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Do You Have Lazy Butt Syndrome? How To Lift Those Gluts Quick-Smart

November 28th, 2008

I don’t do a whole lot of blogging on corrective exercise. As much as I love correct training and functional exercise, most of what I write is nutrition, lifestyle and mind-set based – these areas are my passion.

But occasionally there’s an exercise related topic which I simply MUST write about, because it’s just that important.

And today what I want to talk about, what I’d love to get a grip on, is your booty. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Did you know –

  • The gluteus maximus (that’s your main butt muscle) is the largest muscle in your body?
  • It is used in both standing and walking but is most important as a powerful mover of your hip when you are straightening up from a bent-over position or from sitting down?
  • Your butt is considered by many experts to be one of the most important parts of your core?
  • Even if you regularly perform lower-body exercise (such as squats and lunges) you may not be working your butt?

How To Tighten, Tone And Perk Up Your Biggest Asset

Your butt, by nature, is a lazy animal. No, I haven’t been spying on you, and I’m not referring to that night last week when you sat on the couch for hours watching rubbish and eating worse. The truth is that your gluts love to work and they love being perky, but they need a little coaxing. But unless you are lucky enough to be genetically perfect or have never engaged in sit-down work, incorrect exercise technique, poor eating habits, or the occasional case of the i-can’t-be-bothered’s, well then it’s more than likely that you’ve got a case of lazy-ass on your hands.

Your bum should be the driver of many of your most important movements, not an unwelcome passenger on your Body Incredible journey. Here’s how to get that butt of yours not only working at 100% plus, but looking tip-top from the top-down and the bottom-up:

  • Squeeze it. Sounds simple, almost stupid, but unless you actively ‘engage’ (squeeze) your booty than you haven’t really got much of a chance. Whenever you climb up stairs, run, bend and lift, squat, lunge, heck whenever you get out of your chair, squeeze your butt! The simplest solutions are often the most effective. I like to tell my clients to imagine they’ve a hundred dollar bill between their butt-cheeks. You drop it, you lose it!
  • Complete your squats and lunges. I’ve watched thousands of people workout, and there’s one common theme. Most people are lazy. Don’t be one of them. Whenever you perform a lower body exercise, complete the movement. This means that you need to come to a full standing position between each rep. As you stand up from your squat or lunge, be sure to push your hip forward and – you guessed it – squeeze your butt.
  • Be specific. If you have a lazy butt then you might need to be a little strict with it. While squats and lunges are two of the best booty-toning exercises, you may need to do a little groundwork in order to get your gluts ‘firing’. What do I mean by this? If your butt (or any muscle) has become lazy then it needs to be re-trained. Here is one of the best corrective movements to re-activate your gluts (this exercise also works your core, your back, and your arms!)

Step One: I’m holding a lightly weighted cable in my right hand.

Step Two: As I pull the weight back my same side leg comes up.

To activate my left glute I lock out that leg, engage the thigh muscles, push my hip forward and squeeze my butt. Perform 2-3 groups of 12 repetitions on each side. Be sure to maintain upright posture and keep your tummy muscles lightly pulled in. This movement can be done without weight, or with a very small dumbell. Believe me – you WILL feel this, and after several weeks of performing glute specific exercise you’ll notice your butt working in other movements where previously you may have only felt your knees or leg muscles.

  • Massage and release work: muscles that are facilitated (overly tight, holding knots, toxins or other tension) cannot and will not work properly. If you suffer from tight or sore hips, a tight lower back or hamstrings, or just don’t ‘feel’ your butt working, then you probably have a large percentage of unused butt muscle. A good sports masseuse, osteopath or myofascial specialist can release knots in your muscles and allow them to work to their full capacity again.

Sounds like a lot of attention all paid to one muscle, doesn’t it? On the other hand, do you really want to let your butt become softer, saggier and less sexy with each passing year when a little attention of the right kind could have it not only supporting your hips, back and core effectively, but looking hot and perky?

Duh, right. What are you waiting for – get squeezing!

Life is Now. Press Play.


Link Love

I’ve decided to copy a great idea from Mark’s Daily Apple and send out my favorite links each week. So here goes –

  • Zen to Fitness wrote a great article on The Importance Of Sleep. This is one of the best pieces I have read all year, and so relevant to many of you with busy and stressful lives.
  • I’ve recently subscribed to sixwise on the recommendation of a fellow CHEK trainer. In my first newsletter I noticed an excellent piece on ‘Why Some People Never Get Tired’
  • Dr Michael Eades wrote yet another well-researched piece (I honestly don’t know how this man finds the time, he must never sleep!) this time on the truth about High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Truly crucial reading to those who want to better understand their health and why conventional nutritional advice is NOT the answer.

Isagenix Australia Testimonial Of The Week

Well…at long last. As a chiropractor with a long time interest in health and wellbeing, I have regularly done fasting and cleansing programs over the last 30 years.  Nutritional advice has been a component of my patient management during this time.

Eating correctly and at the right times has always been a challenge for myself as I live a very busy lifestyle and absolutely love food.

Over the last few years I have realised that my lifestyle had created a pattern of eating a late final meal of the day as I work late most evenings. I guess I am lucky that going to bed with a full stomach never affected sound sleep, but it definitely had an effect on weight management.

Recently I was introduced to Isagenix by Jo and Kat and my first interest was the use of these products as a detoxification. I found that by having a shake for a morning meal, I had much more strength and endurance in my morning yoga practice. Then by lunch time I was ready for a larger meal and began to eat more of a main meal at midday.

Then in the evening I found I was easily satisfied with a second shake most days and if I was a bit more hungry, I was happy enough with a small light meal of salad or fruit.

These products have helped me strengthen my yoga practice early in the day and have quite easily helped me break the habit of feeling the need to eat a full meal late at night just before going to bed.

Oh, yes, I have also shed about 4 kilos without really thinking about it.  At my age of 62, I am certainly feeling vital and ready to try and keep up with all the younger students in our yoga studio!

Dr. Michael Houghton


B.App.Sc. (chiropractic)
B.A. (psychology)

Like to know more about Isagenix Australia? Ready for a new year kick start and clean-out? Follow the Isagenix link just below.

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3 people have commented
  1. Deborah says:

    I can’t visualize this part, “To activate my left glute I lock out that leg, engage the thigh muscles, push my hip forward and squeeze my butt.”

    Is this happening during step two? Does “lock out that leg” actually mean the leg should be extended after bringing it in?

    Great blog!

    • Kat says:

      Thanks Deborah!
      What I mean by that is (yes, in Step 2), you need to completely lock out the standing leg. This means pushing the knee back all the way, which is safe to do as long as you contract your quad. Try standing on one leg now and you’ll see what I mean. The next part is simply driving the front of your hip forward (just under the hip-bone), and squeezing the butt.
      Hope that helps!

  2. I also agree with the comment above. Cheers!