Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Having a strong butt is essential for your health and performance. When it comes to injuries to the knees, ankles, and even the low back, having a strong butt (glutes) is what you want! Look at it this way...if it is difficult for you to squat down and stand back up what do you think happens when a load is added to the hands? The answer is that you will probably end up using the low back more to lift the load. What about jumping and making cuts in sport? The answer is usually that the knees and ankles end up having to work harder which can lead to problems such as #OsgoodSchlatter as well as others including #patellartendinitis, #plantarfaciitis, #severs, to name a few.
As the saying goes: "use it or lose it" and it's definitely true for the glutes and the squat motion. One of the most common reasons for problems with poor strength in the glutes (and therefore the squat) is that the legs get used to the arms helping with the movement of standing up. Weakness will develop over time if the squat movement is not practiced regularly and the arms are used to assist with standing up. When it becomes difficult for people to move their own bodies in space the risk of injury goes up significantly.
Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition that affects a growth plate in the knees of growing kids and is caused when the tension upon the patellar tendon causes disruption of the growth plate where it attaches at the top of the shin. While tightness in the quad is a significant factor, it is actually poor use of the hips that is the root cause. Because the glutes are not effectively contributing, the knees are forced to do much more which ultimately causes the breakdown. When it comes to back pain if it's hard to squat down due to weakness, then when the need to pick something up from ground level arises you can bet that this is done by bending the spine!
So what needs to be done? Begin by using only the legs to move from sitting to standing. For some this is not possible due to weakness, so if the arms are required to stand up only help the minimum amount required. When it comes to sitting down try to do so slowly (4-5 seconds) which will make an exercise out of a movement you are going to do anyway. A good strength goal would be to gain the ability to perform ten repetitions of a squat with a load of at least 50% of the body weight with a minimum of difficulty.
Need help getting your butt in gear? This is something we can help with for sure. It doesn't even require a gym membership and can be done in the comfort of your home or office! People around the world are moving better with our help, so why not you?