You’re not imagining it.
If you think your butt is looking a like more… flat after having a baby, you’re probably not seeing things.
The truth is that a flatter bum can show up postpartum because of some subtle, but significant shifts that happen during pregnancy.
And it’s important to recognize that it’s not just about looks.
Sure it’s okay if you’d rather have a rounder bum – your body, your choice. But beyond that, having strong glutes is key to having a strong pelvic floor and core (and really, a strong body).
So – while wanting to ditch the pancake bum may have brought you here – I want to make it clear that it’s about so much more than how your backside looks.
Your glutes are a key part of your core system and they’re best friends with your pelvic floor. So having strong glutes can have a huge impact on how your core, pelvic floor and entire body feels and functions.
So let’s get some glutes!
In order to build stronger glutes you need to focus on 3 essential steps.
Step One: Start with Alignment
What’s alignment? It’s how your body bits are stacked on top of one another from head to toes.
Ideally we’d spend most of our time in great alignment that supports our bones and soft tissues.
But during pregnancy – because we’re growing a beach ball of a human out the front of us – we can shift into less than ideal alignment.
There are a few different ways we can get out of alignment, but one of the biggest culprits is tucking your bum under to counterbalance the weight of your growing belly.
Now spending a couple moments here and there in not so optimal alignment is no biggie. But we don’t want to live there. And so many pregnant women end up living in that tucked under bum position during pregnancy.
Then – because you lived in that position during pregnancy – it’s so easy to just stay in that position postpartum.
Especially since you’re now carrying a baby around and tucking your bum to counterbalance the weight of them on your chest just feels natural at this point.
And overtime – after spending months and months here – some muscles in the front of our body (like our hip flexors and abs) start to get too tight, while others (like our glutes and spine stabilizers) get too weak.
We end up with an imbalance that can cause use to lose strength, mobility, and ultimately leave us with that flat as a pancake butt situation.
So in order to overcome this flat, weak butt situation, we need to start with alignment because this is going to be the foundation that sets us up to get the best results possible.
If you don’t start here – if you just skip ahead and start doing random bum-building exercises – you may end up not getting the results you were hoping for.
So check yourself out in the mirror.
Tuck your pelvis under, then untuck it. See and feel the difference.
It may feel weird at first – like you’re overly arching your back since you’re so used to being tucked. Just play with it. It’ll start to feel natural pretty soon.
And keep in mind that the idea is to find neutral – where you aren’t tucked, but you’re also not arching your back like crazy to stick your bum out. (That would be an aggressive anterior pelvic tilt and we don’t want to fix one problem by creating another.)
It shouldn’t be a huge effort. Just a small shift in your pelvis so that it’s truly neutral.
You can imagine that there is a piece of string attached to the top of your butt and someone is gently pulling it upward so that you have that slight, natural curve to your low back and your pelvis isn’t pushing forward.
Sitting, standing, walking, squatting and doing most of your daily mom life movements with a neutral pelvis will not only help you enjoy a stronger core and pelvic floor, it may also save you from experiencing those nasty aches and pains associated with misalignment – like back pain.
Step Two: Stretch It Out
Remember how I said that living in that bum tucked under position for 9+ months left you with not only some weak muscles but also some tight muscles?
Yes. Tucking your bum under for hours a day means that some muscles in the front of your body – like your hip flexors and ab muscles – end up getting tight, tight, tight.
So that means we need to bring more balance into your body by stretching out these tight muscles.
And let’s be honest – having tight muscles in your body doesn’t just impact your butt, it’s also impacting the rest of your core.
If your ab muscles are chronically tight, they’re going to have a tough time engaging well and “turning on” when they’re supposed to. They’re just honestly too tight to make a bold effort.
So we need to release those tight muscles for your bum’s sake and your core’s sake.
These guys work as a team – they’re like besties. When one isn’t doing so hot, the other isn’t doing so hot either.
So by bringing more balance into both your core and glutes we’re supporting both systems and making your entire body stronger.
Step Three: Go For the Burn
Since pregnancy has pushed your body into less than ideal alignment – and it carried on over into your postpartum life – the backside of your body (like your hamstrings and glutes) has become over-stretched and weak.
Your bum muscles are weak from not being used properly for so long.
So we need to bring them back to life with some simple, proven bum-building exercises.
And it’s not just about doing a bunch of random glute exercises and hoping it’ll work.
We need to make sure you’re focusing on 2 things:
- Doing the best, most effective bum boosters.
- Having awesome form and technique so your muscles are actually engaging well.
You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve suggested simple tweaks to clients when they’ve said “I don’t feel it in my butt, am I supposed to?”
I’ll suggest they simply change 1 or 2 things and voila, they suddenly feel it where they’re supposed to – in their glutes!
Obviously, the better your form is, the more you’re actually feeling it in your bum, the better your results can be.
That’s why I love giving my clients simple step-by-step demo videos so they know exactly how to move through the exercises with the best form possible so they can get the best results possible.
And if you’d like a taste of what my programs look like, I’ve created a free 21 day core and glute focused workout program so you can start using all 3 of these steps to build a better bum (and core!)
Just remember, it’s not only about doing the bum-building exercises.
In order to have a better balanced, strong glutes and core you need to start with alignment, gain some mobility with key stretches, and build that strength back up with proven exercises.
Because remember, this goes a lot deeper than how your jeans fit.
How strong your glutes are has a huge impact on how your core and the rest of your body feels and functions too.
So work on building that strength and you’ll enjoy feeling and functioning better.
To strong glutes! 🍑💪
P.S. Have a friend who’s feeling bummed out by the state of her butt (yes – pun intended 😉). Send her this post!