1,2,3,4, Get Your Booty Off the Floor: The Workout to Combat Saggy Butt Syndrome

No matter your age or background, a tight and round rear view is something most of us aspire to. Tight, powerful glutes are a sign that you work for your physique and were by no means, simply born with it.

As we age, gravity takes its nasty toll and we end up with saggier bottoms than a diaper ad. We moan and complain about the crease between the glutes and hamstring (wait, that’s not supposed to be there!?!?! Nature would say yes, but I strive to defy that…) and wail about panty lines. Interesting fact: if your glutes are fit and tight, you won’t get panty lines since the panties won’t have copious amounts of fat to dig into. Now, if you suffer from HORRIFIC panty lines, buy the right size people! That info was totally free, please use it.

Lucky for you, I happen to be one of the most butt-obsessed people out there. Get your mind out of the gutter…I mean in terms of shape, form and function. I’ve seen them all and have struggled with my own battle of gravity. So now, I bring to you indispensable booty wisdom and a workout deemed to round out even the flattest of rears. Enjoy :)

aFTER 5

Saggy Butt Solution

After a proper warm up consisting of moving the joints to their full range and getting some blood pumping in the lower half, perform this circuit with minimal rest between moves. Once you master the moves, add some weight to make it more challenging.

Sumo Squats: 20x

Plyometric Plie’: 20x

Donkey Kicks: 20x each leg

Bridge Lift on Floor: 20x

Step Up: 20x each leg

Pop Squats: 20x

Rest for 30-45 seconds between each circuit and aim to complete the circuit 5 times. For all you mathletes that means 100x for each exercise. Add this circuit in 2x per week and you’ll thank me in a couple of months :)

booty pic

Workout Descriptions

Sumo Squat: Stand with feet about 4 feet  apart in a wide base, toes turned out very slightly and weight in heels. Push your butt back and lower your butt down, pressing body weight through heels. Come to knee level then squeeze your butt and stand tall. Add weight by holding weight in front OR by wearing a weighted vest.

Plyometric Plie’: Stand with feet in a wide stance as above, and turn toes out towards opposite sides of the room, weight in heels and forefront of your feet. Tuck your hips under and lower the tailbone towards the floor. Once hips are level with the knees, explode up pressing from heel to toe, then land soft and back into your plie’.

Donkey Kicks: From all 4′s, flex your right foot and push the heel up and away from the body as if slowly kicking in a door (cause we ALL know what that feels like), return and repeat on same side.

Bridge Lift on Floor: Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, slightly wider than your hips with heels as close to hips as is comfortable for your knees. Press down into heels and lift hips straight up, squeezing the butt tight. Slowly return to start and repeat. If you do not focus on squeezing the butt, your quads will take over, so focus and press straight up, not back.

Step Up: Find a tall step OR even 2-3 stairs (depending on your height). Place one foot right on top of the step, weight in heel. Press down through top heel and squeeze glute to step all the way up, then lower down with control. Repeat on same side and focus on that particular glute. Try not to press off the floor with the other leg.

Pop Squats: Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, toes and knees facing forward. Lower down into squat (bonus points for getting to knee level every time) then explode up, landing with knees soft and feet together. Jump back out into squat position for 1 rep. Stay low in your squat and keep knees soft when you land, abs in super tight. These should move fast once you get the hang of them. Need more of a challenge? Hold a dumbbell at your chest OR wear a weighted vest.

legs and glutes

Remember to FEED YOUR MUSCLE with quality foods that keep it lean and mean. Oatmeal, egg whites, whey protein and plenty of veggies will help to combat the overcoming pull of gravity, so load up!

Peace, Love and Lunges,

Michelle

 

Fun Friday: Fanny Lifters!

Laugh all you want, but (or should I say BUTT?), the fanny you sit on as you read has more to do with your health than you may realize.

Your Glutes (butt, hide, junk in the trunk, money maker, whatever you wish to call them) play a LARGE role in the health of your lower back, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

A lazy butt, which can be a misfiring muscle or one that refuses to fire altogether, is quickly becoming the cause of many physiological disorders AND the reason work days are missed.

Why?

Well, your butt is designed for a purpose and it’s not just to keep your pants from falling down. Side note: your pants really are supposed to stay up. Nobody cares to see your underwear….

