Have you ever noticed that as people get older many of them start to lose their butts? That’s if they hadn’t already lost them when they were younger. We (in the Restorative Exercise world) like to call this flat butt syndrome. There is no longer a round shape in the back of your pants. Instead, there is often a bit of saggy cloth.
This is not only aesthetically displeasing; it can also be a tell-tale sign of pelvic floor dysfunction. When we don’t ‘have a butt’, we tend to have weak and unresponsive muscles in an area that was designed to be strong and functional. Often back pain is also associated with what can also be called ‘gluteal amnesia” (the butt forgets how to work). It’s the same with any area of the body that is not used on a regular basis. The body develops directly in correlation to how we use it most often throughout our day.
One of the easiest ways to help remedy a non-responsive butt is to get outside and go walking. It seems to be common that when we walk, we use the muscles in the front of the leg and hip to lift our leg and pull it forward.
There are many events in the gait cycle including the push-off. We can use the posterior push-off to hone in on the neglected butt muscles. How do we do this? Simple. When walking just bring your awareness to the foot that is behind you and propel yourself forward with this foot. The ball of the foot will press into the ground and push the rest of the body forward.
Try it and see just how much you can feel your backside as you’re walking.