Sitting at a desk all day, or too much sitting in general, can lead to a flatter backside.
While you're sitting, your glute muscles aren't working at all, and over time, they become weaker and elongated. In turn, the body "turns off" the glutes and begins relying on stronger muscles nearby, like those in your lower back and surrounding your knees, to pick up the slack. The bad news is that extra the extra stress on these body parts makes them more susceptible to injury especially in the knees and back.
Our sedentary lifestyles mean more women are losing the definition between their thighs and their butt than ever before. They call it the ‘thut’ and it’s when the muscles on the back of a woman’s legs are undeveloped, leading the butt and thigh to appear as a single piece of anatomy. It just makes it look like your bum has dropped down into your leg and you lose that lift that a toned butt should have.
So how can we save our butts from going flat? We need to learn to activate, or “wake up” your glute muscles, as well as stretch and release tight muscles that attach to the glutes through fascia and contribute to the flattening of your butt.
There are exercises that actually help to build muscles in your glutes.
Stand straight with your feet together. Engage your core muscles and bend forward so that you are almost parallel to the floor. Keeping your knees together bend your right knee to about 45 degrees. Lift the right leg knee out until it is the same level as your hip, keeping the knee bent. Lower to start position. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds, switch legs and perform movement on opposite leg for another 30 seconds.
WHAT IT DOES:
This is one of the best exercises your can do to strengthen your gluteus medius muscles which will help to round out your butt while working to also treat/prevent hip, back and knee pain.
Start with your feet in a wide stance, toes pointed out as far as is comfortable. Keeping your back and spine in a neutral position, and torso upright, tighten your core. Bend the knees outwards so they remain over your ankles, and sit down with your butt into a squat position. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly come up to a count of 5.
WHAT IT DOES:
The wider stance works to take the majority of the effort of squatting from your quadriceps and shift it into the glutes working your gluteus maximus which is the largest of the glute muscles. It also helps to open up your hips, which is helpful in activating your glutes and preventing back pain. Plus, as a bonus, it doesn't put too much stress on your lower back.
BRIDGE WITH BUTT LIFT
Lie flat on the floor on your back with your hands by your sides and your knees bent. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground and placed about hip width apart. Take one of your legs and straighten it so that your toes are pointing up towards the ceiling
Push through your heel, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second. Slowly bring your butt back down to the floor to complete the rep. Repeat
WHAT IT DOES:
This exercise is a powerhouse for lifting the butt by strengthening the glutes while also targeting your obliques to give you a more defined waist line and stronger core. This will help to create lines between the waist and the glutes giving your butt better definition.
DOWNWARD DOG WITH LEG LIFT
Start from a standing position and walk your hands out in front of you so that your hands are slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms and turn your toes under.
Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Inhale and lift your right leg up. Exhale and bring your foot to the floor.
WHAT IT DOES:
The downward dog position provides a great stretch for you hamstrings helping to minimize the appearance of the ‘thut’ [where the thigh and butt look continuous]. At the same time you are targeting your glute max in the lifted leg and glute med in the leg on the ground resulting in a rounded and lifted butt.
EXTENDED HAND TO BIG TOE POSE
While standing, bring your leg up so that your thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is bent to 90 degrees. Grab your big toe with your 2nd and 3rd fingers and your thumb. When you feel that you have your balance, kick your leg out to the side so that your leg is straight. The standing leg and the leg in front of you should both be straight and your hips should point forward. Bring your leg out to the side so that the inner thigh is facing the front of the room and try to bring your leg as high to the side as possible so that it is parallel to your body. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
WHAT IT DOES:
This exercise strengthens the legs while seriously working the glutes. By doing this exercise you will not only build up your glute med muscles that give a crucial in creating lift but also stretching to help minimize the appearance of the ‘thut’.
Sophie Nelisse, Sam Claflin, Aunjanue Ellis, Gerard Butler, Liev Schreiber, Jeremy Fenner, Maestro Fresh Wes, Kardinal, Eric Johnson, Erika Linder, Allan Hawco, Kreesha Turner, Michael Smiley, Rita Udominic, Chidi Mokeme, Michael Smiley and Mark Hildreth were just some of the awesome actors we got to meet at TIFF 2016!