronically stretched muscle. It does this by contracting the muscle if I'm not mistaken.

Another culprit I have seen theorized is that the muscle is weak, or only strong in a limited ROM. Many people who don't see progress in flexibility training neglect to load the tight muscles safely through as big a ROM they can do. Think romanian deadlifts, deep/long split squats, jefferson curls etc.... Most folks who have a comfortable splits can slide into it from standing, because they have developed the strength to do so over a long period of time.

Examples: http://instagr.am/p/CBYPpP2g70L/
The body knows, whether you do or not, if the ROM you're asking of it is safe and/or stable. If you force it, it will find a way to compensate.

Anyways, those just my thoughts :)

This is from a physio who works with acrobats and such, so the info is definitely relevant to flexibility:

And this (inactive glutes and compensation from the lower back):
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
Think about it this way: If you stretch reeeeeally hard and go as far as you possibly can in a session, what happens to your body the next morning/day? It likely feels tighter. Your body is guarding against the perceived threat of that extreme ROM. If something is under constant stretch, your body may respond by preventing you from stretching further, because it doesn't want you to injure the over/chronically stretched muscle. It does this by contracting the muscle if I'm not mistaken.
The tightness you feel after a day of stretching intensely is almost certainly muscle soreness. Stretching is a form of intense eccentric exercise, which creates far more microtrauma. I'm not sure it's your CNS re-tightening.
The phenomenon you describe (being very tight due to your body guarding you against possible injury) is a very normal phenomenon that occurs from not stretching. Go ahead and don't stretch your hamstrings for a week and then stretch them. Tight right? That's nothing more than your CNS re-adjusting to that shortened length you kept the muscle at.

Again, I'm not a health care professional and I don't doubt that chronically stretching your hamstrings would then make it harder to stretch them further. I'm just saying it wouldn't be my first guess. First guess is that the hamstrings are just tight from lack of stretching and/or sitting too much.
 

Mnkchckn

Level 1 Valued Member
@Mnkchckn, is there a problem? Pain? From reading this thread, I’m not quite clear if you’re trying to fix a problem or have just decided that you should be able to get into different positions and postures than you can.

As mentioned above, if you’re interested in understanding more about your movement patterns and what you might wish to work on about them, a movement screen like the FMS sounds like it should be your next step.

-S-
Not really pain besides around under the knee ish area when they are straight out. But yes I’ve been attempting my l sit and when recording have found that my lower back ticks in toward my feet and it’s straight in a Indian style sit
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Not really pain besides around under the knee ish area when they are straight out. But yes I’ve been attempting my l sit and when recording have found that my lower back ticks in toward my feet and it’s straight in a Indian style sit
Ah, no mention of L-sit in your original post. Stretch hamstrings before you do them, but if you don’t have the strength to do a hanging leg raise, I’d figure that out first. HLR is featured in Pavel’s ab books for good reason.

-S-
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
if you don’t have the strength to do a hanging leg raise, I’d figure that out first. HLR is featured in Pavel’s ab books for good reason.
In addition to hamstring flexibility, HLR brings up the core training point again.

;)

Hollow-body holds are also helpful.

I didn't get to a decent L-sit until I could do a full hollow body rock.
 

watchnerd

Level 5 Valued Member
Stretching is a form of intense eccentric exercise, which creates far more microtrauma.
Today was my mobility day, where I was working on my pancake.

I made good progress, but I can tell I'll be stretching-sore tomorrow.

My gymnast / pilates friends speak of stretching DOMS as are regular occurrence in the same manner weightlifters speak of it.

The key after you get stretching soreness is to gently stretching the days after, too lock in your "gains".

This is assuming healthy, but challenging, stretches and not injuries.
 
Top Bottom