'Dead Butt Syndrome' Is a Real Medical Issue, and You Might Have It | 22 Words

Your butt might be dead. No, seriously.

"Gluteal amnesia," also known as "dead butt syndrome," is a real health issue affecting countless people, and the scariest thing? You may not even know you have it.

If "gluteal amnesia" sounds like your butt loses its memory, that's because it kind of actually does.

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Dead Butt Syndrome (which we will be calling it from now on because it's super funny) means that your gluteal muscles literally forget how to fire properly.

Shocking, we know.

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But it makes sense. Just like any other muscles in your body, your butt muscles need to be used consistently in order to continue doing their job.

Yes, butts are our gloriously round padded bum seats, but they're also essential muscle groups.

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You gotta work 'em to keep 'em. Anyone who sits for most of the day — as many Americans with desk jobs do — is at risk for developing dead butt syndrome. How do you know if your butt is dead? There's a simple test you can do. Stand and imagine you're wearing a belt. According to Kira Stokes, a celebrity trainer, "if your belt line drops toward the front, it means you have an anterior pelvic tilt, which signifies you aren't contracting your glutes properly."

We're always told to keep moving as much as possible.

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Sitting for hours on end isn't good for you for a number of reasons. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and now — Dead Butt Syndrome. "When you sit a lot, the hip flexor gets shortened and tighter, which leads to the butt muscles not firing or working as optimally as they should," says Chris Kolba, a physical therapist at Ohio State University, told SELF.

Think about it.

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Many Americans sit for the duration of their commute if they're on a train, on a bus, or in a car. Those butt muscles aren't getting much exercise while you're sitting there listening to your favorite podcast about serial killers, that's for sure.

Once we get to work, we take a seat at our desk and we're parked there all day.

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Butt muscles are simply not getting the workout they need on a daily basis. The process that leads to Dead Butt Syndrome is called reciprocal inhibition. Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, explained to SELF that, "reciprocal inhibition occurs when tightness in one muscle [your hip flexors, in this case] creates length in the muscle on the opposite side of the joint [your gluteal muscles or glutes]."

Is there anything you can do to combat Dead Butt Syndrome?

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Luckily, yes. Your bad posture might not affect your hearing, but it can definitely affect your butt muscles.

Make sure you sit up straight when you are sitting down, and take the time to stretch every couple of hours.

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Sara Lewis, a personal trainer and the founder of XO Fitness told SELF that you don't necessarily need a gym to combat Dead Butt Syndrome. One simple exercise she recommends is to, "stand tall, and tuck your tailbone and flex your glutes as hard as you can for five counts. Release, then repeat 10 times."

There are plenty of things you can do to prevent or even reverse Dead Butt Syndrome.

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If you regularly clench and release, sit up straight, and take regular walk breaks, you might be able to transform your dead butt back into a super alive butt.

An active lifestyle is really the name of the game.

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But being super in-shape doesn't mean you can't also have dead butt syndrome. If you run or cycle regularly, you might be prone to the gluteal death trap. Chris Kolba told SELF that, "the repetitive nature of running or cycling can lend itself to tightness in the hip flexors," and tightness in the hip flexors, as we now know, is a recipe for a dead butt.

If you can make it to the gym regularly to focus on your butt muscles, that's your best bet for avoiding dead butt syndrome.

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Lunges are a great way to work those hip flexors and engage your gluteal muscles. Deadlifts help, too. Just remember the cardinal rule of gluteal exercises: ABC — Always Be Clenching!

Squats are also incredibly effective for working your glutes.

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Bonus points if you can do them while holding a cat. Extra bonus points if the cat doesn't scratch you.

So yes, there's a good chance you have a dead butt.

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But the good news is your dead butt is revivable. All you have to do is be mindful of those gluteal muscles. They deserve your attention. Working to reverse your Dead Butt Syndrome will help your health in the long run — no butts about it.