Chiros see this constantly and it is also called gluteal amnesia. It's mainly because most of us sit all the time. We drive to work or sit on the bus/train, sit at work, drive or catch public transport home then sit in front of the tv or read. We might throw in a walk or a gym session but that isn't enough to undo the number of hours we have spent on our bottom.
When we sit down our glute (bottom) muscles need to relax in order for us to maintain that posture. Our hip flexors (muscles at the front of our legs) are switched 'on' and they often stay that way when we stand up.
How can I tell if I have a 'dead butt'?
- Flat/saggy butt
- Tight hamstrings, lower back or hip flexors
- Lower back pain
Why is it a bad thing?
If your glutes don't work, then your lower back and hamstrings (muscles at the back of your legs) need to work overtime to compensate which is why they get tight and often don't loosen up regardless of how much stretching you do.
What can be done about it?
Work it, baby! but even if you do glute exercises, these muscles may not even switch on because in a way your brain may have forgotten about them. That is where chiropractors can help as we work on the spine which influences the nerves and causes our brain and glutes to communicate again. Also, all of our practitioners are able to check you have the correct form when doing exercises.
Some great exercises for it are clams and hip hinges, both pictured below. Glute bridges usually have too much hamstring activation, if our glutes have switched off so don't go nuts thinking you are firming up your bottom because most likely you aren't.