We all know that being sedentary isn’t exactly great for your health. A chronic problem that could result from being sedentary is something called dead butt syndrome. This sounds kind of funny! (Try to say it out loud without laughing!) While the name is pretty funny, the symptoms are not!!!!
Dead butt syndrome can also be known as “Gluteal amnesia.” This is a real health issue affecting countless people… and the scariest thing? You may not even know you have it!
“Gluteal amnesia” sounds like your butt loses its memory, And that’s because it kind of actually does. What this means, is that your glute muscles literally forget how to fire properly. This comes from sitting too much!!
Americans are sitting so long that their butts are literally falling asleep. “Dead butt syndrome,” or gluteal amnesia, is a condition that occurs when your gluteus medius gets inflamed and forgets to function normally.
The gluteus medius normally helps stabilize the pelvis, gluteal amnesia can lead to lower back pain and hip pain, as well as knee and ankle issues, as the body tries to compensate for the imbalance.
Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist and founder (along with his wife) of Stand Up Kids, (This is an awesome organization!) added that your glutes aren’t designed to bear weight for long periods. Spending so much time on your backside decreases your body’s ability to use your incredibly powerful gluteus muscles when they’re needed.
“If you imagine making a panini sandwich where you take high pressure and high temperature and make a grilled cheese, sitting on your glutes all day is a little like this,” Starrett said.
“The sustained flexed position of the hip and the compression of the tissues sets us up for the perfect storm of shut[ting] down glute function, or in the vernacular of the people, ‘dead butt,'” he added.
People experiencing dead butt syndrome may feel the familiar sensation of a body part “falling asleep.”
This makes so much sense! Just like any other muscles in our body, our butt muscles need to be used consistently in order for them to continue doing their job.
Also, just because you workout doesn’t mean you can’t also have dead butt syndrome. If you workout at the gym and sit inactively for more than six hours every day – you are considered sedentary. Even if you workout for two hours a day!
Keep moving as much as possible!!
How do you know if you have gluteal amnesia?
One way practitioners pronounce a butt dead is with the Trendelenburg test, a physical exam in which a person lifts one leg in front of them while standing. “If the pelvis dips down on the side of the body where the leg is lifted, that indicates weakness in the gluteus medius on the opposite side.
Click the link above if you want to know some interesting facts about ‘glute amnesia.”
Do these following exercises – It will help or prevent this ‘gluteal amnesia’
1. Activated Squat
Squats are the way to activate your glutes, but they pose a conundrum — if your butt is dead, it bows out of the squat, so your quads and lower back take over. To fix this before you squat, locate your gluteus medius, so you can actively tap into it.
HOW TO DO IT: While standing, use your hand to feel around for your sits bones. Consciously contract the muscle there and hold with your hand there to feel the engagement. Repeat 15 to 20 times before you do anything else to activate it.
Now, when you squat, worry less about the size of your barbell and worry more about the squeeze of your tush. Sit back into your heels and really drive them into the ground to keep your emphasis on the back side. Bend your knees and hips as you lower into the squat. Push through your heels as you rise back up to a full stand. Repeat 10 to 20 times, with minimal weight. You’re training for function, not bodybuilding.
2. Hip Bridge
Hip bridges help you focus on the squeeze of the gluteus medius.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back and bend your knees. Plant your feet about hip-distance apart. Focus on the muscles of your backside as you lift your hips to create a “bridge” from your knees to your shoulders. Pause for two to three counts and release. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
3. Single-Leg Squat
Single-leg exercises were among the top moves for activating the gluteus medius, according to a 2011 study published by researchers from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand in front of a chair or bench. Balance on your right leg and lift your left leg straight out in front of you. Bend your knee and hip to squat down toward the surface of the chair; touch it with your cheek if possible. Push through your heel to straighten back up. Complete 10 to 12 on your right leg, then switch to the left.
4. Single-Leg Deadlift
Single-leg deadlifts also help build up dead glutes. No need to add a lot of weight to this move, but you can hold a 12- to 15-pound dumbbell in one hand for extra challenge.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand and balance on your left leg. Hold the dumbbell, if you’re using it, in your right hand hanging in front of your right thigh. Hinge forward over your left shin, allowing your right hand to brush toward your left ankle and your left knee to bend slightly. Stand back up to finish. Try to maintain balance for all 10 to 15 reps, then change legs.
A simple way to prevent this? Set a timer on your phone. Every hour, get up and walk around or go up and down a flight of stairs. People who are desk- or car-bound during the day should do regular glute squeezes and hamstring stretches while seated. Those simple steps help to lengthen tight areas, stimulate blood flow to warm up the tissues, and wake up a “dead butt.”