Skip to main content

DEAD BUTT SYNDROME

The gluteal muscles (glutes, buttocks) are a group of three muscles (maximus, medius, minimus) that play an integral role not just in propelling you forward but in keeping your pelvis stable, none more so than the gluteus medius.

When the gluteus medius is weakened - whether through prolonged sitting, or through repetitive motion (e.g. running) in the absence of strengthening exercises - what often results is a condition known as dead butt syndrome. Dead-butt syndrome is inflammation of the gluteus medius muscle due to irritation. A weak muscle is unable to properly perform its function, which in this case is to keep the hip level. The result is pelvic instability, identifiable with the hallmark "sagged" gait, called the Trendelenburg sign in the medical community.


Dead butt syndrome and resulting pelvic tilt can cause a cascade of inflammation and irritation of adjacent muscles, which can lead to other injuries such as iliotibial band strain, plantar fasciitis, lower back pain and shin splints, as well as postural problems, head and neck pain, even discomfort in the seated position. Which is ironic, because prolonged sitting is often part of the problem.

What is the remedy? If you're a runner, cross-training, especially time on the bike, can help to strengthen the butt muscles and maintain postural stability. Hiking or climbing hills also works well. If you're not an endurance athlete and have no wish to become one but feel your glutes could use some strengthening, resistance exercises are great.

Body-weight squats
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Sink into your calves until your thighs are about level with the floor, then return to the standing position, tightening the glutes throughout. Do three sets of ten repetitions. Stronger individuals may wish to hold dumbbells or use resistance bands to increase tension.

The bridge
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground, about 12 inches from your buttocks. Thrust the hips into the air, flexing your glutes. Hold for a count of three, and do three sets of ten repetitions.

Lunges
Begin from a standing position, feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot about 2 feet in front of you. Bend your right knee, making sure to keep your knee directly over your foot. Sink into the lunge until your left knee touches the floor, then return to standing position. Work up to three sets of ten repetitions.

For runners and non-runners alike, taking the stairs instead of the elevator is an easy way to improve cardiovascular fitness as well as strengthen the glutes.

Comments

  1. Can it also be called flat butt syndrome?

    ReplyDelete
  2. they do seem to go together, it's true :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

SOUL CYCLE

This is not a commentary on the latest fitness fad. Because if it were, the little I'd have to say on the subject would be largely derogatory. I simply cannot see see how crouching in a stuffy, dark, cramped room surrounded by sweat-drenched strangers while expending a lot of energy and going nowhere deserves to be called fun, though aficionados tell me it is (fun). I tell these aficionados that if no pain no gain is your thing, discomfort can be had for a lot cheaper than $50 an hour. Try plucking your nose hairs. What we don't do for the sake of beauty. This endurance heir to the Stairmaster and elliptical is all hype. There's a name for the type who likes to run (or otherwise move) in place. It's called a hamster. 

This reminds me of a joke my father likes to tell, about what living with a woman turns a guy into. You go from a wolf to a sheep to a hamster. After nearly 40 years of married life, my dad has added cockroach to the zoological lineage. Which I'm sure …

EVERYTHING'S INTENTIONAL

There is no such thing as screw-ups.

Case in point. My excellent friend Deej comes over to help me beautify the garden. He immediately dives in, crouching down on his knees and weed whacking with his bare hands. Before I can say yay or nay, he proceeds to remove a huge clump of daisy greens from the oblong patch of Earth adjacent to the driveway. The area instantly looks bare. Like the back of Woody Allen's head. Smoothing out the soil and shaking his head Deej mutters to himself "I fucked it up!" over and over again. We try everything. Planting succulents in the daisy's place. Covering it with rocks. But still the area looks barren. And every time you water it the water trickles down onto the sidewalk in the absence of roots to hold it in place. It's getting dark so we go back inside. The next day I return to the spot with a clear perspective and remove all the other daisies, leaving only rose bushes and the succulents that DJ planted, and depositing 10 bags of m…

GRAY MATTERS

I was watching the TV show Naked and Afraid last night as I sometimes do. The show teams together two strangers, a man and a woman, who attempt to survive on their own for a period of 21 days in some remote and isolated region. Some of the locales featured include the Australian Outback, the Amazonian rainforest and the African Savanna. The man may have a military background, or be an adventurist or deep sea fisherman. Sometimes he's an ordinary dude who lives with mom. The woman is a park ranger or extreme fitness enthusiast or "just a mom" herself. Sometimes the couple quarrel, sometimes one or both "tap out" (quit) in a fit of anger or illness. It is satisfying to see them actually make it through the challenge and reach their extraction point. The victors are usually exhausted, emaciated, begrimed and bare ass naked. 

Even more satisfying, at least for me, is the occasional ass shot, snuck in at strategic intervals to boost viewership, of course. It's co…