This is a question I see circulating a lot in the postpartum world - “why is my butt flat after having a baby?” And while this is common, it’s not a life sentence! This phenomenon and referred to as “dead butt syndrome,” and there are a few ways we can go about correcting it!
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through PROnatal fitness. I am a mom of 1, and became interested in pre + postnatal fitness as I was going through my own pregnancy journey!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
Okay so first things first, let’s discuss what dead butt syndrome actually is!
Dead butt syndrome is also referred to as “gluteal amnesia” and is exactly as it sounds - basically your glutes have forgotten what they’re supposed to do. When we are seated a lot (i.e. most people who have corporate jobs - or moms at home with their babies!), your body forgets how to activate your glutes
Dead butt syndrome is common after pregnancy because of the dramatic alignment shifts both during and after pregnancy. These shifts are happening with a weak core and pelvic floor, so there is a lot of overcompensation happening in your hamstrings, quadriceps and hips.
But remember - your glutes are the largest muscle in your body! You WANT them to be activated and working. Having strong, engaged glutes can help alleviate back pain, and even help with the overall functioning of your core and pelvic floor.
So what can you do to fix dead butt syndrome?
Here are a few tips:
If you have a desk job or find yourself sitting a lot, set timers to get up and walk around AT LEAST once an hour.
Work on your posture! As mentioned above, your alignment shifts A LOT during pregnancy and postpartum. Getting back to a neutral position can do wonders for your entire body, but it can also help your glutes “wake up.”
Glute focused workouts. My favorites are squats, deadlifts, and moves on the floor that really target the glutes such as clam shells and fire hydrants. In your everyday movements, also think about engaging your glutes such as when you are going up stairs, or bending down to pick up the laundry (engage the glutes as you stand back up!) This won’t happen overnight - you will need to incorporate targeted glute work daily!
Remember that there isn’t a “spot treatment” for fitness. Your body works as a system. So you really need to look at the body as a whole to determine imbalances, where the overcompensations are, and most importantly - your alignment.
Was this helpful? If you need more support on creating an effective, comprehensive workout routine, you can fill out my application to get more information on 1:1 virtual personal training! I also have a 12 week postpartum program releasing in January - see the details here!
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.