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 ass 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 correctly.
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.
4) Perform dynamic movements to get the glutes integrated in functional movement.
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.
Lastly, my progress update:
After 1st Week:
After 2nd Week:
It’s coming along nicely, and I feel strong! Remember, I’m doing this with a very solid plan in place from Precision Nutrition, a smart nutritional supplement strategy from Advocare, and a heavy dose of my own strength and conditioning advice. Let’s see how far I can take this! Maybe I shouldn’t have had my tux measured so early!