Butt, glutes, booty, badonkadonk, bum, bottom, keister, tush. I could go on, but that would be weird.
Whatever you call it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that you know just how beneficial—and amazing—getting your glutes worked in a massage is.
Your glutes are just another muscle. They can get tired, sore, pulled, knotted, and strained just like a hamstring or a bicep. So why wouldn’t you work them like any other muscle?
You use your glutes to walk, run, squat, row, bike, sit, lay down, and about a million other movements. You use your glutes for SO much.
The thing is, glutes are a pretty taboo area to work, and unfortunately, not every massage therapist will work glutes. To me, that’s really sad!
There are so many benefits to getting your glutes worked, and here are just a few:
1. It’s Oddly Satisfying
It’s hard to explain, but imagine that feeling of taking off your bra or a tight pair of briefs after a long day.
You didn’t realize just how much you needed it to happen until you were freed of such unwanted tension.
It’s like that… but with your butt muscles.
2. Mo Muscles. Mo Problems.
Not calling you lazy, but you spend a lot of time on your butt. When you sit, you use your glutes. When you lay down, you use your glutes. When you stand, YOU GUESSED IT, you use your glutes!
Your glutes are a very large muscle group, and they deserve just as much attention as anywhere else in the body.
3. Bye-Bye Back Pain
I would say over three-fourths of the clients I treat for low back pain have tight glutes.
Tight glutes can pull the pelvis into an unnatural position. (The technical term is an anterior tilt, if you are interested in the nerdery.)
A dramatic example of an anterior pelvic tilt would be a pregnant women. It’s a little different, but essentially, the pelvis is pulled forward and down out of a neutral position. If you’ve seen any movie with a pregnant woman in it, she is grabbing her low back, and it’s because of the pelvic tilt.
Lucky for you, you’re not pregnant, so massaging glutes can relieve the tight muscles and put your pelvis back into a neutral position.
DISCLAIMER: If you actually are pregnant, congratulations! I do pregnancy massages to help with the symptoms of your crazy tilted pelvis.
4. Sciatica Sci-schmatica
True sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve that originates at the spine, but many health professionals will label any irritation of the sciatic nerve as sciatica.
Either way you spin it, sciatica can cause shooting, stabbing, and even electrical type pain through the glutes and down the back of the leg. Not fun.
Ifs it’s true sciatica, massage can help with symptoms and help make the pain a little more manageable. Unfortunately, it’s out of my scope as an LMT, but a doctor should be able to help you out!
But wait! There is also a condition that mimics sciatic pain and it’s called piriformis syndrome.
Piriformis is a small muscle that lies underneath your glutes, and the sciatic nerve runs right by it. If your piriformis is tight, irritated, or spasming, it can compress the sciatic nerve and BOOM, you get the same awful symptoms of sciatica.
Fortunately, massaging your piriformis can help loosen the muscles and draw out inflammation, resulting in pain relief. All it takes is my elbow and some deep breathing on your end!
5. Protect Your Hammies
I foresee an entire blog post on hamstrings, but I’ll keep it short today!
Imagine your pelvis like a teeter totter. Your hamstrings are on one side and the glutes on the other. Ideally, you want about equal amounts of weight/force on each side for the most enjoyable experience.
When one side of the teeter totter is on the ground, the other side is in the air. The pelvis works the same way. If one muscle is tight, the other muscle has to stretch to compensate the lost space.
Tight glutes are the fat kid on the teeter totter.
Unless the fat kid gets off, the skinny kid is just kinda stuck up there. It’s not much fun for either party.
If your glutes are too tight, your hamstrings are forced to overstretch themselves. When this happens, it can weaken hamstrings, create restrictions, and make your muscles more susceptible to injury.
Loosening up your glutes helps the pelvic teeter totter move how it’s supposed to!