Your Butt Might Be Betraying You

Do you have back pain? Hip pain? Pain in your butt? Heck, any pain? Then you might want to think about taking a look at your butt. Dysfunctional glutes are one of the biggest contributors to bad positioning of the pelvis. If your pelvis is out of whack chances are you already have pain somewhere or you’re going to have pain in the not so distant future.

The glutei are powerful hip extensors. If they are weak, then the back and hamstrings may become overused in extension movements.

The glutei are powerful hip extensors. If they are weak, then the back and hamstrings may become overused in extension movements.

So what do the glute muscles do and why do they betray us sometimes?

First, your gluteus maximus (largest butt muscle) was designed to extend your hip. It’s a pretty powerful muscle and when it’s weak and not doing its job, other muscles have to pick up the slack. To illustrate, imagine you and I were moving a couch up a flight of stairs. What happens if I decided to take a coffee break and left you hanging? You’re going to have to shoulder that load all by yourself and I bet you’re going to get pretty irritated about it. Well, when your glutes are weak and on vacation mode your low back, upper back and hamstrings all have to do extra work. That’s pretty unfair to them so they get upset and let you know it by getting tight and painful. Have you ever wondered why no matter how many times you stretch your back or hamstrings they still get tight? Check your butt!

Weak glute muscles can allow the pelvis to drift out of a good position. Disrupt the pelvis and it’s a domino effect with everything else that sits on top of it. Now, your lumbar spine gets put into a bad position with pain not too far behind. Additionally, if the glutes aren’t extending your hip, then the opposing hip flexor muscles (front of hip) start to overwork as well. People complain to me all the time that the front of their hips are tight. A weak butt will do that to you. The hips don’t lie.

So why does this happen? There can be many factors that cause glute dysfunction but by far the most common is prolonged sitting. Sitting on your butt for hours at a time is a great way to weaken them, make your hips tight and contribute to gruesome posture.

To combat this, spend less time sitting, go for regular walks and strengthen your glutes with effective exercise! Which sounds more reasonable: actively strengthening the body and improving your habits or getting an injection and hoping for the best? I think you already know!