Why do we need a strong booty? The glutes are the largest muscle in the human body and we need them to stabilize our pelvis (critical when pregnant), give us balance, and prevent pelvic floor muscle dysfunction such as pelvic pain and incontinence.
First let’s talk about what a “Mom Booty” is: Think of the typical posture of a pregnant woman - the butt is tucked under, hips jut forward as we adjust to the weight of carrying a baby in front. The upper back in turn sways back. This shifts our center of gravity and we start to stand with our hips & butt tucked under/forward.
Then, we have our baby and it’s hard to turn off this posture. The booty and pelvis remain tucked under and it gets harder to reconnect to our abs. Not to mention, we are holding our babies and feeding them so often in the first few months that our upper back stays in a hunched over, shoulders rounded position.
It was about five months after I had Mia when I finally understood the term “Mom butt.” I was finally fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes by running (lots and lots of long form cardio). I’d typically run for about an hour every evening and longer on the weekends. I was a marathon runner before Mia’s arrival and was certain this was the way to drop the baby weight. It was, sort of, I did see weight loss but I also started dealing with nagging knee & hip issues because of my weak glutes. My booty and hamstrings ran together in 1 long line as opposed to two distinct muscle groups. Wahh!!
The “mom butt” is actually the result of muscular imbalances. Basically, the back side of our body becomes overstretched and the front becomes shortened and tight. We stop using our booty muscles and our upper back muscles and they become weaker and harder to connect to.
We need our glutes to drive our legs forward as we walk and we need upright shoulder muscles to breathe well, otherwise we compress the space for our lungs.
Makes sense, right? So how can we stop this cycle from even happening? Here’s are 3 things to add to your training routine that guarantee a strong shapely booty:
1 – Fire up your Glutes for Leg Day On your lower-body day (leg-focused day), start with something glute-intensive. I love to use this technique when I’m working to build up a specific body part. Complete a glute firing circuit first to wake up your booty and allow for mind/muscle connection (like the one below!). Don't try to demolish the glutes here, just get some blood pumping. Remind your body what it feels like to activate them before you get started on your other compound lifts.
2 – Incorporate a Specific Glute Training Day The goal is to burn out your glutes on this workout day, not your entire lower body. Don’t stress over big lifts like deadlifts and squats. Resistance Band work like Monster Walks, Cable Kickbacks are just as effective and lower the risk of fatigue to your quads. Push yourself through the glute circuit then once your booty is sufficiently torched, call it a day and move on to a sprints, HIIT, or abs finisher.
Otherwise, if you keep working lower body, you'll just go through the motions of your leg exercises and continue training yourself to rely on quads and hams.
3 – Train Your Booty While Brushing Your Teeth (I’m totally serious) I love this one especially! You’ve probably seen evening routines for stretching, mindfulness, etc but rarely do we include glute work! Here’s a super simple 60 second move you can do while you brush your teeth every night: Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth for 60 seconds. Then repeat with the other. This little move will help you make the mind muscle connection for engaging your glutes. Spend at least two or three total minutes doing this. You'll fight Mom Booty and tooth decay at the same time!
Start incorporating these tips on your next leg and we can fight “mom booty” together one training at a time! ~Sarah
P.S. Ready to crush your booty goals and shed the fluff you’ve been trying to lose for years? Join the next round of the Chiseled program beginning Monday, May 14th. Register today for $199. Payment options are available to keep the program affordable, scroll to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section to choose yours. Past Clients can take advantage of a $70 discount! Check out the details and register here.