If massage therapist and astrologer Tiffany Potempa could only choose one spot to target to unlock years of tension, the answer is simple: it's always the buttocks. "The prime movers for this region that I love to focus on are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and the piriformis, which sits under the glutes," she says. "The glute region is responsible for keeping us upright and so much of the movement in our hips and legs. When balanced, they help us run fast and jump high. When imbalanced, this area can also be responsible for anything from shoulder pain to low back pain, sciatica, hip, leg, and even ankle issues."
Clearly keeping everything balanced is very important. "When the glutes go awry, it can cause imbalances up the body as well as down," says Potempa. The bad news is with the lifestyle most people lead today, it can be really hard to do that.
"Its so common to have issues originating from here. Technology has increased dramatically and we find ourselves on devices all the time. We sit while we work at our computers and devices, tending to social media, watching tv, gaming, and texting," she says. "Constant sitting weakens the glutes. It weakens the control over our pelvis, causing issues up and down the body. As a result, we're left hunched over, contracted on the front of our body, and elongated and weak on our back side. This cuts off some vital energy in our body physically and energetically."
When you target the oft-neglected glutes through massage, you can release all the pent-up tension that's preventing you from feeling your best. Because of that, it's something Potempa says should be part of everyone's self-care routine—you know, right along your beloved face masks and morning matcha lattes. While you can always book a session with a massage therapist, it's also easy to target the area right at home.
How to release tension in your whole body by targeting your buttocks
1. Foam roll
If you're not already targeting your buttocks when you foam roll, it's time to start. "Foam rolling the glute region is an amazing self-care massage method," she says. "Sit on the foam roller, then cross one leg over the other and roll back and forth on the glute of the crossed leg."
2. glute bridge
While massage is important in releasing tension in the area, exercising and strengthening the area is important too. "It brings back functionality," she says. "Pairing these self-care methods will give you a pep in your step, reducing imbalances in both the upper and lower body, and help you stand up-right again in this technological age." With that being said, glute bridges are a great place to start.
- Lay down with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Lift and squeeze your butt until your hips are up in the air.
- Hold at the top, then repeat.
3. pigeon pose
It can be tricky to stretch out your glutes, but that's what pigeon pose is for. "It's an amazing way to release stored-up tension," Potempa says. Here's how to do pigeon pose correctly:
This glutes workout will kick your butt in 10 minutes flat. Also be sure to try the two-for-one move that wrings out tight hips and strengthens your glutes.
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