(1)The OPT (optimum performance Template) was developed by NASM (National Academy of Sport Medicine) to allow personal trainers the ability to clients to be trained from any level of fitness to any fitness goal, using a safe and effective, science proven techniques. The original model had seven stages that are still maintained in the PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist) Model but the current standard version now contains only five.

Unlike other personal training models that start from strength endurance then progress to other goals, the NASM OPT starts in stability; once you look at the logic behind this it is fairly easy to see why.

Breathe History of Hip Flexion

The human body was meant to be active all the way from the prehistoric to the end of the industrial era we were, and then came the office and the computer.

With this more static life style the body has gradually been pulled out of its natural alignment into what could be considered a tighter and tighter ball. As we now spend much of our time seated instead of moving, the front of our hips remains shortened for excessive periods of time.

 This results in the muscles becoming over active and shortened. Which have the knock on effect of forcing the opposite (antagonistic) muscles to relax more, in this case the rump and hamstrings. This can make these muscles prone to injury especially hamstrings as the will feel tight, due to the constant stretch they are under, so what do some personal trainers do? STRETCH them! Resulting in a longer less functional muscle and the already tight hip flexor group then grab up the slack.

What To Look For

forward hip tilt

hip tilt

First thing to do is look at yourself side on in the mirror.

Is your belt buckle much lower than the back of your belt as in picture (a).

Do you have an increased arch in your lower back with possible lower back pain? Try lying on your back with your legs out flat see if you can easily slide a flat hand into the small of your back? It should slide in but not to easily!

Do your hamstrings (back of your legs) always feel tight? The hamstrings are made of three muscles only one of which, the bicep femoris (short head) has tendencies toward tightness. Do not stretch them if you have the first two points above, instead the hip flexors should be targeted.

What To Do For Tight Hip Flexors

Before you start stretching you need the muscle to be as relaxed as possible or you risk damage as the structures are over excited and so not responsive to stretch. Ideally this would involve some sort of myofacial release, i.e. foam roller (SMR, self myofacial release) or manual (massage, trigger pointing, etc).

You then need to lengthen the tight muscle, this is where stretching comes in static stretches work well, but need to be held long enough for the muscle to become comfortable in its new length normally thirty to sixty second and not so long they muscle switches off completely leaving the joint potentially unstable.

If you have a personal trainer of skilled training partner CRAC (contract, relax, antagonist contract) stretching works faster, if done regularly. In this the muscle is held at the first point of stretch by the personal trainer while you push against the stretch, the push is relaxed after a short period and as the personal trainer pushes you further into stretch (taking up any stack created) you simultaneously pull the muscle in the same direction the personal trainer in pushing. This is repeated normally three time with the last one being held for an extended period.

(2)While it is not entirely clear if the effect on easing lower back pain is due to improved angle of the vertebrae in the lower back or the increased internal stability created by improved inter thoracic pressure.

The other affect this has is to make the stomach appear to protrude in otherwise flat, fat free abdominals.


  1. NASM www.nasm.org
  2. Effect of Pelvic Tilt on Standing Posture          JAMES W. DAY, GARY L. SMIDT, & THOMAS LEHMANN

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