You have 3 muscles that make up your rear view: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius. Now, we know the MAX right? It is pretty much the size of your butt and resides beneath the other 2. The MAX “ties in” to the top of the hamstrings (there is no anatomical chart for glute-ham tie in by the way. It’s just a way to point out that your glute should not sag over your hamstring). The MINIMUS lies at the very top and ties into the smaller lower back muscles. The MEDIUS creeps around the side and is responsible for the shape (insert shameless booty pic here):

booty pic

So, now that we know the basic anatomy, it’s important to realize what can go wrong. The main culprit in our hurry-up-and-sit society is the MEDIUS. Your medius is not just a pretty muscle, it is responsible for the power in your steps as well as the functionality in your hips. Your medius has been proven to be the cause of many below-the-hip issues such as plantar fasciatis, runners knee, IT Band syndrome, plus a variety of other joint problems. There’s even a medical diagnosis for an underactive medius: Lazy Butt Syndrome. I kid you not….

The issue lies in the fact that we sit so much our butt has literally forgotten how to work properly. Take a simple movement for example: the squat. Do me a favor and stand up…..suck it up and do it, it will serve a purpose. Now, sit back down and stand back up 15-20 times. Who cares who’s watching???! You can help them fix their lazy butts later, right now I’m more concerned with yours. Now, after your reps sit and relax. Where do you feel it most? Chances are the quads (front of the thighs) and possibly low back just got a workout right? BINGO! You have a lazy butt. Don’t feel bad, you’re in excellent company. Doctors are finding that those from truck drivers to marathon runners are popping up with lazy butts. Lazy Butt Syndrome isn’t selective and it certainly does not always mean you are a lazy person….just your butt.

As we have sat on it for so long, our medius has simply become accustomed to not firing. When we squat and stand it simply goes along for the ride. Our already over active quads and low back (both of which are overactive due to sitting and keeping them in a contracted state) just take over. That way the medius can go on being a freeloader. The problem is that if the medius does not fire properly, we are overusing and misusing muscles and their surrounding tendons and ligaments. Over time, this creates a strain on the kinetic chain and the body’s efforts to align start to create movement patterns that can be quite harmful. If the medius isn’t firing when we run, for example, the IT Band (outside of the thigh) will tighten in order to hold the femur in place and power the leg. As the ITB gets tighter, it begins to pull the knee out of alignment. If you’re like me and ignore this thinking exercise should be painful, then one day while running sprints your ITB will pull your knee out, you’ll hit the ground and shred your hamstring which hasn’t been properly utilized in the kinetic chain. True story, happened years ago, and is why I know first hand that your butt is important.

How do we strengthen and fire up the medius then? It’s a mind/body connection issue. When you squat or lunge, make sure your form is on point and you are literally squeezing your glutes inward. This action calls on the medius to fire and support the femur in the hip socket. Great exercises for medius activation are:

  • Floor Bridge
  • Sumo Squat
  • Side lying bent leg abduction (old school leg lift)
  • Bowlers or Curtsy Lunge
  • Single leg step up with glute squeeze at the top

Now, your MINIMUS can cause problems as well, but is seemingly not as rebellious as the medius. The minimus can actually cause more problems due to inactivation of the medius. The minimus will tighten and place pressure on the low back and sciatic nerve pathway if the medius is not firing OR (and a highly likely cause) if the abs are not supporting the movement. The minimus can be a quite pretty muscle if developed properly. It plays a large role in spinal stability and core strength.

As its name suggests, the minimus is the smallest of your 3 glute muscles. It really doesn’t need to be overworked, as that can cause more strain. The key to a beautiful and functional minimus is ensuring core activation prior to glute training. Moves that will help to build strength and functionality in the minimus are:

  • Stiff leg dead lift
  • Bird Dog (opposite arm/leg reach on all 4′s)
  • Supermans (either alternating opposite arm/leg or lifting all 4 limbs off the ground from prone position, neck stays neutral)
  • Leg lift to the rear from standing

Your glutes can become the biggest stability partners in your quest for health. By learning how to properly activate your glutes and then integrate them into functional movements, you can ensure power in your workouts and joint health for years to come.

Until next time, keep squeezing and have a healthy day!

Michelle

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How to Get a Lifted and Tight Butt for Summer

Dead lifts provide the best rear view ever! My favorite lower body workout is below. Grab some HEAVY weights. If you don’t have weights, use whatever you can for resistance and when all else fails, squeeze those buns into submission! :)

Warm up for 5 minutes by marching in place, light jogging, high knee marching, and half squats.

Preferably have a pair of 10′s, 15′s, and 20′s handy

Perform 1 full circuit using 10 pounds, never setting the weights down or resting between sets:

15 dead lifts

15 wide stance squats

15 Stationary lunges on right leg

15 Stationary lunges on left leg

Rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat with 15′s, then do the same with 20′s

You can repeat the circuit up to 3 times through. Perform this workout 3x per week and pair it with a clean diet to see maximum results.

Make sure you end by stretching the glutes, hamstrings and quads to help prevent low back tension.

Say hello to your Summer BUTT! :)

Keep on living FIT,

Michelle