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“Dead Butt Syndrome”…How Pilates can Resuscitate The Gluts

Do you have “Dead Butt Syndrome”? Odds are you do.  Now don’t laugh, it is truly a recognised syndrome and it is
becoming more and more apparent in our society as technology has made it possible to stay seated on our proverbial butt for hours on end.

What is “Dead Butt Syndrome”?

“Dead Butt Syndrome” is when the gluteus maximus (butt muscle in the back) and the gluteus medius (butt muscle on the side) are not firing efficiently, often resulting in lower back, hip and/or knee pain. It is usually caused by tight hip flexors (muscles in the front of the hip) and overstretched glute muscles (sitting for extended periods of time places the gluteus maximus in an overstretched position and can cause the muscle to shut down).

Your glutes are arguably the most important muscles the human body has. They are the most powerful hip muscles and are extremely important when it comes to human kinetic movement. That said, when they are not working correctly, other muscles must work harder to accomplish whatever movement is being done, from walking to running, climbing stairs or simply getting out of a chair. Over time, chronic knee pain or low back pain are likely to occur.

Common Causes of “Dead Butt Syndrome”…. 

  1. Sitting for prolonged periods of time – Most of us are professional sitters…we commute to a desk job and then we come home and watch TV. All that sitting adds up – and causes your hips and knees to flex while putting the glutes in an elongated and relaxed position. Over time, the hip flexors become tight and weak… and before you know it the brain has forgotten how to contract the glutes, and they become “dead,”.
  2. Running and Cycling – Runners and cyclist will usually suffer from this syndrome at sometime in their training. This is because both activities tighten the hip flexors. Running and cycling typically works the quads and hamstrings but don’t engage the gluteus maximus or gluteus medius at all.
  3. Simply not using the butt muscles. If you don’t do exercises that specifically focus on the glute muscles, they often forget how to function properly.

So what is the best way to resuscitate the butt before it becomes too late? There are many different ways to awaken the glutes…. 

  1. Stand on a regular basis (too much sitting weakens glutes)
  2. Walk more (think about walking with the hips, not the knees)
  3. Practice squeezing the butt muscles regularly (the more they contract, the more “awake
    they stay).
  4. Doing regular exercises such as side lunges, monster walks, and frog lifts.

But one of the best ways to cure “Dead Butt Syndrome” is to practice Pilates regularly.

Practicing Pilates consistently is the key to developing your back side. Many of the exercises taught in both mat and equipment Pilates classes and sessions includes exercises that stretch tight hip flexors and engages all the glute muscles.

Do you ever wonder why I smile when I bring out the looped band and tell you to put it around your ankles? It is not to be cruel. It is because I know this simple, painful exercise will help to awaken those dormant glute muscles.

So it is now time to get off your booty and do something about your dead butt.

ABS Pilates of Columbus, OH offers Pilates classes, Barre classes and private sessions with Amanda B. Smith, licensed physical therapist, ACE certified group exercise and certified Pilates instructor,  to make sure you don’t ever suffer from “Dead Butt Syndrome”.

***Contact ABS Pilates today and become stronger tomorrow!

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith - Licensed Physical Therapist, certified Pilates instructor, ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor, ACE certified Health Coach, Certified McKenzie Therapist. Ready to help you become stronger and healthier in a safe, fun and holistic manner.