In today’s digest we bring you articles on Martins Licis Not Competing At 2020 World’s Strongest Man?, How to Avoid Rebound Weight Gain, The Real Reason Everyone’s Fat and This Is What Sitting All Day Does to Your Butt. Hope you enjoy them…
Martins Licis Not Competing At 2020 World’s Strongest Man?
This year’s World’s Strongest Man contest was already known to be missing some familiar faces. Now it would appear that last year’s champion, Martins Licis will not be competing at the event either. When Licis won the 2019 World’s Strongest Man, it was a bit of a big deal. He managed to beat out some […]
This year’s World’s Strongest Man contest was already known to be missing some familiar faces. Now it would appear that last year’s champion, Martins Licis will not be competing at the event either.
When Licis won the 2019 World’s Strongest Man, it was a bit of a big deal. He managed to beat out some of the best names in strongman, shocking the fans watching around the world. Furthermore, it left fans excited to see what he would do next, and curious to see if he could hold onto this title for multiple years to come.
It would appear that this will not be the case however, as Martins Licis seems to have revealed that he would not be competing at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man. In a video posted recently to his YouTube, the champion made a passing comment, suggesting that he was not competing at this year’s WSM. Instead he looks to be training for the 2021 Arnold Classic, apparently taking the rest of the year off.
“I’m excited to get all that focus training in for the Arnold, because I’m coming for the win,” Licis said.
“We didn’t really explain that you’re not training for the World’s Strongest Man,” his training partner said in response.
“Don’t worry about it,” Licis responded.
This passing comment was not the only thing to suggest that Licis is sitting out the WSM this year. Later in the video, he seemingly reaffirmed that he was training for the Arnold. Moreover he hinted that he would open up more about why he is not competing at the WSM, at a later date.
“Good little into Arnold training,” Licis said at the end of the workout.
“Hey, what happened to the World’s Strongest Man?” his cameraman asked with a hint of a chuckle.
“I’ll talk about it later,” he responds.
To be fair, Licis did not outright say that was not competing at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man, but judging by what he did say it seems pretty clear that he isn’t. This could be leaving the door open for Brian Shaw to get his fifth WSM title, since Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall are retired. However Rob Kearney has been looking particularly sharp lately, so he could potentially be another contender for this throne. Of course, these are not the only two names to look out for, heading into this November, but they seem to be the best bets.
Who do you think will win the 2020 World’s Strongest Man, if Martins Licis does not end up competing?
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Martins Licis Not Competing At 2020 World’s Strongest Man? was originally published at LINK
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How to Avoid Rebound Weight Gain
Rebound weight gain—the rapid regaining of weight that had been lost—is a common occurrence with many popular diets. It’s also frequently experienced by athletes of both sexes who compete in fitness or bodybuilding. Frequently overhead from competitors are comments such as: “Now that the show is finished, I don’t have to be so strict with […]
Rebound weight gain—the rapid regaining of weight that had been lost—is a common occurrence with many popular diets. It’s also frequently experienced by athletes of both sexes who compete in fitness or bodybuilding. Frequently overhead from competitors are comments such as:
“Now that the show is finished, I don’t have to be so strict with my diet, but I just can’t stop eating.”
“I’ve put on so much weight after my first bikini competition.”
“I find it harder to lose weight the second time around, and I just don’t understand why, because I’m following the same program and the same diet as last time.”
“I lack motivation getting back into things after competing.”
To understand how rebound weight gain happens, let’s start by looking at the typical fitness diet, if there is such a thing. These are some of the basic factors:
- Up to six regular meals per day
- Protein (shakes or dietary protein) with every meal
- A typical meal includes animal protein, vegetables, maybe a starch (sweet potato, potato, rice)
- Fats kept to a minimum
Usually, starches and fats are stripped down close to a competition to reduce muscle glycogen as much as possible while maintaining muscle mass. Both are essential to looking “shredded” onstage.
