Do you suffer from “Gluteal Amnesia”? Here’s why it’s important to have a strong butt muscle and how to wake your butt up for a stronger body and more powerful life.
“I like STRONG butts and I can not lie!” Having a strong, powerful, and active butt muscle does FAR more than help you look good in your jeans. It can actually improve all of your daily activities, improve performance in the sports you love, and prevent injuries. The glutes are our largest muscle group, and virtually every movement carried out by the lower body requires their activation.
But surprisingly your backside is deceptively difficult to train. For starters, many people suffer from “gluteal amnesia,” a condition in which the glute muscles act like… well, like lazy asses.
ITS TRUE! “Gluetal Amnesia” is REAL. In today’s day and age, we have a tendency to sit a lot, stand not much, and exercise even less. Dr. Stuart McGill explains “Gluteal Amnesia” as such: “People with troubled backs, generally walk, sit, stand and lift using mechanics that increase the back loads. They tend to have more motion in their back and less motion in their hips. A common aberrant motor pattern known as gluteal amnesia ” Because of all of our time spent sitting combined with inadequate training (only doing ONE form of fitness or too much of one form of fitness i.e.: running, cycling, group exercise) the glutes become weak and inhibited. This forces the hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and lower-back muscles take over the butt’s main job of extending the hips and rotating our femurs in their sockets. This is not good for posture or moving well and this muscular imbalance can cause back, hip, or knee pain – as well as a severe case of whats known as “flat pancake butt”.
You might have heard athletes say they got hurt because their “glutes weren’t firing” or see folks in physical therapy doing hip/butt activation exercises to “wake up” the dormant butt muscle from too much sitting. In any case it’s time to recognize the importance of training the BUTT muscle and prioritize exercises that work your backside as part of your regular exercise routine. Here are a few great reasons to work your rear and two of my “best butt exercise” videos to get you started now:
Benefits of a powerful and AWAKE butt muscle:
Powers Your Body. The glutes are known in fitness circles as your body’s engine, not only because they’re the largest muscle group in the body, but also because they’re involved in most athletic functions. The glutes produce four distinct actions: extending the hips, swinging the leg outward, rotating the leg laterally, and tilting the pelvis backward. Strong glutes increase your force and power during everything from sprinting, jumping, and squatting to climbing, swinging, and cutting from side to side. A more powerful butt will allow you to run faster, cycle stronger, and power walk up the fifth flight of stairs without losing your breath.
Protects Joints. A stronger butt can mean healthier knees, as well as a pain-free lower back and hips. The glutes pull your femur [thighbone] rearward during hip extension, which keeps the bone centered in the middle of the hip socket rather than sliding forward and causing hip pain. And strong glutes ensure that the femurs track properly over the toes when squatting, jumping, and landing. In other words, it prevents your knees from caving in toward each other, which is a major player in knee pain and injury.
Banishes Back Pain. There’s a strong body of evidence that shows high gluteus-maximus strength and endurance are correlated with a lessened risk of lower-back pain, says Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., director of the human performance lab at Lehman College. “Increasing glute strength with resistance training in a variety of rep ranges is the best way to prevent pain.”
Reduces Fatigue. Your butt muscles are stabilizers and supporters of the rest of your body during your daily activities, as well as your athletic performance. A strong butt will give you more stamina and help reduce fatigue throughout your day as you walk, climb stairs, ride your bike and do whatever else you do physically. At the end of the day, you should feel less tired and have more energy when you have a powerful butt.
As far as exercise selection goes, your best bet is to keep it simple and focus on form. Make sure you are actually feeling your glutes – poke them, prod them, keep them turned on. Start with bodyweight before progressing to loaded movements. To help you tone, tighten, and activate your backside, I’ve created two bodyweight workouts that target the rump. Each video provides a series of functional exercises that work the butt, hip, and core muscles. They are versatile workouts that require no equipment and only a few feet of space, so your makeshift gym can be a hotel room, a park, or even the beach. The moves in each exercise routine will build lean muscle, boost your metabolism, and help you on your way to getting a strong, lean, powerful body and tight, toned BUTT!
The drills in the videos above can get you started, but to really kick your rear in gear you’ll want to get on the weight room. Here are some of my all time FAVORITE butt exercises to get you going:
- Abduction, External Rotation: Standing Band External Rotation
- Quad-Dominant Hip Extension: Box Squat
- Hip-Dominant Hip Extension: Romanian Deadlift
- Bent-Leg Hip Extension: Hip Thrust
- Barbell Glute Bridge
- Kettlebell Swing
- Goblet Squat
- Single Leg Step Ups
- Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
The best way to combat gluteal amnesia is with gluteal mindfulness – exercises targeted at strengthening the glutes and working on our daily movement patterns so that the glutes get awake and involved. Give your butt the BOOST it needs to be powerful, strong, and HAPPY by making butt muscle specific exercises a part of your weekly workout regimen. As always, check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting this or any other exercise routine and get recommendations based on your needs. Have you dealt with “gluteal amnesia”? What is your favorite butt strength training move? My number one favorite is the deadlift!
Here’s to you and your beautifully strong BUTT!
Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve your health and happiness, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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