In this video we are discussing Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex dysfunction – or how it’s commonly referred to as lower crossed syndrome – and we’ll learn how this dysfunction reduces your ability to generate power during your downswing, leads to swing fault, inconsistent ball striking, and low back pain.
Lower crossed syndrome is one of 3 main compensatory patterns identified in the scientific literature.
An individual with lower crossed syndrome will have increased lumbar lordosis and an anterior pelvic tilt.
Meaning they will have a large curve in their low back.
This posture is a result of muscle imbalances.
Muscle imbalances are a combination of short/overactive and long/underactive muscles that not only change your posture but also how you move.
They lead to movement inefficiencies, instability, inflammation and pain, all of this reduces your performance.
But how do we end up with lower crossed syndrome.
Primarily from sitting too much.
We spend a lot of our time sitting
In the car
And as a result of all this sitting our hip flexor complex becomes adaptively short and overactive.
Usually when a muscle becomes short, it then also becomes overactive.
And whenever you have a short and overactive muscle on one side of a joint you will automatically have a long and underactive muscle on the other side of that joint.
And that’s because the overactive muscle takes neural drive away from the opposing muscle due to altered reciprocal inhibition.
Now the confusing thing for most people is they hear the term overactive and they assume that means that the muscle is strong.
Overactive muscles are not strong
They are weak.
Both overactive and underactive muscles are weaker than muscles of optimal length and tonicity.
However overactive muscles are ⅓ stronger than underactive muscles and this is where the imbalances is rooted.
So we have a short and overactive hip flexor complex
Which means that the hip extensor is going to be long and underactive.
The primary hip extensor is the gluteus maximus.
Having a long and underactive gluteus maximus is bad news – this is the king of the golf swing we’re talking about here.
But that’s not where are problems stop.
The fact that our gluteus maximus has become inhibited, means that the synergists to the gluteus maximus will have to pick up the slack.
Syngersists are the muscles that help the prime mover move a joint.
Now in the case of the gluteus maximus, when it becomes inhibited the erector spinae and the hamstring complex step-up.
And when they do – this is called synergistic dominance.
So your body has found a compensatory that is allowing it to maintain normal daily function, but in doing so has increased the wear on your joints and connective tissue.
The joints negatively affected by lower crossed syndrome include:
And lumbar spine.
Having lower crossed syndrome makes to difficult to stabilize your lumbar spine when you swing a golf club.
And this inability to stabilize your lumbar spine during your swing sequence is a huge problem, and is in fact the number one cause of low back pain in golfers.
Now when it comes to fixing any postural dysfunction, the first thing we need to do is identify those muscles that have become adaptively short and overactive.
With respect to lower crossed syndrome the short and overactive active muscles may include
Anterior Adductor complex
Hip flexor complex
And the erector spinae.
Next we have to identify the muscles that have become long and underactive.
The muscles that are commonly long and underactive include
The posterior tibialis
And internal obliques
We then lengthen – or stretch – the short muscles
Usually these are the same muscles we just inhibited, but there are a few exceptions.
After stretching the short muscles and only the short muscles
We then activate the underactive muscles.
Once the appropriate muscles have been activated, the last thing we do is one or more integration exercises.
And these exercises increase your capacity by increasing your neuromuscular control in all 3 planes of motion.
And so with integration exercises we choose movements that focus on the synergistic function of the stabilization and mobilization muscles in the body.
To truly get yourself out of lower crossed syndrome requires a sophisticated intervention, however doing the 4 things outlined in this video will go a long way in improving your posture.
In good health,