Chances are if you are sitting on your butt most of the day you suffer from what is called a “dead butt syndrome” (Gluteal Amnesia).
Why is this important?
As an athlete, you rely on your glutes for sprinting, jumping, and maintaining proper posture. If they are not activating properly, you may see a decline in athletic performance.
If you think you have a “dead butt” there are some ways to find out if you do and some factors that may have contributed to it. Whether you do or do not have a “dead butt”, activation and strengthening can help you.
What is Dead Butt Syndrome?
The scientific term for “Dead Butt Syndrome” is gluteal amnesia. It does not mean your butt is dead. It essentially “forgot” what it should be doing, which is hip extension (straightening your hips), stability at the hips and keeping your body in the right posture.
What Causes Dead Butt Syndrome?
Some common causes of this syndrome are: 1) Being sedentary aka sitting, laying down and not doing anything. 2) You may have tight hip flexors (muscles that help you bend at the hips).
In other words, not doing anything can cause you to have tight hip flexors and ultimately have “dead butt syndrome.”
Test Your Glutes
How can you tell if you have this? Try these few tests and see if you do.
1) Single Leg Glute Bridge
- Start by laying down on your back with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
- Push your heels into the floor to bring your hips up.
- Once your hips are up, kick one leg, so it is off the ground straight in front of you.
Note: If it is hard to keep your hips up with one leg, the glute on the same leg that is down may be weak or is “dead.”
- Stand in front of a mirror and look for your belt line. If your beltline is pointing down, you have what is called an anterior pelvic tilt. This tells you that your glutes are not firing to keep your posture aligned.
Why is glute activation important for an athlete?
The glute (your butt) is important because it is one of your body’s main movers and your hamstrings, and others. Having strong glutes that activate properly helps keep your hips aligned and stabilize your hips to support your low back.
These two muscles (glutes and hamstrings) help you run, walk, sprint, throw, land, and jump. Making sure they are working properly and training them to be strong and powerful can help improve your athletic performance.
How to Fix Dead Butt Syndrome
The good news is you can fix a “dead butt.” All you need to do is activate or wake up your glutes and build their strength. Add these exercises in your training routine during warmups or between sets.
1) Elevated Single Leg Glute Bridges
2) Clam Shells
3) Reverse Hyperextension