This article from 2014 was lightly edited and resources updated in 2020. For more information about how butt function affects pelvic floor health, read Our Best "Healthy Pelvis" Resources.
I love squats, lunges, and hikes with steep hills. In short, I really like using my butt.
I'm in a place in my life where workout time is scarce and languid walks with my 1.5- and almost 3-year old are abundant. I've talked before about maximizing efforts when speed and distance aren't available options and I've also mentioned ad nauseam that we've got to stop standing around doing nothing when we're standing around doing nothing.
Standing around is movement time, wasted. If you ever catch yourself standing around doing nothing— especially if it is standing around watching other people (like little kids) do a bunch of movement—try the following:
straighten your feet
externally rotate your femurs
back your pelvis up
drop your ribs
pelvic list to stand on one leg
do a forward bend
do a forward bend on one leg
do a squat
do a squat on one leg
do a lunge
do a sprint
do a straddle stretch.
Do I need to go on? (And yes, I've done almost all of these even when standing around in public, like in line at the grocery store. Don't let your ego keep you from moving.)
I shared this picture on social media to illustrate how I get my forward bends (read: hamstring work) done while living. Forward bends, squats, worm identification, Vitamin D, and time with my kids...all at the same time (see Movement Matters for more on how to "stack your life"). The less you think about exercise as something that needs a special time and place, the better you can use your body.
So back to using my butt, which probably seemed like a non sequitur a couple minutes ago. This video below is me demonstrating one of my favorite ways to fill up "standing around" time. I'll do a dozen sprinkled throughout the day and find it's not only great for my bod, it's a nice way to center my mind. There is no need to do all your alignment exercise indoors. Human movement was built by the great outdoors. Try it there; it always fits!
P.S. It's important to note that Strunk and White's The Elements of Style states that a good writer will avoid foreign languages: "The writer will occasionally find it convenient or necessary to borrow from other languages. Some writers, however, from sheer exuberance or a desire to show off, sprinkle their work liberally with foreign expressions, with no regard for the reader's comfort. It is a bad habit. Write in English."
In light of this, I would like to change ad naseum to "to the point of nausea" and "non sequitur" to...well, it turns out that the butt part isn't really the non sequitur, but the middle part—about getting your exercise in while your standing around—was, so I think I'll stop the grammar lesson here. I'll bet you already know that 1) I am not a good writer and 2) I have little regard for my readers' comfort (see: one legged squat).