Let’s face it, everyone is fascinated by a nice butt. In fact, some people
even become famous for having nice ones (J-Lo and one of the Kardashians);
however, how do you go about getting a nice butt? Why is it important to have a
strong, good functioning back side?
A good start towards getting a nice butt is getting off of yours in the first
place. At a very basic, yet essential level, in order for our butts to be doing
its job, we have to get up off our lazy butts and move around (there is an
exception to this in an exercise I’ll explain later). The primary function of
the butt is hip extension and abduction, as well as various stabilization
functions of the pelvis. In an area (hips/low back) where so many injuries
reveal themselves, how important do you think it is to have a strong, properly
functioning buttocks? Pretty darn important.
One of the biggest issues in people’s lack of glute development is the fact
that we sit on it all day long. Sitting puts our glutes in a lengthened position
while simultaneously shortening our hip flexors. If you do this on a regular
basis at your job or because you are lazy (sorry, no sympathy for laziness)
muscle imbalances develop at the LPHC (lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex). The shortened
hip flexors hinder the butt from its function of hip extension. Well if the butt
can’t extend the hip, what do you suppose will? If you said the low back or
hamstrings, you are right on the money! What do you suppose happens when these
muscles are forced to take on the role of hip extension because your butt isn’t
functioning as it should? You guessed it, low back and hamstring injuries.
So if you are one of those people who sits down for your job, or you are one
of the “lazy” ones, here’s a good strategy to start getting your bum functioning
1) Foam Roll your hip flexors, quadriceps,
and IT bands, as these are likely overactive tissues.
2) Stretch the same areas that you just foam rolled
3) Isolate your butt and re-educate it on what it’s function is again, which is? (hip
extension and hip abduction)
4) Perform dynamic movements to get the glutes integrated in
Key Point: This is also a great strategy for you distance
runners out there, as the shortened stride you are accustomed to doesn’t allow
for good hip extension. You could use some good butt strengthening as well, and
it may help prevent an injury or three.