As you age, you might notice that your derriere is not as round as it used to be, causing you to wonder where your butt went. Unfortunately, as people age and move into more sedentary jobs they find that their perfectly round bum has seemed to have somehow flattened out. What causes a flat butt and can you get your butt back?
The reason your butt flattens as you age is sitting too much and a failure to have a full and active hip extension. When you sit for long periods of time for work or transportation, your hips are in prolonged flexion, shortening the hip flexors (psoas and quadriceps) and causing them to get short and tight. Their oppositional muscles are the gluteus muscles, primarily the gluteus maximus and medius. These gluteal muscles are the primary extensors of the hip. They become elongated and flaccid, as seen in a flat butt. Furthering the problem is when you finally do get up to walk; the tightness of the hip flexors do not allow you to extend your leg back and push off your toes, and therefore the glute does not contract. Picture an old man shuffling along, not really pushing off his back leg.
3 Steps to Fix a Flat Butt
For help getting this hip joint mobilized and taking steps to bring back that butt, you can take frequent breaks from sitting, do hip flexor stretches and do exercises to work your gluteal muscles.
Take Frequent Breaks
Be sure to set alarms on your device to remind yourself to take frequent micro breaks every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch and walk around. During these breaks, do activities to actively stretch your hip flexors and strengthen your hip extensors. Pay attention to how you are walking, pushing off your back leg and toes, activating the muscles in your butt. Another great idea is to incorporate a sit-stand station into your workspace so that you can work while standing up for part of the day.
Hip Stretches for a Tight Hip Flexor
Here are a few moves that can help you stretch out those hip flexors and help to regain that solid “bass.”
Psoas Lying Down Stretch—The psoas is a large muscle that pulls the femur and spine closer together. You can stretch this muscle while lying down on your back with your butt at the edge of a bed or training table:
- Let one leg hang off the end of the table.
- Grab the other knee with both hands and pull to your chest.
- Hold for 15 seconds
- Switch legs
- Repeat four times
Psoas Lunge Stretch—Another psoas stretch has you standing in a lunge position.
- Front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle
- Back leg is stretched out behind you, weight on ball of the foot.
- Hold your back straight
- Move hips forward until you feel the stretch in the front of hip.
- Lift arm (on same side as the back leg) straight up against your ear to feel a deeper stretch in the hip flexor
- Repeat with other leg
Follow an Exercise Program to Lift that Butt
Many people who seek to regain the curved behind of their more carefree and youthful days follow a program targeted for at flat butt like the Be Fit 30 Day Butt Lift. Following a structured program can keep you on track and from falling into a fitness rut, bringing fresh and new moves into your workout routine. Focus on moves that fully extend your leg to the back and activate the gluteal muscles such as forward lunges and reverse lunges. You should start to see things perking up soon.
Here’s a note of caution: If you notice that one butt cheek is flat while the other maintains its round shape, you need to see a doctor right away. This indicates a nerve impingement and needs treatment.