In today’s digital era, our lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, with prolonged periods of sitting becoming the norm rather than the exception. Despite its somewhat humorous name, dead butt syndrome can have serious implications for one’s health and well-being.

This condition, also known in the medical community as “gluteal amnesia,” occurs when the muscles in the buttocks become inactive. Over time, these muscles “forget” how to engage properly, impacting their ability to perform essential functions such as stabilising the pelvis and maintaining correct body alignment.

Experts at fitness equipment brand Mirafit have weighed in on the matter, stating,

Dead butt syndrome is a condition in which the glute muscles become inactive. This can be a result of extended periods of sitting, a lack of physical activity, or improper muscle engagement during exercises. The prevention and treatment of this condition typically involve specific exercises designed to strengthen and reactivate the glutes. Additionally, making adjustments to daily habits can be crucial in preventing further muscle inactivity.

What are the signs of dead butt syndrome?

Recognising the signs of dead butt syndrome is the first step towards addressing it. According to these experts, the main symptoms to watch for include numbness in the glutes, pain that originates in the lower back or buttocks and extends down the back of the leg, pain in the calves, a noticeable loss of strength in the glutes and hip flexors, lower back pain, and knee pain.

How do I prevent dead butt syndrome?

Preventing dead butt syndrome might seem daunting, especially for those with busy schedules that require long hours in front of a computer. However, the experts emphasise that prevention is invariably more effective than treatment. They recommend several practical tips to help combat dead butt syndrome:

  • Set a timer to remind you to stand and move around for a few minutes every hour, breaking up long periods of sitting.
  • Maintain an upright posture while seated to open the hip flexors and reduce stress on the glutes.
  • Incorporate exercises into your daily routine that specifically target the strengthening and conditioning of the glutes, as well as alleviate tightness in the hips.

To aid in the prevention of dead butt syndrome, the fitness professionals at suggest the following top exercises:

  1. Banded Squats: Enhance the traditional squat by using a resistance band around your knees. This targets not only the glutes, quads, and hamstrings but also focuses on the gluteus medius muscle for a more comprehensive workout.
  2. Monster Walk: With a resistance band around your ankles and your feet positioned slightly wider than hip-width apart, take small, slow steps forward. This activates the outer muscles of your glutes, leading to a sensation of burning that indicates muscle engagement.
  3. Frog Glute Bridges: By keeping your feet close to your glutes and your knees pointed outward, lifting your glutes off the floor in this modified bridge exercise increases activation of the outer glute muscles.
  4. Side Plank with Leg Raise: In a side plank position with your elbow under your shoulder, lift and lower your upper leg. This action not only stabilises the hips on the opposite side during the plank but also engages the gluteus medius.
  5. Drop Lunge: Step back and cross the opposite leg over, rotating your hips while keeping your upper body straight. This exercise enhances hip mobility and strengthens the outer glutes and thighs.
  6. Deadbug: Lie on your back with your arms and knees raised, then extend one arm and the opposite leg away from each other. This core exercise not only strengthens the abdominal muscles but also promotes proper hip alignment.
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.