Constantly Sitting? These Exercises Fire Up Your Dormant Butt Muscles and Stretch Your Hips

POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Kelly

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can give you something called “dormant butt syndrome,” where your glutes don’t fire or, in other words, they are “asleep.” Your hips also tend to get tight, Annie Mulgrew, VP founding trainer at CityRow and NASM-certified personal trainer, told POPSUGAR. But, there are moves you can do to counteract these effects.

Mulgrew said that exercises requiring hip extension are underrated because people can do them right at home and they will mitigate tightness. “When you sit, you’re in hip flexion, and so the front of your hips in particular tend to get really tight,” she further explained. The Romanian deadlift, good morning, and bridge variations are examples of exercises she suggests to open up your hips, and she added that they target your glutes and hamstrings. This is also important for people who might focus more on lower-body exercises that are quad dominant (think squats, for example) as opposed to glute dominant (think deadlifts).

What’s more, “these require spinal extension, which is great because, when sitting, we tend to do the opposite,” Mulgrew said, “we can round our spine.” (At least that’s what I do.) At the same time, you’re engaging your core, as she noted, “in order to do anything with hip extension, your abdominals have to activate.” So, the moves are basically a win-win-win: they help with hip tightness, reverse poor posture, and target your booty muscles.

Ahead, check out how to do the exercises that Mulgrew classified as good for hip tightness and firing up your glutes. We’ve included a few examples of the moves with added resistance or single-leg variations as well. Note: this is not a workout. Plus, read up on Mulgrew’s advice for making home workouts harder by increasing time under tension.

Related: If You Sit All Day, Unwind Every Tight Muscle With These 12 Expert-Recommended Yoga Poses

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