Heal Your Diastasis with Butt Exercises

During my research of a diastasis, I discovered that proper glute function is a key element of healing a disastasis. At first, this seemed odd to me as a diastasis is on the front side of the body, and the glutes are on the backside of the body. Why would something on the back side of the body impact something on the front side? The glutes act as a pulley system for the pelvis, thus minimizing how much the pelvis moves forward over one’s toes when standing.

Click here to gain further information on how the glutes act as a lever to pull the pelvis back over the heels.

Even if you think you have pretty good glute strength, don’t bypass this blog, because your glute strength is likely not as good as you think.

Try this. Stand sideways in a full length mirror. If you don’t have a full length mirror, have a friend evaluate you. When you stand, is the center of your pelvis over the heels or arch of your foot? If your pelvis is centered over the arch of your foot, you have glutes that are taking a vacation. (Note: Do you have flat feet, too? Our arches were not meant to carry the weight of our body, which causes them to collapse over time. Our heels were meant to carry our weight.

Warrior 3 and Chair Pose are great poses to test how your glutes activate during movement. Practice along to the videos below and notice how your body responds. Are your quads activating or your glutes? Or a little bit of both?

Bent Knees, Straight Knees, Locked Knees – What?

I used to be a compulsive knee locker. I also used to be a compulsive knee bender. Does this confuse anyone else, or is it just me?  I thought that the way to prevent locking your knees was to softly bend your knees; however, I have discovered you can still lock the knee caps in a bent knee position.  Anatomically, the quadriceps engage the patella upward, so you can bend the knee joint but also keep the quadriceps engage which will lock the knee cap in place.

Can’t really tell the difference can you? That is because bending the knee doesn’t automatically cause the knees to stop being locked.

This chronic holding pattern of having my knees locked (patella lifted) and thighs engaged explains so much about how my body has felt over the last 10 years. At times my knees give out or bother me. My quadriceps are always tired. Well, you would be tired too if you never got an opportunity to rest?

It took me months and months of practice to train my quads to stop engaging all the time. The video below from Nutritious Movement explains how the knees should align and how to learn to disengage the quadriceps all the time.

While going through this process, I realized that my left leg has a much more difficult time letting go, which explains why my left knee and hip bother me much more than my right.

These chronic holding patterns will eventually lead me to further joint issues and possible knee replacement or even osteoporosis.

One of the biggest reasons for my quadriceps not turning off is due to imbalances with my glute engagement (butt muscles). I have found that most people think they have strong glutes, but the fact is, their glutes don’t know how to turn on—meaning, they do not fire when needed, which makes other muscles like the quadriceps kick in instead.

Our glutes can shut off for several reasons, one of which is standing improperly. If you stand with your hips forward (towards the front of the foot), you have turned off your glutes. Active glutes work as a pulley system to draw the pelvis back.

When we continually walk and stand with bent knees, that also is an indication of turned off glutes. When your glutes are strong, they will draw the pelvis and knees back so you can fully extend your legs.

Here are a few ways to determine if you have weak glutes:

  1.  Look at your posture in a mirror. Do you stand plumb with your pelvis over your heels? If not, you have weak glutes. 
  2. When you get in and out of a chair, do your knees come towards each other? If so, you have weak glutes.
  3. When you perform a squat, do your knees stay stacked over your ankles? If not, you have weak glutes.

The following exercises will help strengthen your glutes.