By: Erin E. Ducat DC, CSCS, CCSP
“White Girl Butt” (WGB) is at epidemic proportions in the American population causing flat butts, upside down butts and other posterior problems. Not only is it affecting our namesake Caucasian females, but it’s now spreading to men and across all ethnic groups. We have do something about this problem before we all have to start wearing suspenders to hold our pants up!
Seriously though, if you have a very flat posterior, most likely you’ve had some postural changes that are leading to atrophy of your glute musculature, which is supposed to make up the bulk of your butt. We call this change Lower Crossed Syndrome. It’s the result of weakened abdominal, glute, diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles combined with tight hip flexors and back muscles. Sitting for extended periods of time, pregnancy, abdominal surgeries and letting your body get out of shape are significant risk factors (not like anyone has those issues in their history, right?!?!).
The main issue with Lower Crossed Syndrome is that it pathologically changes the angle of your pelvis to tilt forward. This angle forces you to use more of your hip flexors, quads and back muscles when doing movements that would normally utilize your glutes such as moving from standing to sitting and back up, squatting to pick things up or even to perform “glute” exercises such as lunges, squats or bridges. This starts to accumulate over the years and as a result your glutes start to go on permanent vacation. They are very sensitive creatures and simply shrivel up if you don’t use them — leading to WGB.
So if you have WGB, what should you do? If you are also having pain or other discomfort, make sure you see a chiropractor as soon as possible who is knowledgeable in Lower Crossed Syndrome and can help you change the way that you move. Some people may just have the cosmetic symptoms of WGB and no discomfort yet. If this is you, you can see your chiropractor for the fastest results or simply start working on stretching your hip flexors (check out the exercise video below to get started) and strengthening your abdominal and glute muscles with very specific exercises using precise form (this is the hard part!).
A good strength/conditioning specialist who is trained in corrective exercises can help you reverse WGB if you are not in pain. Sam Flores is our practice’s resident expert in personal training and corrective exercise, which helps you attack this postural change and address fitness goals in either a one-on-one format or in his Smart Group Training classes (check out our practice calendar for times/locations).
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