Dormant Bottom Syndrome: A common cause of aches and pains

Physiotherapist Anna-Louise Bouvier reveals if our bottoms aren’t looking as good as they could be, or if we’re suffering from back pain, hamstring issues or calf problems – we might have an issue with our glutes.

“Our sedentary lifestyles result in us spending more time sitting on our buttocks than using them, and that means over time, we lose power and bulk,” Anna-Louise explains.

“Our gluteus maximus muscles are our powerhouse muscles. They help us bend, lift, carry and propel us up hills and stairs. If we don’t use them, over time the batteries go flat and they switch off. So instead of firm, peachy bottoms, we have pikelets!

“Not only does this mean our bottoms don’t look as good as they used to but, because they aren’t working as well as they should, other muscles in the legs might be compensating and that can lead to overuse injuries.”

The good news says Anna-Louise, is there are lots of simple everyday activities we can do to get those muscles going.

She has a few easy tips to keep our glutes charged:

  • “Firstly, use them or lose them,” she laughs.
  • “Our buttocks are made up of layers of muscles and different activities turn on different layers, so for example, standing evenly on two legs and not slumping, works the deep layers.”
  • “Going up stairs, especially two at a time, powering up hills, or even just going up and down squatting off a chair a few times every hour or so in what I call “hovering” is a great way to get them going.”

Anna-Louise says one of the best exercises for a firm butt is what she calls ‘bottom walking’.

“Instead of just dragging yourself along as you walk, lift your head and eyes and gently contract your bottom as your heel hits the ground – you’ll feel yourself being propelled along step by step,” she says.

If your glutes still aren’t firing, she suggests a visit to your local physio will recharge your batteries in no time and you’ll find yourself back to peachy before you can say gluteus maximus.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more from Giaan, Ed, and the team.