Yes, it really is all about the ASS!!
Listen sis, just like any girl, I want to rock my jeans with a great booty, BUTT (pun intended) there is so much more to the booty then just looking great.
Strong glutes are so important when it comes to making life easier, especially with those daily activities like squatting down to pick something up, climbing stairs, or simply walking!
A strong backside also helps to support the lower back during lifting motions, helps reduce your risk of injury, and protects other muscles such as the quads, hamstrings, and calves from being overused.
Powerful glutes help us stay more agile, lift heavier (a key to maintaining bone health as we age), give us the ability to run, jump, and climb - making life more enjoyable and less painful!
A sedentary lifestyle — one with too much sitting or lying down - can cause the gluteal muscles to lengthen and your hip flexors to tighten.
When our glutes are weakened, the entire lower-body alignment falls out of balance. This causes other muscles to pick up the slack, which makes them subject to overuse and potential injury.
Dead butt syndrome is a real thing. Referred to as the new smoking, Dead Butt Syndrome or Glute Amnesia is seriously dangerous to our overall health. Research has linked too much sitting to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
Think about how much time you spend each day sitting.
Sitting to eat
Sitting to drive
Sitting to binge watch
Sitting at work
Other concerns of Dead Butt Syndrome deal with your glutes not firing as they need to. Since the glutes help stabilize the pelvis, glute amnesia can cause lower back pain, hip pain, and knee and ankle issues as the body tries to compensate for the imbalance.
Moving more and sitting less can not only help prevent, but also treat dead butt syndrome.
Not-so-fun-fact: Individuals who run a lot are at a higher risk of Dead Butt Syndrome if they spend too much of their non-running time at a desk. The strain of distance running, or any strenuous exercise, can be too much for muscles and tendons that go long periods in the same positions. Other types of athletes and ballet dancers are also at higher risk. So keep that in mind when you are creating a well-balanced training routine!
Okay so I know you are sitting here thinking “Well, what can I do?” Great question!
#1 You’ve got to make it a priority to take frequent breaks from sitting throughout the day. Get up and walk around, or do some stretches at your desk.
I often suggest to my clients to set reminders on their phone every 60-90 minutes to remind them to get up and move. Throw in a few squats making sure to squeeze those glutes!
#2 Make sure your workout includes working the booty! You can ask any of my personal training clients and they will tell you . . . I’m all about the ass!
Besides the stand squats and bridges (I love both by the way), add in some old fashion Jane Fonda leg lifts (leg warmers are optional). Add ankle weights or resistance bands for a little extra fire!
#3 Add a little Stairmaster into your training. You don’t have to run out to the gym, simply going up and down stairs can be particularly helpful. A great idea is to try taking the stairs as often as possible.
Since you do have to sit at some point in the day, tip #4 is to check your posture! Your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle, your hips should be at a 90-degree angle, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle, keeping both feet level on the floor versus sitting cross-legged or with one hip higher than the other. This suggestion will help keep your hips properly aligned.
There are several simple exercises you can do a few times a week to help preserve the strength and flexibility of your glutes, hip flexors, and hip joints. Here are a few of my favorite glute building moves:
Body Weight or Weight Bearing Squats
Hamstring stretches / IT Band stretch
Marching Glute Bridge
Lateral Walk With Band
Half-Kneeling Hip Stretch
With a little TLC and exercise, you can bring your butt back from the dead.
Remember, that if you don’t continue to show your glutes and hip flexors a little love by jumping back into those long runs or strenuous training, you’ll likely feel those symptoms return.