Physical therapist Chris Kolba coined the term Dormant Butt Syndrome and recently made the news with his catchy phrase. News of the newly named issue even made it onto "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me," the NPR news quiz, where I first heard the term. But this phenomenon has long been acknowledged, even without a cute name, by trainers and Pilates instructors alike. I often referred to this problem as glute amnesia — the muscles have simply forgotten what to do. When the glutes muscles stop firing when needed, the work they should be doing to absorb the shock of impact when walking and running moves up or down the kinetic chain causing pain in the low back, hips, knees, and even as far as the ankles.
The problems stems from sitting for prolonged periods of time which tightens the hip flexors, muscles that pull the knee toward the belly, and eventually turns off of the glutes. These two muscle groups are antagonist, like the hero and a villian in Shakespeare play. But the muscles that pull the body into the fetal position, like the hip flexors, tend to dominate their antagonist. So to give you glutes a fighting chance you need to loosen up the front of your hips and then fire up your booty. Here's how: