We’re talking about what to do about a flat butt. And I so want to throw some “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-lot lyrics in here, but will refrain.
One of the moms in my Fit Mama Training class said she has flat butt after having two children. So let’s talk about how she and you can get your booty back!
Why Do You Get A Flat Butt
Your glutes can turn off or become underactive by spending too much time sitting and/or by poor pelvis alignment.
Mamas know that the pelvis tips forward during pregnancy and sometimes stays there after delivery. That’s a recipe for anterior pelvic tilt and weak glutes!
It’s like a domestic dispute: your brain and your butt muscles don’t talk to each other well. The brain says to the glutes, “You’re not being useful, so I will find another to do your job.” And the glutes say, “Okay,” and lazily remain on the couch.
So the brain finds the next best muscle to do the glutes job. In many cases, the hamstrings will become overactive to compensate for the weak glutes. This is an example of synergistic dominance.
Both the glutes and hamstrings perform hip extension. The gluteus maximus should be the primary mover while the hamstrings should act as a synergist assisting the glutes. But if the primary mover is not firing correctly, the synergist will activate.
Do your hamstrings cramp or fatigue quickly? Synergistic dominance (underactive glutes) may be to blame.
The hamstrings will fire during bridges, squats, lunges, steps ups, or any other butt exercise more than the glutes until you teach the glutes to activate and the hamstrings to calm down.
Exercises for a Flat Butt
So the first thing you have to do to reshape that booty is activate your glutes.
These are low level exercises. Not make yourself so sore you can’t sit down type exercises. Remember, we’re trying to teach the brain that our butt can work! Baby steps here.
One of the exercises I like is the Scorpion. Focus on lifting your leg with the glutes……and not too high because you don’t want your lower back to get involved.
The All 4s Straight Leg Raise is another low intensity glute exercise. Like the scorpion above, it’s really easy to arch your lower back by lifting your leg too high.
My favorite glute exercise is the Bridge. It is so often done incorrectly, though, using the lower back and/or hamstrings to do the work. If you’ve done the bridge exercise before and your hamstrings were screaming, you weren’t using your glutes enough.
The Flat Butt No More Workout
It will take a month or so of doing these glute activation exercises consistently before your brain trusts the glutes again. By consistent, I mean 2-3 times per week.
I put one set of 4-6 reps of the scorpions in my clients’ warmups. You could do 1-2 sets of 8-12 reps of either the All 4s Straight Leg Raise or Bridge.
Remember, you need your glutes to function properly before you move on to the more complex exercises like squats, lunges, hip thrusts, and RDLs.
If you go straight to squats or lunges holding added weight, you’ll simply be strengthening a weakness. Your glutes can’t grow in size if they don’t know how to switch on.