You know how when you sit for a really long time in one position, your booty starts to ache? Yeah, that's not what we're talking about when we say "dead butt syndrome" (but still, ouch). Dead Butt Syndrome is caused by inflammation in your gluteus medius muscles, and though it sounds funny, it’s no laughing matter.
What is it?
Run coach Chris Heuisler said that dead butt syndrome is occurring a lot these days because we spend a large part of our time on our bums, which tightens up our hips and prevents the gluteal muscles from working properly and symmetrically. So what happens is you start carrying more wait over one hip than the other, which transfers the weight unevenly over the rest of your body. And that causes major injuries, particularly in runners.
Do you have it?
Dead butt syndrome is characterized by severe hip pain and walking wobbly. When you’re standing still, you might hold your weight unconsciously more to one side than the other. If you’re worried or in pain, always talk to a doc before you do anything, even the exercises we’re gonna talk about below—they’re preventative, not quick fixes!
How to avoid it
#1. Bridge the gap: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis slowly up toward the ceiling as far as you can with a goal of creating a straight line from your knees to your chest. Hold for five seconds, then lower back to the ground. Repeat.
#2. Lift it: Stretch out on your side, legs straight and stacked, head and neck supported by your arm. Your knees should face forward. Use your abs to hold you in place while you squeeze your glutes and lift your top leg upward a foot or so—as high as you can without losing stability. Hold, then slowly lower. Repeat 10 times on one side, then roll over and do the same on the other side.
#3. Singled out: Start this adapted squat without weights, but feel free to gradually add them in to tone your arms after you master the movement. To start, stand about a yard in front of a low chair, bench or table (you want the top of it to come up to your knee). Your feet should be spread a little wider than your shoulders, upper body relaxed. Bend your left knee and rest your foot back on the bench. Then, bend your right knee and squat down slowly. Continue dropping low until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is perpendicular to your shin. Don’t overextend your knee over your foot—that can cause injury. Press up through your foot and squeeze your bum to come up. Repeat 10 times on one side, then switch.