I’ve had a ‘love/hate’ relationship with my butt for many years. I can remember even as a kid, I felt like it was always too big!
The funny thing is though, when I look back at photos of myself – I looked so lean and certainly not with a big butt!
Unfortunately over the years my ‘hate my butt’ times have outweighed my ‘love my butt’ times!
But the beauty of ageing is that you tend to become more accepting of your mind AND body……….and in fact just plain happy to have a body that is fully functioning and healthy!
Whether you feel your butt is too big or too small………..this group of muscles needs to work!
In fact this muscle group, comprising of –
your gluteus maximus
and your gluteus minimus
…………….is the biggest muscle group in the body and it’s there for a reason!
What’s the role of your Gluteus “Butt” muscles?
These 3 muscles work as a dream team so you can lift your leg to the front, to the side and help rotate your thigh outwards and inwards.
They’re the “powerhouse” of your body.
You’re using them all the time. Even when standing, they’re helping support your body and helping you have better balance.
Having strong butt muscles will make every type of exercise or activity you try, a hell of a lot easier!
How Do Your Butt (Glute) Muscles Get Lazy?
Office work and long hours of sitting on your butt, has made this glute muscle group lazy. It’s forgotten how to work!
Mix that with driving or sitting on a bus or train to and from work, then sitting again at home to eat dinner and watch TV. Your butt muscles have pretty much gone to sleep!
So What Happens To You When Your Butt (Glutes) Muscles Get Lazy?
When you don’t put enough time and effort into strengthening your glutes, the other surrounding muscles and joints pay the price.
The glutes are the driving force for the way you move, so when they’re weak, more pressure is put on other muscles and joints…….ie; your hamstrings (back of your legs). They then get weaker or injured because they’re overloaded – then that overloading puts strain on other muscles and joints such as knees and calves…..it’s a flow-on effect!
Weak butt muscles also affect your pelvis as there’s a misbalance in the muscles supporting this area. This leads to lower back pain.
All these issues cause a ripple effect throughout your body. When there’s a muscle imbalance happening in your lower body it shows up in your upper body in some shape or form.
How Can You Tell If Your Butt (Glute) Muscles Aren’t Doing Their Job?
In no particular order……
Decreased hip mobility
Lower back pain
Plantar fasciitis (bottom of your feet). Any problems in your feet? Check your glutes!
Locked ankles or on going ankle issues
Tight psoas muscles (front of your groin area)
Hamstring (back of your leg) pulls
Shoulder tightness or pain – yes even here!
…….so you can see that lazy butt muscles are responsible for many issues in your body.
So, What’s The Solution?
Add some more “targeted” butt (glute) muscle exercises into your workouts.
An inexpensive and easy way to do this, is to buy yourself some “tubing” from your local Physiotherapist or on-line.
Usually when you purchase this tubing it will come with a little pamphlet of exercises. Pick out the butt (glute) focused exercises and add these into your workouts 2-3x per week.
Get yourself in front of a mirror, so you can really focus on your form.
If there’re no instructions supplied, try the……
To start – stand pigeon toed, big toes touching, knees bent slightly and knees touching…
If you’ve reasonable core strength – tie the tubing below your knees – doubled around.
If you feel your core strength is not as strong as it could be – tie the tubing above your knees – doubled around….
…..and if your core strength is strong – tie below your knees and then pull down to your ankles.
Stand feet hip width apart – hips, knees and second toe in a straight line.
Your knees will be tempted to “drop in” here – your job is to keep pushing out gently against the tubing to keep your knees tracking in line with your hips and second toe.
Hinge forward from the hips to a bent over position, knees bent, back is straight, neck is long and draw up on your belly button to support your lower back.
Step out to the side with your right foot (check your knee to foot and hip position – VERY IMPORTANT) – they must be in line.
Step in with your left foot….
Then step out, step in etc…
Keep in this bent over position.
Go from one end of the room to the other or do 4 steps one way and then the other.
Constantly check your form in front of a mirror so you can see what’s happening with your knees and feet.
Good Form Is Essential Here.
Aim for about 40-50 steps. Check out my instagram feed (6th May 2019) – I do a demo of this exercise there.
Your Friend The Spiky Ball!
As much as you need to strengthen and work this butt (glute) muscle group, you also need it to switch off and relax when it’s not needed.
Using the spiky ball as a pressure point release technique, will do the trick.
Do yourself a favour and invest in a spiky ball!
Every day release and wake up those sleepy butt muscles by spending a few minutes on each butt cheek.
Lie on your side on the carpet or a yoga mat, come up onto your forearm and position the spiky ball under the side of your butt. Find a tight spot and stay on it until it releases…..then move to another spot.
Do the side of your butt and also roll the ball under the “belly” (back of your butt) as well.
Spend about 1-2 minutes on each side.