We have the answer, plus awesome running gear picks to keep your rear end warm during your cold weather run
Let’s be frank for a second: There are so many wonderful products designed to keep runners warm so we can battle the elements on even the coldest of day. Hand and foot warmers that heat up, gaiters you can pull up around your nose and mouth...the list goes on and on (just check out this Cute Winter Running Gear to Bust Your “It’s Too Cold to Run” Excuse.) Yet it seems few runners talk about your other cheeks—the ones on your behind.
So, we wanted to find out, first, why they get so darn cold (when your glutes are such a powerhouse muscle covered in what we’d think to be insulating fat) and, second, what we can do about it. “Though there is typically a significant layer of fat over the glutes, fat is inactive tissue that does not generate heat,” explains Polly de Mille, Exercise Physiologist at Hospital for Special Surgery. “Fat also has very few blood vessels in it, so while you're running, circulation to your muscles increases but not to your fat—that tissue would actually cool down when exposed to the cold.”
Another culprit that could compound the problem: If your glutes are “lazy” (AKA they don’t do much work while you’re running), they won’t contract and generate heat. (To fire up your sleepy glutes, check out Trainers Reveal: The Best Butt Exercises of All Time.) “Actively engaging the glutes when running might help somewhat by generating significant heat under the fat to offset the effects of the cold on the outside of the fat,” says de Mille.
But your best bet when it comes to keeping your tush toasty: Get in (warm) gear. Here, we've got seven picks—a mix of high-tech tights and other surprises—to help keep your buns toasty on the run.
Nike Shield Women’s Running Pants
Brushed (read: soft, fleece-like) material lies against your skin, while the outer material of these pants blocks out wind and snow. ($100; nike.com)
Lululemon Pace Setter Skirt
Fashion meets function: Layer a skirt over your unlined tights for extra insulation/wind protection. This one is pretty darn cute. ($58; lululemon.com)
Oiselle Roga Short
If you’re not a running skirt kinda gal, we get it. You can get the same bum-warming effect with shorts of any kind, but we love these multi-tasking “roga” (that's run + yoga) shorts—if you’re going to invest in a new pair for the sake of your cheeks, you might as well get double the use out of them. ($46; oiselle.com)
Sugoi Women’s RS 180 Jacket
This piece does double duty: jacket on the top, bum warmer on the bottom, thanks to the dropped hemline in the back. ($170, sugoi.com)
Icebreaker Oasis Boy Shorts
Perhaps the most obvious solution for those of us partial to thongs: put on some warmer undies! These boy shorts are made with lightweight yet super warm merino wool. (Check out 7 Underwear Facts That Might Surprise You.) ($40; icebreaker.com)
Under Armour Authentic 4” Compression Shorts
For a little extra (warming) coverage, slip these leg-and-bum hugging shorts on under your running pants. ($25; zappos.com)
Mizuno Breath Thermo Layered Tight
These pants are made of super high-tech fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin and morphs it into heat to keep your whole lower body toasty, not sweaty ($70; mizunousa.com)
Columbia Women’s Heavyweight Tight
Silver dots in the material of these pants help to reflect, and therefore retain your body heat. ($65; columbia.com)