Get Your Butt HERE

If you’re interested in reading more on ideas presented in the article below, I suggest reading Move Your DNA, Expanded Edition. If you’d like movement instruction via video, start with Save Your Knees, Build a Butt.

Da butt is a beautiful muscle. Which is why it is sad to see so few of them around these days. I get a lot of emails about the butt. As in, Where Can I Get One?

If I could sell a functioning butt muscle online I would do it, but since I cannot, how about this instead — my favorite Butt Exercise. I used this in the workout I created for Prevention Magazine (click here for the full article) but they only allotted 25 words to describe how to do it.

And, of course, there about 30 little details that should be included to make sure you’re using your butt instead of other muscles. They body is good at avoiding weak areas.

Here’s how to reallllly do it:

1. Take off your shoes. You’ll need to do this one barefoot.

2. Find a wall. And, P.S. Don’t email me for suggestions if you don’t have “wall space.” I don’t have as much extra time as you imagine and all I’m going to tell you is to have a garage sale because you have too much stuff if you don’t have enough wall space for your hands.

3. Put your hands on the wall.

Ok, this is going to take too long breaking it down this way.

4. Make yourself look like this, only less hairy.

Now, you might think you look like the picture above while really looking like this:

The main difference — how far forward the pelvis is over the foot.

When your pelvis drifts in front of your ankle, you’ll be using the muscles on the front of the leg — quads and hip flexors. Unless you have had your butt transplanted on the front of your body, you’ll need to back your hips up until your pelvis is behind your ankle. Push on the wall to help you find the position.

Also, don’t worry about lifting the back leg really high. The work is being done in the standing leg. Focus there.

See how he can lift the front of his foot? That’s an easy way to make sure you are back far enough.

Finding the glutes and hamstrings with your leg straight is much more beneficial to helping these muscles fire in every-day tasks like standing, walking, and picking stuff up. For knee, hip, psoas, and pelvic floor issues, this exercise is a must-do.

You didn’t think this ended our session, did you?

Here’s some common “cheats” — those little sneaky adjustments we make to the skeleton that decrease an exercises’ effectiveness. I could say “don’t do them” but you’ll likely do them at first. Instead I’ll say you’ll need to be correcting these continuously.

Anytime you are standing there (with one leg in the air) thinking “Gee, this is easy!” run through this list:

1. Hip Check. (Is one higher than the other?)

 

Level out the pelvis by bringing the floating side of the pelvis all the way to the ground.

You don’t need a mirror, just take it as low as it goes. You’ll feel an increase in work on the standing leg.

2. Are you collapsing against the wall. No bent elbows sagging — keep your arms long and strong. If you need to back up a bit, then do so, but remember your hips should be just behind your heels and your arms straight. Eventually, you shouldn’t even need the wall — your one leg will be strong enough to hold you. Like it should when you are walking…

Look ma, no hands!

3. Your standing thigh should be neutral, not internally rotated.

(Click on the picture to make it larger) On the left, see my thigh rotated inward. I’ve fixed it on the right. When you roll your bones, you take the attaching muscles with you. On the left, I’m using my ligaments in the knee and hip to hold me (ow, ow, ow). On the right, my hip and glute muscles. Yay!

Most people, due to extremely weak feet, will collapse their foot and ankle, rolling the thigh inwards. You will have to externally rotate the thigh (once you are a bit more advanced) so that your “knee pit” is facing straight back. Make sure that you don’t turn the foot out to fix the knee. Foot straight ahead, knee pit straight back. Watch this video for more information on what that looks like.

Note: I like that my stomach is hanging out in the first picture. I know I need to by some maternity clothes, but I refuse. I don’t know why. Guess I just like my stomach hanging out all the time. //End note.

4. Is your knee bent? Keep your leg straight with a relaxed patella.

You don’t have to force your knee back with your quads, but you should use the muscles on the back of the leg to fully extend it. Your knee caps should be relaxed and not tense. See the video above.

We bend our knees to deal with our lack of strength and balance. It’s a natural coping mechanism, but allowing it will prevent you from improving your glute and hip strength. You will feel more muscle when you make the large muscles of the hip participate rather than let the knee and ankle wobble you through it.

Ok. Now all you have to do it is go and do it throughout the day. Work up to holding it for a minute (really watching those cheats)! And let me know how many cheats you found and how it feels with and without them!

And, if you want your thighs to stop rolling in because of your weak, shoe-wearing feet, do the exercises in this book to strengthen the foot (click).

