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Home / Tips & Advice / Is Your Butt Dormant?

Is Your Butt Dormant?

It sounds like the setup for a bad joke, but dormant butt syndrome is no laughing matter. Coined by physical therapist Chris Kolba, dormant butt syndrome refers to the weakened gluteal muscles caused by prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle. This is a condition that’s been acknowledged by several other names by other trainers and physical therapists, all referring to the same butt malfunctioning. And it turns out that when our butts suffer, the rest of our bodies do too.

Silly Names For A Serious Condition

an office worker meditating on the floorMaybe you’ve heard of “dormant butt syndrome,” or maybe you’ve heard it called “gluteal amnesia” or “secretarial spread” or even the more descriptive “pancake tush.” All of these are silly names for the same relatively serious condition – It’s a common condition that can result in a whole range of secondary health issues.
Our butts have an important and complex job in our bodies, to support our whole structures and absorb the impact of walking and running, and when they forget to do it or become incapable, it can cause a ripple effect of pain from the ankles all the way to our backs, some of which can cause really serious injury.

Ripple Effect

man working on his laptop while sittingYour butt’s not the only thing at stake here! New research suggests that dormant butt syndrome might be at the root of hip and knee pain as well as backaches. This makes sense when you consider the way that major muscle groups are related to one another, and your butt muscles (or your glutes) are the largest and strongest muscle groups in your entire body. Your glutes support your pelvis, and in turn, your entire body, so when they’re not working right, the rest of your body suffers. Keeping your glutes strong is key to keeping the rest of your body strong and stable, and unfortunately, having a week butt—or dormant butt syndrome—is all too common.

Dormant butt syndrome can force the whole body out of alignment, causing a ripple effect of other issues like shin splints, runner’s knee, and Achilles tendinitis. When our butt isn’t doing its job, other muscle groups have to take over, and if they’re not up for the job, it causes injury and strain. We tend not to blame the butt, though, because it’s easy to overlook the connection between our rear end and the rest of our bodies. The good news? Well if you’re visiting our site, chances are you’re looking at choosing an adjustable workstation like this one.

Stretch It Out

a woman exercising her buttEven people who exercise can still have weak glutes and suffer from dormant butt syndrome—and you’re especially at risk if you sit in a chair all day. Not only does extended sitting weaken your gluteal muscles, it also weakens your core and leg muscles, which are related muscle groups that all suffer the consequences of dormant butt syndrome together.

It’s important to take care of your butt—don’t just sit on it all day! Try switching to a sit-stand desk, which will not only break up time spent seated but also might encourage you to do desk exercises like intermittent squats and lunges or even just stretches and knee bends.

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