A Strong, Sculpted Butt Does More Than You Think
By Maarten Van Nus
Just what is it about a nice butt?
We all – and I mean all of us – like a nice butt (yes, guys – in case you didn’t know – women appreciate a guy with a great butt, too).
But, why do we all like a great derrière so much?
Evolutionary psychologists link it to the primates, among whom it is instinctively known that the height of a butt determines fertility and a female’s hip to waist ratio, which is all to do with our butt, determines reproductive success.
The infatuation we have with backsides has been depicting in art as long as art has been around. Artists –those who observe society and comment on it – have been drawing and modelling patooties and our reaction to them since cavemen started scratching on walls. From our earliest times, famous, infamous, professional, and amateur artists have created paintings, images, sculptures, and other works that throw our glutei into the eye of the beholder.
Today, ads selling almost any product often rely on a nice caboose to help attract customers. In modern music (1970’s to present), many songs and videos portray the booty as the most revered body part on both sexes.
And who hasn’t tried on a new pair of pants and the first thing we do is look for a three-way mirror to check to see how our butt looks. Almost everyone does an over-the-shoulder check in a mirror at home before they go out the door. It’s habit.
What evolutionary psychologists, artists, and we unconscientiously understand is that it’s not our bodyweight that makes us sexy, it’s the proportions and ratios between certain body parts that makeup our sexual aesthetics.
However, while building a strong, toned butt helps improve our self-confidence, increases our sex appeal, and helps us look great in a pair of jeans, there are more important health benefits to having a well-exercised butt.
These benefits are important to everyone, whether they care about how their backside looks or not.
Better Performance and Less Fatigue
Our glutei (or glutes) are the 6 muscles that make up our butt (each buttock is composed of a maximus, a medius, and a minimus glute). The glutei maximus are the largest muscles in our body and all three glutes are critical to movement of our legs, hips, and pelvis. Without our buttocks, we wouldn’t be able to walk, run, squat, crawl, jump or move our upper legs. They are, essentially, our body’s engine when it comes to movement and functionality.
Modern life has led us to spending more and more time in a seated position. When seated, our glutes are not working and, thus, because they were designed to work a lot, they quickly become weak without sufficient exercise, and that weakness can lead to injuries and pain.
If our glutes become weak, other less powerful muscles will takeover to perform whatever task is being done, whether that’s simply walking, day-to-day chores, or training at a high level. Even those of us who workout or exercise regularly can have weak glutes if we spend a lot of time sitting during the rest of our life.
Relying on the smaller muscles to do the work of our glutes leads to muscular strain and imbalance, joint misalignment, stiffness, tendon and ligament stress, pain, and even further atrophy of our posterior muscles. Using these smaller muscles, and causing extra work all round, tires us.
However, when our glutes are strong, they do the work they’re meant to do without stress on our joints and tendons and less effort for our smaller muscles. Existing and moving in the manners we are meant to, and we experience less fatigue throughout the day.
So whether we are running about doing all those things that life throws at you in any given day or you are training hard at the gym, a strong shapely butt will benefit you greatly.
There is nothing better than lean, hard muscle to burn calories and keep off pounds. The larger a muscle, the more calories it burns, even while we are at rest. As the three largest muscles in our body, our glutes – when toned and strong – burn more calories day and night than smaller muscles (yes, even while you sleep, see Breakfast: Is It Really the Most Important Meal Of the Day?). It stands to reason then that the stronger our butt, the more calories we will burn.
Prevention of Back Injuries and Pain
Before we go further in this benefit of having a healthy, strong booty, something needs clearing up: You’ll read or hear other trainers’ advise that having tight glutes prevents back pain. I don’t agree with this.
I believe strong and flexible butt muscles will prevent or repair back pain while tight butt muscles will not.
“What?” you say. “Isn’t a tight butt a strong and flexible butt?
Not necessarily. And, there is a very important difference between a tight butt and a strong, supple butt.
If our butt muscles are tight from sitting too much, bending over constantly, or overtraining without regular stretching, they will cause injury and pain. Invariably, unstretched glutes result in the smaller muscles of our lower and mid-back doing work they shouldn’t do, which causes them to tighten and become uncomfortable. Even worse, tight butt muscles may result in joint, tendon, and/or nerve constriction, which can become very painful very quickly (for more information see 10 Reasons Stretching Is The Most Under-Rated Exercise).
Tight butts, even if regularly exercised, are vastly different from strong, pliable gluteus muscles. Flexible, strong glutes work with the hip flexors and pelvis to keep us inline, upright, and supported while we are standing, running, squatting, or doing any movement in an upright position (even standing on our hands!). Having a pliable butt eases tension within smaller muscles in our lower-, mid-, and upper-back, allowing them to move and function as intended without pain.
Steady Gait and Posture
When your glutes are strong healthy and pliable your gait, (walking stride) improves. Now this might sound trivial, but believe me it’s anything but that. If your glutes are weak and soft your gait can change, either your foot turns out or in a little when you walk. This can cause stress on the ankle and the knee, and in severe cases the hips.
But a strong, pliable butt will keep everything in line and take the pressure off your knees and hips.
Along with the improved gait that comes from all that healthy support of a strong, pliable butt, comes better posture and with better posture comes a more aligned body and a more aligned body is a healthier body.
So you can see that not only having a stronger, healthier, and pliable butt makes those jeans, dress pants, or an pencil skirt look amazing but the rest of your body will love you for it.Check Out Our Strong, Sculpted Butt Program