Are you still interested in learning more on this?

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22 thoughts on “Get Your Butt HERE

  1. I have already given my mother a copy of your book and now I am emailing her a link to this. As long as I can remember her lack of butt has been the butt of many family jokes (yes, pun intended). I’d describe the shape of her but as neither flat nor saggy but rather concave.

  2. Perfect post! I just heard Da Butt song this morning getting ready for work! Ok been working on my 50 exercises this is one of them, can now hold for a minute but need to check again that I am not cheating!

    Don’t want to lose da butt, Brenda

  3. This is SO! SAD!!!! I’ve been working on da butt so of course I thought to myself “ha! no problem! this will be a piece! of! cake!”. Snort!

    Apparently my patella and opposite hip are feeling rather bonded. First instinct is to raise my hip right along with my leg. When I drop the hip, up goes the patella.

    All in all, very humbling. Although I do look forward to continuing to regain my ass which went MIA after my girlie’s arrival (or maybe during pregnancy). I remember telling my hubby at some point that I was rather horrified to see my butt now looked exactly like my mom’s – flat. At least now I know why and what to do about it. Thanks for the reality check, Katy 🙂

    Thanks for the

    1. Not SAD, just…well, you know, not what you thought. I, too, am looking forward to your reclaiming of your arse. It will be a jubilant holiday!

  4. Thanks for all these awesome posts. The pictures and artwork are the best!

    So if the foot is straight but the thigh seems internally rotated, then that hip rotating exercise needs to be practiced, is that right?

    In doing this exercise, where should I feel the most effort? It doesn’t seem to be in the center of the “cheek”, but a little lower down, like maybe where the crease between leg and butt is…

    Finally, I would love to see something about this persistent pain in the ball of my foot (it’s about an inch down from where my toes meet my foot, and in a line between the big and 1st toes). I never wear high heels, and in fact avoid shoes as much as possible, wearing ones that have as non-positive a heel as I can find for only a few hours a day–and not doing much walking in them either.

    1. You are very welcome! Yes, if the foot is straight and the thigh inward, practice both the external rotation as well as search “shank rotation” for another exercise too! The effort is in the standing leg and can be anywhere in the glute, lateral hip, or hamstring — depending on where you “wear” your body the rest of the time! For foot pain, find the bigger full picture in the Foot Book! It will have your correctives and info!

    1. OM,

      You might want to check in with the quality of your PC monitor – maybe it doesn’t do too well with things that are visual.

      🙂

  5. Wait! Are you expecting a baby? I guess I haven’t been keeping up with recent posts…congratulations!

  6. Oh my that hurts all the way up my leg, and i can’t get my knee cap down even though i usually can 🙁

  7. Thanks for the info about the knees. I learn something new every time! When are you coming to Phoenix, Az? I would love to hear you speak. Changing Hands Bookstore is a co-op that does guest authors. I’m sure your books would be a big hit. Thanks again for all of your advice.

  8. We are on the same page again! We have been working on this in both the pelvic floor and hip strength classes. Thanks for all the great photos and detailed info. More ammo for next class 🙂

  9. Hi, I’m 7 months pregnant and recently started having strong pelvic pain when I walk. I think it is aggravated by the glute and hip strengthening exercises that I have been doing exactly to prevent these problems… I suspect that I’m in need of some stretching exercises to go with them. What exercises would you recommend for stretching the glutes? Thanks!

  10. Hi Katy, Im wondering about this exercise, when Im standing on the one leg would the weight shift over so that the heel is in the middle of the body or should the body remain in the same position as if I was on two feet.. so right hip still about the right heel..?
    thanks!

  11. hi, how much external rotation of the thighs affects the sit bones? Bringing sit bones closer to each other and via that shortening the pelvic muscle between the sit bones. And in that way creating constant contraction – if you stand a lot. If this is right – should we lengthen those muscles? And in which way should we do that?

  12. In the top photos I notice the supporting foot is not making contact with the floor on the inside. Is that because of tissue length on the inner leg? …. And is it more imoortant to keep the knee lined up properly, I would guess if the inner foot was grounded, the external rotation at the hip in this person would be lost and the knee would turn inward. Comments?

  13. Katy, I have severe imbalances in my hips (from limping so long) and have squatted heavy (up to 250) with hypermobility. I am in a lot of low back/butt pain currently that continues to plague me. When I do this exercise, my knees severely hyperextend. Is the goal to keep the femur lined up with the tibia WITHOUT locking the patella?

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