Metric Monday: Why Your Pelvic Rotation and Tilt is Key to Your Form
It’s time for another instalment of Metric Monday!
In this series, we take an in-depth look at a range of metrics which impact your running and one by one, detail their importance, what they mean, and how understanding and working to improve on each metric can help you in your running performance.
By understanding and working on these metrics for those crucial, performance-boosting marginal gains, you can improve on the key aspects of your form and technique and become a consistently better runner.
This week, it’s all in the hips as we take a look at why your pelvic rotation and tilt is so important.
When it comes to competitive running, a lot of concentration is placed into training your feet and legs – naturally, of course.
Yet, with most of the effort placed on those areas, you may be neglecting to train a part of your body which is equally is vital to helping you stay at the top of your game and getting the best out of your potential.
Pelvic rotation is a big part of how you keep a consistent and effective form when running. After all, the hips are where your stride begins.
While focusing on your feet and legs is still important, paying attention to the movement in your hips is what separates the elite runners from the rest and, by training your pelvic rotation when running, can help your running performance hit new heights on a number of levels.
What is pelvic rotation and tilt?
To start, understanding just what your hips do when you run is key to unlocking their potential.
Put simply, your pelvic rotation and tilt are the rotation and tilt of your pelvic bone during running.
It’s key to your running form and feeds into other aspects, such as your ground-impact time, bounce, heel strike and more.
Paying attention to the angle of your pelvic rotation is vital in helping you have a better understanding of your performance and the way you move when you run, the knowledge that allows you to maximise your running.
Why does it matter?
Despite the success found by understanding and tracking pelvic rotation and tilt in elite running, seemingly, measuring the rotation of your pelvis is often overlooked as a measurable metric, mainly due to the lack of fitness tracking products that can accurately and effectively measure it.
Nevertheless, paying attention to your pelvic rotation and tilt is of great importance to every runner — it’s a key metric in helping you to attain your balance and stability.
Think of it like this; your torso is balanced on your hips, which are the hinges for your legs in order to drive your body forward.
Therefore, you want to keep your hips and their movement (the rotation and tilt) working and moving properly. If your hips are doing their job, then you’ll find that you’re able to produce your maximum power and speed out of your legs.
Work on your pelvic rotation and tilt, and you’ll get more from your running – it’s as simple as that.
What does the science say?
Data has shown that athletes with an exaggerated pelvic tilt often find that they’re more susceptible to injuries in their lower back and hamstrings.
Hip flexions can be an issue for runners too, often causing minor pains which, if exercised on repeatedly without treatment or suitable rest, can result in more serious injury lay-offs.
While much focus on running form and technique is placed on the positional details of your feet, many sports scientists are now calling for more attention to be paid to runner’s hips.
That’s because the posture, movement and rotation of your pelvis are crucial to an economical and efficient running style.
Running posture faults like anterior pelvic tilts are among the most common traits in runners and result in poor posture which can impact how economical your run is.
How do I train my pelvic rotation and tilt?
The best way to get the most out of your pelvic rotation and tilt is measuring it as a metric. This way, you’ll develop an effective understanding of your movement and understand just what you should be aiming for when running going forward.
By analysing your performance and form, you can see areas which need improvement and act on them – allowing you to train your pelvic rotation and tilt and become faster, more efficient and pronounced in your form.
If an efficient running style is your end goal, then it’s recommended that you should aim for 10 degrees of rotation or less for both your pelvic rotation and your pelvic tilt.
One other thing to be mindful of is over-rotation in tilt. This is often known to cause overstriding, which in turn influences many aspects of your running, like foot-strike, ground contact time, and braking.
Overstriding, like pelvic rotation and tilt, is a really important metric when it comes to understanding your movement and form.
That said, if you want consistently better running, then just remember – it’s all in the hips.