When and Why You Should Squeeze Your Butt (During Exercise)
Butt squeezing isn't just for a steamy night on the dance floor or trying to show your friend what bodypart that doughnut is going to enlarge.
It's also something that nearly every strength coach, trainer, and fitness instructor yells out at least two dozen times per day.
But why is it? Do we all just enjoy talking about butts?
Well, yes. But also, squeezing your butt during exercise actually has a very big impact on posture, strength, and reducing chances of injury.
WHY YOU SHOULD SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT
Many people spend a very, very large amount of their time sitting down. This causes some muscles to become tight or overactive and others to become weak and under active.
But here's the thing - it isn't just about stretching a tight muscle or strengthening a weak muscle.
NONE of that stuff works if you are not in the proper POSITION. This is why:
- Your back hurts while doing planks
- You can lean forward very far without feeling a stretch in your hip flexors (even though they still feel tight)
- Bending over and picking things up bothers your back
So, long story short, squeezing your but is less of an activation cue, and more of a position cue.
WHERE TO PUT YOUR BUTT
If you're a sitter, there is a very good chance that your pelvis is tilted forward, into a position that us meatheads call 'anterior pelvic tilt'
It also might just be that you're sticking your butt out to show the world what ya momma gave ya. Although this is great for instagram, it's pretty terrible for your spine. (And we know you're lying)
So what the heck is going on here?
Long story short, your body is always interacting and adapting to its environment. This means if you spend the majority of your time sitting, your body will get really, really good at sitting. The problem with this, is we aren't spending all of our time sitting - we stand, run, jump, skip, and hump.
These things are done best when your pelvis is in a more neutral position.
And your butt holds the key.
A BUTT-STUFF FAVOR
When we tell you to squeeze your cheeks, what we're actually doing is encouraging your hips to move into into a healthier position. But, sometimes clenching them isn't enough or the right cue.
Try to find the butt-tightness by ALSO slightly tucking your hips underneath you.
Here's what I'm talking about:
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