HELP!!?? My BUTT doesn’t work!! a couple ideas to get your glutes going

HELP!!?? My BUTT doesn’t work!!

During my time as a corrective exercise specialist I have had people come to me for wide range of reasons. Surprisingly, one of the more common complaints I hear from those who exercise is they DONT feel pain in their butt after they exercise their legs.
Forget for a second that it sounds crazy that people want a sore tush, and that it is seen as a certification that your workout was effective. Also, forget that it may not be the best thing to always be sore.
Allow me to entertain you with a couple of reasons just why your butt isn’t making you look to avoid sitting on the toilet after a day of squatting.
Number one, YOU ARENT USING IT. Unfortunately, in America we live in a society that promotes the lack of usage of your glutes. Without getting too much into anatomical and biomechanical sciences, muscles work in pairs. Essentially one half of your body does one thing and the other does the opposite.
Muscles are also highly adaptative. This means that our habits can influence our muscles shape and performance. Those two facts make sitting very problematic for the health of our glutes.

While we sit, we tighten up the front of our hips. This makes the glutes kind of lazy in a way. What I mean is that since the hip flexes are tightened up, it makes it difficult for the glutes to be lengthened out when “squat” down, which essentially makes it hard for the brain to activate them.
The brain is very smart though. Basically, the brain will know the movement that you would like to complete and it will ask other muscles to step up and fill the role of the “lazy” butt.
This works out “ok” to get the job done once, but this is like asking someone to do a job that isn’t fully qualified. At some point there will be a problem.
That being said, I think this magnifies the brains brilliance because it demonstrates how it can find a way to perform a movement task without all it’s assets available.
So tight hip flexors and poorly activated “butt” muscles could be one reason you don’t scream mercy after leg day. Try a couple simple tests to figure out if this could be your issue.

anterior pelvic tilt test.

anterior pelvic tilt test.

First, stand against a wall with your heels, tailbone, upper back and head touching it. If you can slide your hand all the way across the arch in your lower back this likely means you have a pelvis that dips forward.

hip flexor length test

hip flexor length test

Second, face the wall. Keeping your hips square to the wall, take turns stepping one leg behind you. Try to feel for any tightness in the front of your hip. If these two tests are positive you should start your leg workouts with some flexibility for your hips and some exercises to “turn your butt on.”
Given you do these tests and the results are negative, your issue could be the workout itself. In previous blog articles I have covered progressive training ideas, so I won’t do that again. One thing I would like to stress here is the important of getting stronger.
Muscles need the correct environment to get stronger. You must constantly force them to make a cellular change. I think the thing that most people miss out in exercise is an increase in intensity of weight lifted. If you won’t your body to change you have to create the right environment .

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