Is having a big butt important? (Video)

As I have mentioned before, the Gluteus Maximus is one of the most important muscles on the body to develop, but what happens when this muscle-group loses touch with how it was meant to work? Gluteal Amnesia has been an issue with the majority of clients I have worked with, since I have been a Personal Trainer. If a person has Gluteal Amnesia, it can severely limit the individuals functional movement capacity, because the body’s base of power has now been compromised. So what is Gluteal Amnesia? Gluteal Amnesia is an abnormal muscular recruitment pattern done during hip extension and posterior pelvic tilt. In layman’s terms: your butt muscles are being held back from working to their full potential when you are trying to get them to. Without proper muscle recruitment during hip extension and posterior pelvic tilt, your body relies upon other weaker muscle-groups to compensate in order to still achieve the movement. This means that when you’re doing functional primal movements (lunging, squatting, sprinting, throwing, etc.), you will have muscles like the Gluteus Medius, Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Erector Spinae (lower back muscles) having to bare the load for all these movements.

The most common physical issues associated with Gluteal Amnesia are:

Lower back pain/tightness– Rather then your hips going into extension to lift something, your lower back compensates and bares the load for what the Gluteus Maximus is supposed to be doing.

Knee pain– Knee problems usually become an issue because of an over-development in the Quadriceps. It’s important to understand the the Quadriceps, if over-developed, can begin to pull your patella (knee cap) out of place, causing excessive strain on the the ligaments attached to the knee region (ACL, MCL, LCL, etc.). If you ever notice that your Quadriceps are fatiguing exclusively during exercises like lunges and squats, then you might be a candidate for knee problems sometime in the future.

Flat feet– When proper hip extension and posterior pelvic tilt become compromised, this can usually lead to an external rotation in the hips (feet pointing out like a duck), and hip abduction (like cowboy who just got off a horse). Because Gluteus Maximus does not function efficiently during Gluteal Amnesia, other muscles like the Piriformis, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius have to compensate. Hip abduction and external rotation usually lead to ankle pronation (foot arches sagging to the floor), based upon the new positioning of the foot after the hip imbalance.

Tight Hamstrings– When your Gluteus Maximus forgets to work on something as functional as a sprint, your hamstrings usually have to act in extension to propel your forward. If a muscle works too much, it’s usually going to get tight.

Here is a video of me presenting a stretch I like to utilize with my clients to literally give their butts the reminder they need to get off the bench, and back in the game. The specific muscle we are going after here is going to be the Rectus Femoris. This muscle is located on the front of the thigh bone, and its responsible for the exact opposite motion of the Gluteus Maximus, hip flexion. When you sit at a desk all day long, this is going to be the one Quadriceps/Hip Flexors that with get tight. If it stays tight, it will keep your Gluteus Maximus in a dormant state and incapable of proper contraction.

I will also post some videos beneath this one that you may want to utilize in conjunction with the quadricep stretch to help cure your Gluteal Amnesia, and get your functional training dialed in. Enjoy 🙂

Static Stretch for the Quadriceps

Myofascial Release for the Quadriceps

Myofascial Release for Piriformis

Myofascial Release for Gluteus Medius/Minimus

Myofascial Release for the Tensor Fascia Lata



  1. Ana Maria Lora October 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    A very valuable piece of knowledge, Naudi. Thank you.
    I suggest to my clients prior to begin the exercise to squeeze and release their butt a few times so they can identify the sensation of the muscle being engaged.
    Naudi, YOU ROCK! 🙂

    • Naudi November 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm - Reply

      thank you 🙂

  2. Petra November 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    HI Naudi. I just got home from the Doctor, who told me, that I have excessive pelvic tilt. I have great pain in my right hip as well. I am sitting here all evening, thinking what to do about it,searching the internet,learning…..I got across your videos! I am very impressed with Your videos. You are really professional and Your knowledge is amazing! Thank You for posting those exercises. Good luck and all the best! …I am starting my “fitness” journey Today. Petra, Czech Republic

    • Naudi November 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Petra, I hope this helps you on your path towards a healthy life 🙂

  3. Danny November 11, 2011 at 8:34 am - Reply

    As usual, another great article bro.

  4. Jeff Abbott Sr November 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Naudi, Being a desk jockey, I am beginning to understand the true culprit of my lower back/hip discomfort . Away from the office I like to be active and work out, so I will definitely include these in my routine. Thanks so much for the helpful info..

  5. Anna January 8, 2012 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Hello , just wanted to say – great work not only showing how but the way you explain, stress out the issues of proper position – target certain thing, educate in body anatomics ( love that you use terminology which shows how complicated body is ) . I am physical therapist specializing in spine disorders , biomechanics and ergonomics and rarelly see collegues so well , with details explaining good stuff . You video are great becasue allow to draw force vectors, folcrum points and mm attachments and break it down with analisysis — helped me with understanding my current patient’s work – MMA figher. I have found plenty of diffrent stuff in net but yours is the best and love PNF and kind of prof Janda background – functional pattern . Great to see somebody who has so much passion in his work . Have a great 2012, regards from Warsaw – Anya

  6. sol January 10, 2012 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Hello Naudi,

    I have pelvic tilt, and can definitely identify that my glutes aren’t working. I have gone some way to fix the tightness in the hip flexors, and release glutues medius/miimus.

    However I have noticed that my left glute is alot weaker than my right. Also my left hip clicks when I swing the leg away from the body to the side or rear.

    What could the clicking sound suggest?

    • Naudi January 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      Hard to say brother unless I saw it in person… Best thing I normally recommend for people is to roll out their tensor fascia latae and gluteus minimus. If you type in “how to fix hip pain” and “how to fix lower back pain” into youtube you’ll find a bunch of work I have put together. I will also be making some full length videos that will be super cheap instructing how to put MFR, Stretching and corrective exercise systematically together to bring the body back into balance. Stay tuned!!!

  7. Cassidy Cue January 14, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Pelvic tilt has always been a big issue for me since I sit a lot at work. I have always tried to correct it with lumbar pilllows or diffrent chairs. Your recommendations two years ago are paying off in eliminating my back pain. I will say that I have gotten off the exercises and it has it’s way of coming back. Thanks for all your help:)

  8. Stevo nz April 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    Awsome mate so well explained

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