by THERESA LARSON, DPT, Marine Corps Veteran, CrossFit Coach
Want to learn a couple unique ways to turn your butt (glutes) into a powerhouse while at work? This technique will help you learn to activate and tap into your glutes’ power potential. However, it will not give you nicely functioning or nice-looking glutes unless you go and move, load up a barbell, hold the half moon or malasana, sprint, etc…
So I have both good news and bad news for you, desk warriors! Which would you like to hear first? We’ll start with the good to keep it positive.
The Good News
This article is going to help you with your butt. Yes, you read that correctly. I am going to help you get the butt you have always wanted! Read on and you will understand and have tools that will allow you to get the butt you want with all the desired proprioception, strength, work capacity, and aesthetics (of course). But to be honest, I am going to spend very little time talking about your actual butt in the back of your body and talk about the front butt, otherwise known as the human filet mignon, or hip flexor.
The Bad News
Sitting for long stretches of time over weeks, months, and years is a major health concern. There is no running away from the fact that the more you sit, the poorer your health and the earlier you may die no matter how fit you are. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reports that a man/woman who sits more than six hours a day has an 18% increased risk of dying from heart disease and a 7.8% increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for three hours of less.
- Our “sit bones” are really not that comfortable, and if we slouch in any way, that lovely pelvic floor that we all cherish is actually just getting weaker and looser, which can create bladder weakness and eventually lead to sexual dissatisfaction (a weak pelvic floor is baaaaad, umkay).
- When we do not move from a flexed (i.e. sitting) position for long periods of time, we start to get adaptive shortening that occurs in the muscle tissue, connective tissue, and nervous tissue in the flexed area – i.e. the front of the hip. When that area starts to get short and tight, then the muscle opposite it starts to get long and weak — known as “inhibited” in physio parlance. This can happen in the upper body as well: If you sit in a hunched position you’re very likely to get a tight upper trap from clean and jerks or snatches or simply from the stress of hating your boss for having to work on those TPS reports. Opposite of your upper trap are your neck flexors. Tight traps are related to weak (inhibited) neck flexors, indicated by that vulture-like forward head posture we get after hours at the computer. Being a cubicle vulture can create additional problems over time, including headaches, back aches, becoming easily fatigued, and temporo-mandibular (jaw) pain.
So, let’s get back to talking about your butt. If you want to maximize the strength in your butt, then let those large meaty hip flexors, the connective tissue, and nerves get some movement and mobility every hour on the hour. Undo the time spent on your butt flattening it like a pancake and get up and get into that hip.
6-Minute Glute RX:
Tools (While at work): Softball or Alpha Ball
Tools (While in the gym): Kettlebell and Lacrosse Ball
- Spend 2 minutes on each hip mashing into the Psoas Major: If lying on a ball doesn’t quite do it for you, try the combo of using the kettlebell as extra weight to smash the lacrosse ball deeper into the psoas, since you get to control how much pressure you need.
2. Spend 2 minutes doing air squats or walking briskly around your company telling everyone to get their “asses” up and move!!