Wake Up the Butt!
I love muscles! I should being a massage therapist, but I can relate to some muscle groups on a whole new level. Like most people, I have lazy spells. Some days I just don’t feel like adulting, I know I’m not the only one! Well our muscles tend to follow suit and we have to keep after them to do their job. The guiltiest muscle group that gets lazy are the gluteals. Those butt cheeks have a mind of their own and decide they’re taking a few days off.
Our gluteals are particularly important to be function properly. If they don’t, well lots of different aches and pains can and will come about. Our butt cheeks help us with all kinds of movements. Standing from a seated position, walking, stairs, dead lifts, climbing… When we sit down for long periods of time the gluteals go to sleep. They’re not doing anything but be a cushion. We need to wake up the butt to stand and walk using the correct muscles!
Our muscles have a memory that makes it easier for us to move around. The muscles that are not being used have a long memory of being asleep. When we go to stand up from sitting at our desk for several hours in a day, the glutes don’t “wake up” exactly when called upon. The rest of the body is now working double time just to get you out of the chair. That means the lower back and thighs are overcompensating. Lower back pain, sound familiar? Yeah those butt cheeks are normally the reason of the ache and soon to be injury.
I recommend this exercise to every single person I meet! It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, Glute bridges and squeezes are for everyone.
First the squeezes. Laying on your back is best, but you can be sitting or standing. Squeeze your butt cheeks as hard as you can for 2 seconds, then release for 1 count. Repeat this sequence about 8-10 reps about 10 times throughout the day. If you have been sitting for a long time, go ahead and do this before standing. Before rolling out of bed in the morning, lay on your back and go through 8-10 repetitions.
Now the bridges! If you do not have any pain doing this movement, go ahead and continue. IF YOU HAVE PAIN STOP! We always need to respect our body’s limitations and stick to the squeezes.
Ok now laying on your back, bend the knees. Keep the feet and knees together, squeeze the cheeks to power your hips up to the ceiling. Keep the top of the shoulders and head in contact with the floor. Once you reach the top, hold the squeeze for 1 count, then take about 3-4 seconds to lower your hips back down to the floor.
Tip* We always want to be nice to our spine. When releasing your glute bridge, imagine your spine like a snake. Let it done one vertebrae at a time while you exhale.
Let me know if you feel a difference in your walk and standing up!