Do you have office bum? Office bum is a plague. It’s rampant all over the world and it’s caused by spending hours upon hours of sitting, not just at work, but in cars, on couches and in waiting rooms.
It can affect your body in several ways:
1) It reduces blood flow to your bum and upper thighs, causing the muscles to stiffen and in many cases knot up
2) It leaves your bum flatter and overused
3) It helps to store more fat (you’ll learn how later)
4) It damages you back
5) You become less flexible and even your gym exercises suffer – you’ll find out why soon
What is ‘Office Bum’?
Office bum is the continuous heavy pressure on your hip muscles while they are:
A) In a shortened state – essentially squished
B) Stuck in the same position for hours upon hours – In this case your muscles become overworked and some of them become damage. This damage is loosely known as a knot.
See what happens is, the muscles become damaged and once that happens your body naturally sends in the troops to repair the area that was wounded. Your body does such a good job fixing it, that it makes the area tougher than ever. So tough it doesn’t quite stretch as well any more. And it is weak in certain positions. When you feel them, they cause pain.
Have you ever had sciatic pain or a tight spot in under the glutes or at the top of the back of the thigh? It can be very painful, but there is a way to make it go away.
What Other Bad Things Does ‘Office Bum’ Do?
Office bum does 3 things to you:
- It keeps the load of daily life and fitness on your low back and your knees – this is very bad!
- It leaves you frustrated with a soft and weak bum that stores more fat than it’s supposed to.
- It ‘shuts off’ much of the bum during exercise halting any progress dead in its tracks (and excess sitting also shortens another muscle which also keeps your bum from activating in the gym and in daily life).
Now I know of the 3 things listed above, the one that stands out the most is how your bum will be unable to tone and it will be a hub for cellulite. But the biggest concern for you should be you low back and your knees. Science has proven the connection between a weak or inactive bum and back pain.
It makes so much sense. Your bum is designed to generate power and absorb shock. So if you squat or jump, the bum SHOULD be the primary muscle involved, along with some help from other muscles. If your bum is unable to do its job, your knees and low back will take its place. This is one reason your back or knees don’t feel good after exercise (poor coaching being a bigger reason though).
As you age your bum gets smaller, weaker and tighter leaving you frustrated in your pursuits for a strong and firm bum. And no matter how many lunges or squats you do, it will not help unless you train your hips (bum) the right way and using the right skills.
How Can I Fix ‘Office Bum’?
Simple, you have to find out what your bum is doing right now. And the state it is in. For example, is it super tight from overuse, is it misfiring (not really working), is the rest of my lower body aligned to properly train my bum.
Finding out the answers to these questions is a starting point, but you’ll need the skill to train properly in the gym. In the old Iron Curtain days in the former Soviet Union they saw strength training as a skill (they still do) just like learning to swim. You had to be taught correctly to master the skills. If you did, you reaped all the benefits from it. Some of which include: A great body, a healthy back, healthy knees, minimal wear and tear, young and powerful joints, to name a few.
I know what you’re thinking, It’s a lot different than the fitness approach sweeping the world where anyone can pick up a barbell and start lifting – It’s scary stuff, and sometimes the damage done is irreversible.
But from a training standpoint, to fix “office bum”, you have to remove the damage from sitting and overuse and restore balance in the other muscles that connect with the bum, both directly and indirectly. You may want to look into this fast in case your knees and back are doing all the work. You would want to correct that as fast as you can.
You will also want to be sure your bum engages properly in each exercise. There are simple exercises to help with this but your coach will be the main driving force as you learn how to do your movements (Squats, Deadlifts etc…) perfectly.
And lastly, don’t sit in the gym and workout! It will pile on the damage to your low back and push you further and further away from your goals.