Revenge of the Pancake Butt!

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Revenge of the Pancake Butt!

 

Back in 1999 while I was still teaching at the European School in Karlsruhe Germany it was vacation time. I packed my rucksack and headed off to Venezuela with a couple of friends. It was an amazing opportunity to explore new, sights, sounds, food and culture and boy was South American culture very different to that of Europe. For one thing “Big Butts” were really “IN”. So much so that if you didn’t have one it was a necessity to correct it! Luckily for a few Venezuelan Bolivar you could solve that problem! Enter the padded underpants!

 

While already an avid gym goer, since my first weight training class with my exercise physiology professor back in 1987, I was still blissfully unaware of the dearth of my rear. So much so that I thought these underpants were hilarious! Fast forward to circa 2005 and I was attending my first Level 2 PICP training, in Sweden, with one of the most famous strength coaches in the world, Charles Poliquin.

During the internship he called me “PANCAKE BUTT”!

Cue the shock, the horror, the shame of it! Being a good little girl I went back to Ireland and cried my eyes out…….NOT! If anything it ignited a fire in my britches! You see what I started to learn from people like Charles was that finding out a weakness is one of the greatest causes for celebration! You can only move forward in life by working on your weaknesses and blind spots. That’s one of the most amazing benefits of working with somebody more experienced than you. You have an opportunity to find out those blind spots and work on them to become a better you. Working with a coach who has tested and trained hundreds of clients before you and has logged thousands of hours of observing and testing the human body in action, can save you a serious amount of time and money.

 

Now back to my pancake butt repair project. I stared a serious glute (aka buttocks) focus program including some corrective exercises like hip bridges then progressing on to the more complex integrative exercises like full range squats, ass to the grass! I also took up Olympic Lifting and in a short period of time (about 6 weeks) I prepped myself for my first competition. It was there that I broke all national records in my class. My ass was well and truly back in gear!

So what have I learned about the importance of training your Buttocks/Glutes over all of these years?

Biomechanical/Physiological

  1. Without healthy functioning of the buttocks you can never optimise your pelvic stability. Pelvic stability is a foundational element for generating all movement safely and effectively.
  2. Your buttocks are primary stabilisers of your lower back. Many people have severe back pain of which weak buttocks are a huge contributing factor.
  3. Your buttocks are a key integrative muscle group of what exercise physiologists call your “Posterior chain”. They basically allow your hamstrings and calves to work in a smooth and integrative way with your back extensors. What this means for the exercise enthusiast is that you will never optimise your leg and back development without strong glutes and your overall capacity to generate power and explosiveness will be limited by untrained or weak glutes.

 

Energetic/Metaphoric

What I have become aware of over almost 3 decades of studying the human body is that it is more than a collection of muscles and joints that can be explained away by science and biomechanics. The body in essence is an awareness machine. It communicates this awareness to us by how it looks, moves, performs and feels.

Energetically your buttocks represent your “Seat of Power” or the willingness to be the Director, Lord and Master of your own life. So if you don’t sit on your own throne, somebody else will happily move in and take residence.

How many of us have given our power away by:

1: Abdicating responsibility for own lives, choices and actions.

2: Procrastinating to avoid taking action.

3: Seeking approval or validation from others.

  1. Looking to other people to take over the responsibility for fixing us. I talked about this topic HERE.

5: Being “frightened out of the seat of our pants”.

If we don’t embrace fear , look it in the eye and accept it as just another energy , we give our power away to it and can no longer be present in our bodies or lives. If you are not present and fully anchored in your body, you can’t actually be present in your life either.

 

So if you would like some more ideas about getting your own ass in gear then consider a biomechanical assessment or read “Cracking the Mind/Body Code” which gives lots of corrective exercises to get you back in your Seat of Power.

 

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