As one peruses the deluge of fitness related articles published in popular media these days, I’ve taken notice of a rising trend in a troubling chronic condition that appears to be associated with chronic Low Back Pain (LBP).

This worrisome condition is known as, and you may even know somebody who has it. From its Latin origin it translates as weak butt muscles and no gluteal muscle tone. Evidence of it can be easily observed by droopy drawers and the occasional but unfortunate glimpses of plumber’s crack…

Obviously, I’m being a little cheeky…

But, seriously though, there is recent research published that associates the strength and size of our glutes with LBP.

This study compared two groups of about 30 women in each. One group had a history of chronic LBP. The other did not. Using a CT scan they measured the cross sectional area (CSA) of the gluteus maximus (glutes) as well as the number of pain-related medical visits of both cohorts.

The researchers found that the CSA was significantly smaller in the group of women who suffered from chronic LBP. They also discovered a correlation of CSA to pain-related medical visits. Smaller butt muscles led to more chronic pain and more doctor visits to treat the pain. 

Now, I can already hear several folks scoff at this and retort that they have no worries about Noassatall. Their butts are in no jeopardy of being classified as inadequate. But, allow me to reinforce that the researchers weren’t measuring with a tape measure, rather a CT scan that specifically measured the CSA of their glute muscles. Remember my earlier essay about sarcopenic obesity and marbled muscles? It’s quite possible to have a sizable tush with atrophied glutes.

Encouragingly, other research reinforces that we can measurably increase the size and strength of our glutes and that correlates to improvements in LBP.

Every ASB/MidStrong workout involves specific glute strengthening exercises. Anybody here ever do a Potty Squat, Goblet Squat, Leg Press, Reverse Lunge, Kettlebell Swing, Hip Bridge, or Hip Hinge? Yep, those all develop our glutes.

Paul Reilly

Paul is the Owner and Founder of MidStrong. He created MidStrong in 2017 to train men and women in midlife who are busy with work and family to build muscle and burn fat so they can look and feel better than they did in their 20’s. MidStrong is making Functional Fitness training safe and fun, and inclusive. He and his wife, Julie also own and operate MidStrong locally, their bricks and mortar business, previously called ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. It is a boutique fitness center specializing in training folks in and around Westborough through the challenges of midlife for more than five years.