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elizabethmkane

Weird Question Alert! Does over stretching glutes during yoga practice cause a flat butt?

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Hi Candace,

Firstly, thank you for all that you do. Your YouTube tutorials have helped me immensely with my yoga practice and it's great to have the opportunity to ask you a question directly.

Secondly, I realise this is an odd question but with your experience of lifting weights alongside yoga, and your recent post about getting in the best shape of your life, I'm hoping you can help! 

I'm relatively new to yoga and have been practicing 2-3 times a week for the past four months. I absolutely love it and aside from the mental and spiritual benefits of regular practice, I've noticed that I've lost a little weight (3kg) and toned up, which is definitely an added bonus. I'm sure it's a combination of generally being more in tune with my body, eating a bit healthier and building strength/burning more calories than I was before. The only other exercise I tend to do is walking for 30-60 mins most days. But I've noticed that my (usually rather ample) butt is shrinking and seems to be a little flatter than before I started yoga. (I just wish I could say the same for my abs!)

I know this sounds really superficial and silly but it's starting to bother me, especially as my husband made a passing comment about me 'losing my booty' the other day. (He's such a charmer!) I've noticed that quite a few people in my yoga classes have flatter butts than I do and I've read a few articles online regarding this 'phenomenon'. Some articles/experts say that too many forward folds and poses for increased flexibility can result in over stretched glute muscles, causing that flat look. I'm wondering if this is something you've ever encountered or if you have any advice on poses and / or exercises to help ensure I'm maintaining / building a shapely butt - while still losing weight/toning up elsewhere. I do targeted glute exercises with ankle weights / hand weights (donkey kicks, squats, lunges etc.) once a week for half an hour but perhaps I need to incorporate more strength training into my routine? Or perhaps HIIT?

Sorry for the essay! Thanks for any help or advice you can offer.   

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Hey there, no worries on the weird questions - and to be honest, I don't think it's that weird at all. I don't think that stretching the glutes causes flat butt syndrome haha. I think that it sounds like you've lost body fat. The majority of us store our body fat in the butt and the boobs, so usually they're the first to go. While you can't do much about the boobs, you can replace the fat loss in the booty with muscle. I actually experienced a bit of this and was kind of annoyed at first - I mean, I liked my bum! But now that I look back (pun intended), I notice that there was a difference between a jigglier bum with not much shape (more fat stored there) and a tight, more defined bum (more muscle) - gosh this is really weird to talk about haha! So what I'm saying is, you can get it back (and it'll be harder, and more defined) if you build muscle. There are lots of ways to develop a bit of muscle in the glutes - Russian split squats, back squats, front squats, deadlifts, RDLs, etc. Poses like chair and deep lunge poses like warrior 2 will be good, but they don't tend to build much muscle because the butt doesn't come below your knee, and here's why I think that's important (again, personal preference and belief, by no mean the lay of the law - you could just a bajillion bridge poses I guess, that would help). 

 

Anyway, I hope that helps! :) 

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Thanks so much for your reply, Candace. It's great to hear I'm not alone and that you experienced this too - but overcame it. And yep my boobs are pretty much non-existent now haha! (Why is it never the bingo wings and muffin tops that disappear easiest?!) Totally get what you mean re difference between jiggle and muscle and you've pretty much confirmed what I suspected that yoga poses just aren't going to cut it - I'll have to get to the gym. Thanks for the exercise recommendations, they're really helpful and I'll be sure to squat deep. That makes total sense to me because I very rarely feel my glutes when doing standard squats other than when I squeeze at the top. 

YogaByCandace likes this

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Yep, and as you push up to standing from being in the squat, push through your heels - that'll activate the posterior chain. Enjoy! It's a fun process!! (That sounds sarcastic but it's not - I really just have the best time in the gym.)

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