If your answer is YES, then don’t worry! This is a thing and its more common than you think.
If you are one of these people who has been going to the gym now for 6 months or more, and you are performing squats on a regular basis yet you have noticed that there is no change (or growth) in the shape of your bum, then you could fall under this category!
‘No ass syndrome’ happens when our glutes become lazy and don’t switch on properly during exercise, e.g. squats.
One of the main reasons this happens is because our glutes fall asleep, especially if you’re someone who spends the majority of the day sitting down at a desk.
In order to fix this we need certain drills and activation techniques to fire them back up again!
When our glutes aren’t working properly, what tends to happen is our hip extensors (the group of muscles that make up our hamstrings) take most of the load while performing exercises such as squats. They then become overdeveloped and dominate over our butt muscles (glute max & med). Hence, the ‘no ass syndrome’.
This is not good for several reasons:
This is classified as a muscle imbalance which can lead to chronic injuries, short term aches and niggles.
It inhibits poor movement patterns particularly when performing exercises such as squats.
You end up having poor hip control in other movements such as lunges and deadlifts.
And… It simply doesn’t look when you wear your jeans!
So, what can we do to fix this?
First, we need to deactivate and loosen your hamstrings!
Here are some easy things you can perform to deactivate and loosen your hamstrings before each of your training sessions:
FOAM ROLL – It helps release & loosen muscle tightness.
Place the foam roller at the top of your hamstring (underneath your glute) and have you leg fully locked out. Place your hands behind you for support & have the opposing leg bent. Foam roll up and down your hamstring for at least 1 minute, then swap and do the other side.
SELFIE – Pulse + FNF
Sit on a small roller or ball and lean into the thigh to create a deep trigger effect on the hamstring. Straighten and bend the knee repeatedly while keeping pressure onto the thigh. Keep your foot relaxed. Do this for 1 minute each for both legs.
Lay on your back, grab one calf and pull your leg towards your chest. You can also do this with a band. Hold for 1 minute for each leg.
Now that you have loosened and deactivated your hamstrings, it’s time to wake up your glutes with these easy activation drills!
Here are some easy activation drills you can perform before each of your training sessions, after you have loosened & deactivated the muscles above:
SWISS BALL DRIBBLE
Lay on your side parallel in front of a wall. Place a swiss ball at the heel of the upper leg. Turn toes upward as you push against the ball up the wall with your heel and make little pulses. Rotate your chest into the ground for extra effect. Perform 10-15 reps x 4 sets.
Laying on the ground with your hands by your side. Have your legs bent and heels as close to your bum as you can. Then you’re going to lift your hips off the ground and squeeze your bum cheeks as tight as you can, we are going to repeat this for 20 reps x 4 sets. To make this more effective and challenging, you can add some weight like a barbell or a dumbbell on your hips.
So, there you have it. Some very quick and easy ways to help you activate and strengthen your weak glutes, to help you squat better, perform better in training, and look better in a pair of jeans!