Dead butt syndrome: sedentary lifestyle's alarming lower-half legacy

GLUTEAL AMNESIA: If not used, the butt muscles can actually forget how to support the body's alignment. Picture: Shutterstock.
GLUTEAL AMNESIA: If not used, the butt muscles can actually forget how to support the body's alignment. Picture: Shutterstock.

Have you any idea how much damage these lockdowns can do to your bottom line?

Absolutely. Lockdowns have devastated the entire economy.

True, but that's not what I mean. I'm talking about the downsides for your backside. There's a phenomenon called "dead butt syndrome."

Sounds scarier than a pandemic. What's um, behind it?

Dead butt syndrome is a sedentary lifestyle's alarming lower-half legacy: glutes shut down by inactivity. Medics call it 'gluteal amnesia,' because your butt muscles actually forget how to perform their important job of supporting your body's entire alignment. That's the worst-case scenario.

Your butt muscles actually forget how to perform their important job of supporting your body's entire alignment.

And the not-so-worst?

A certain lack of posterior pertness, caused by extensive sitting. I call it Netflix butt, or WFH butt. Think of a well-worn sofa cushion.

More lifestyle:

Is that such a terrible thing?

Yes, if you're fashionable. Right now, everyone wants a plump rump. A bodacious booty. Junk in the trunk. Aesthetic expert Jelena Vucica, founder of Sydney's The Cosmetic Lounge, tells me her three clinics have lost count of the requests for a Kardashian butt in recent years.

Can such a butt be delivered on request?

Depends. Cosmetic surgeons might sell you a Brazilian butt-lift; a full-on, fat-redistributing, reshaping procedure of which the mere notion causes my cheeks to clench with terror. But if you're just looking to enhance what nature gave you, Jelena's crew offer the gentler, non-invasive Sculptra, an injectable treatment that plumps and smooths by stimulating your own collagen production, encouraging fullness and a surface that's less golf ball, more peach.

Nice. But now I'm obsessed by dead butt syndrome. What's the best defence?

Simple: get off your butt and galvanise those glutes. You can even seek out a glute guru, like Sydney celebrity trainer Ana Coppola and her brazilianbuttexpress.com.au programmes, or Bondi's The Glute Station, a bottom-centric training studio. A personal trainer can recommend booty-boosting exercises, and there are heaps online. Even constantly activating your glutes while seated makes a difference.

Wow. My other body parts have FOMO.

They should be grateful. Your glutes are your biggest muscles, engaged in almost every essential daily movement. If these bosses are underperforming, your whole body can veer out of whack, letting you know with aches, pains and strains.

Now that is a bummer.

  • Amy Cooper is a journalist who embraces wellness, but has also used kale to garnish a cocktail.
This story Galvanise glutes against dead butt syndrome first appeared on The Canberra Times.