It's more than just a nice place to rest your eyes, it literally helps support your entire body. A nice butt does a whole lot more than rock a pair of jeans, it keeps you moving in a functionally healthy way and helps you live a more pain free life.
Do tell me more about my butt:
The muscles of that booty of yours are called the glutes. They are actually a large group of muscles consisting of the glute maximum, glute medius, and glute minimus. They are big because they have a big job: to control the movement of the hips, which is the primary mover of your body. Being a ball and socket joint, there are a lot of planes of motion these puppies are responsible for so they need a lot of attention and TLC!
So, what's the ish?
With a modern lifestyle of desk sitting we are under utilizing this amazing muscle group. For those of you (okay, fine, us!) that sit at a computer most of the day, we start to see a pattern of weakness and tightness.
The pecs (chest) and hip flexors tighten up and the glutes and rhomboids (between the shoulder blades - more on those coming in another post!) atrophy. So as we move through our days, those tighter muscles take on any loads we place on our bodies allowing even more under use of their opposing buddy muscles.
Our movement patterns need to change:
Many of us try to balance out our sedentary lifestyle by hitting up spin classes and doing some strength machines to keep up with our fitness. The problem there is we are continuing in that same posture and plane of motion we use for sitting and driving and walking and we're not utilizing the movement patterns our bodies were developed for.
So those tight muscles keep getting tighter and our brains (and neurons) start to "forget" that the muscles we should be using are even there. We develop unhealthy movement patterns and we enter our 40's and even 30's thinking, "Man, my back/hips/knees/neck really hurts - getting old sure is no fun! Oh well, such is life!" But we don't have to live in pain. There are plenty of ways to feel good and I want to make sure you can find them!
Ok, so what do we need to do?
The issue is not your age (no matter the number!). You can feel great at any age - I'm serious. Focus on building your glutes and abs (if you didn't get my last fitness newsletter on those, check it out here) and finding workouts that work a full range of motion in your joints.
And stretch! Stretching is just as important as strengthening your muscles. I'm serious about that one, too. Stretch those tight muscles and focus on activating the forgotten ones. Foam rolling is awesome, too. Here's a cool video I did with Dr. Angelique Waite on foam rolling for desk sitters.
Classes like Barre3, Heartcore, TRX, Pilates and Turbo26 are a great way to find full range of motion exercises and build a healthy foundation of strength and support (or work with me ;) ). And, dudes, I have definitely seen men in each of those studios! (You can find links to some of my favorite places here).
If you have any questions about your current workouts and how they work for your goals, hit me up for my thoughts! Back pain, neck pain, hip pain and knee pain can often be completely solved (or at least greatly minimized depending on the prob) by getting those glutes going.
So now you know what your booty does for you, check out these moves you can do for them!
Click the button below for a little guide I put together for you of a few of my favorite glute exercises (this is me reigning it in - what can I say, I'm an a$$ girl!)!
(Tips: for all your squats, bridges and lunges, keep the weight back in your heels to really activate the glutes and hamstrings. The more in the ball of your foot you are, the more you will work the quads and stress out those knees)