I’m about to talk dirty to you. I’m about to talk about your butt. Now I don’t care if you have a big, small, flat, or wide one. I care if it hurts and what you can do to resolve your pain in the butt.
I have this “friend”, who shall remain nameless, that complains about butt pain. He/she asks me to fix it because, you know, that’s what I do. And he/she expects the fix to happen one time miraculously. Yes, I can massage the butt and provide temporary relief, but most of the work relies on the individual (once they’ve been educated, of course) over a course of 4-6 weeks. In most cases, this has been an underlying issue that has been building up over weeks to years.
Our backside is made up of a couple layers of muscle. The most superficial and main functioning muscles are the three gluteals: gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus, also included is the tensor fascia lata (but it’s not a prime hip mover). The deeper layer consists of your hip rotators: piriformis, obturator internus/externinus, superior/inferior gemellus, and quadratus femoris.
Gluteus Minimus: hip abduction (pulling leg away from the midline of the body) and hip internal (medial) rotation when the hip is flexed.
Gluteus Medius: hip abduction, hip internal rotation when the hip is flexed, and hip external (lateral) rotation when the hip is extended.
Gluteus Maximus: Posterior pelvic tilt, hip extension, hip abduction, and assists in hip external rotation.
Tensor Fascia Lata: assists with hip and knee stabilization.
Piriformis (along with obturator internus, superior and inferior Gemellus): hip external rotator and assists with hip abduction when the hip is flexed.
Obturator Externus and Quadratus Femoris: hip external rotator and assists with hip adduction.
- Under or overuse – more than likely underuse because of increased sitting habits.
- Deep tissue massage/Active Release Technique/Graston Technique
- Strengthen with emphasis on proper fire sequencing and movement patterns
- Avoiding painful positions (prolonged sitting)
Work with a professional who can correctly guide you to perform these rehabilitation exercises and progress through the proper phases.
Incorporate stretching: Hold each for 30-60 seconds for 2-3 reps, 2-3 times per day.
- Seated piriformis
- Supine piriformis with and without cross over
- Opposite leg assisted supine piriformis
Progress over 4-6 weeks: perform 10 to 15 reps progressing from 1-3 sets, 1 time a day.
- Bridge with abduction
- Sidelying clamshells with resistance
- Sidelying leg lift
- Modified side plank with hip abduction
- Full plank with hip abduction
- Mini squats with resistance
- Monster walks
- Single leg squats
- Single leg squat step down
- Front and diagonal lunges
Now, get that butt moving! You won’t get the butt you want by sitting on it 😜.