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7 Glute Exercises to Combat Dead Butt Syndrome

Raise your hand if you sit in a desk chair for most hours of the day. Chances are, this describes most of our 9-to-5 routines. While it's the ideal position to crank out that client presentation, sitting for long periods of time puts you at risk of early death, and it could be to blame for running pain too.

Dead-butt syndrome—aka the literal pain in the butt you feel when your gluteus medius is inflamed—comes as a result of sitting for extended periods of time and jumping straight into your workout without stretching your hip flexors first, explains Wendy Winn of New York Custom Physical Therapy in New York City.

By opening up your hip flexors, which get tight from sitting too long, your glutes prepare to activate instead of simply turning off when you hit the pavement, Winn says. It's called reciprocal inhibition, which means muscles on one side of the joint must relax while the muscles on the other side contract. Here's what it boils down to: When your hip flexors are on, your butt muscles are off. And trying to turn your butt "on" to power you through that evening run without stretching first can result in pain and injury, Winn says. Luckily, she's got a few simple exercises to help get your rear in gear.

How it works: Perform each move in Winn's butt workout ahead 15 to 30 times. Repeat three to five times a week, or every day if you run regularly.

Total Time: up to 30 minutes

You will need: Free weights, Swiss ball

1. Karate Kicks

A.

Start in a squat position, knees in line with ankles. With hands on hips, lower into a squat until butt is parallel with floor.

B.

Stand up, and kick right leg to the side so it almost reaches hip height. Keep foot facing straight out in front of you. Return to the squat and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30 per side

2. Propelling Running Drill

A.

Stand on right leg, placing all weight on that leg. Extend left leg behind you, close to but not touching the ground.

B.

In a smooth motion, bring the back leg forward and bend it towards your chest.

C.

Once your leg reaches your chest, add a small hop. Be sure to keep the weight in the front leg the whole time, with your knee pointed straight out in front of you. That's one rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30 per side

3. Dinner Plate Circles

A.

Lie down on one side. Bend bottom leg slightly, and extend top leg straight out in front of you.

B.

Keeping the toes on top leg pointed down, move leg in dinner-plate-sized circles. Perform 15 circles clockwise and counter-clockwise before switching legs.

Sets:

1

Reps:

30 per side

4. On-The-Ball Triangle Extensions

A.

Roll yourself onto a large stability ball so hips are placed directly on top. Keep legs wide and extended to start, toes touching (or close to touching) the ground.

B.

With weight in hands, squeeze butt to lift legs and pull them together. Bring them down and wide again, being careful not to arch your back. That's one rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30

5. Elevated Bridge

A.

Rest your head, neck, and shoulders on a stability ball and plant feet on the ground with knees bent at a 90-degree angle.

B.

Place a 25-pound barbell on your hips and lift your hips up, squeezing your glutes before lowering back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30

6. Wide Jump Squats

A.

Place your feet wider than hip distance apart—as far as feels comfortable. Using your glutes, squat as low as possible, keeping your knees bent at 90 degrees and pointed out away from your body.

B.

Jump up and land lightly back into a squat.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30

7. Speed Skater

A.

From standing position with feet hip-width distance apart, leap out with left foot, crossing right leg back behind left, and right hand reaching across body toward left foot.

B.

Repeat to the opposite side, leaping out with right foot as you cross left leg behind and reach left arm across body. That's one set. Continue alternating as quickly as possible while maintaining form.

Sets:

1

Reps:

15 to 30

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