Even a weight-loss-promoting diet like this has some potential pitfalls:
- Excess protein can be converted into glucose, which can then be converted into fat.
- A low fat intake may result in fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies, dry skin, and dry hair.
- Severe carbohydrate restriction causes changes in the microbiome due to low dietary polyphenol and fiber intake.
- Severe carbohydrate restriction can also result in mood changes, depression, and sleep disruption due to lower tryptophan absorption. Sleep disturbances may disrupt circadian rhythms of many hormonal peptides such as insulin and growth hormone, which may influence muscle and fat mass.
Most athletes are careful not to make these common mistakes, but even the most calculated diets can result in post-competition weight gain and an inability to lose weight even years later.
The reasons are simple: It is not sustainable and it changes the gut microbiome.
To understand post-competition rebound weight gain, as well as why over time it may become harder to lose fat, we need to look at the gut microbiome, its influence on metabolic functions, and how diet affects this in the long term.
The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Weight Loss
Gut bacteria have the job of breaking down dietary fiber and turning it into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, which helps to feed the cells lining the colon, regulate immune function, decrease appetite, and improve insulin signaling in fat cells.
The microbiome also affects fat metabolism through the suppression of lipoprotein lipase activity in the fat cells. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fats in fat cells to be used for energy, and its activity is high during weight loss. Hormonal peptides such as insulin suppress lipoprotein lipase function—which explains why insulin isn’t just an anabolic hormone that helps build muscle. When insulin is present in higher-than-normal amounts, it also can encourage fat storage rather than breakdown. This is commonly seen in people with insulin resistance.
Maintaining a balance between various microorganisms in the gut is important when it comes to preventing metabolic disorders and supporting weight loss. It is estimated that human gut bacteria provide 2-3 million bacterial genes in the gut alone to regulate digestion, fat absorption, carbohydrate absorption, insulin, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Human gut bacteria provide up to 100 times more unique genes than our own genome does! So the human gut microbiome is both rich and diverse.
A Tale of Two Categories: High Gene Count and Low Gene Count
Regarding weight gain and loss, gut bacteria can be divided into two categories: high gene count (HGC) and low gene count (LGC). The HGC microbiome includes species such as these:
- Anaerotruncus colihominis
- Butyrivibrio crossotus
- Akkermansia sp.
- Faecalibacterium sp.
- Bifidobacterium spp.
- A high Akkermansia (Verrucomicrobia)-to-Ruminococcus torque/gnavus ratio.
The HGC-dominant microbiome tends to favor the production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate and hydrogen. Both are needed to regulate immune function in the gut by feeding good bacteria and killing bad bacteria.
When robust, this type of microbiome is associated with a lower rate of developing metabolic disorders and obesity, as well as improved gut barrier function, reduced body weight, and improved glucose and fat metabolism.[2-4]
The LGC microbiome include species such as:
- Ruminococcus gnavus
The LGC-dominant microbiome tends to be more pro-inflammatory and is associated with insulin resistance and leptin resistance, higher body-fat mass, dysregulated fat metabolism, and a pattern of gaining more weight over time—even when controlling caloric intake.
With that as a backdrop, here’s how a contest diet may actually set someone up for bingeing tendencies and weight gain.
Under conditions of caloric restriction, when carbohydrates and fats are both restricted and body-fat mass is very low, the body releases less leptin, which is the hormonal peptide that monitors energy availability and expenditure in the body. Leptin tells you when you are full and when you should be feeling hungry based on your energy stores. It protects against starvation, and lower leptin levels will make you feel hungrier—a common occurrence pre- and post-competition.
Having low leptin means it takes you longer to feel full after eating. In one study comparing 67 women with eating disorders and 25 healthy women, researchers found that leptin was high in those with binge-eating disorders and low in those suffering from anorexia and bulimia.
Human biochemistry adapts further by suppressing reproductive and thyroid function and by stimulating the HPA axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis). Suppressing thyroid function also suppresses metabolism.
Bringing It All Together
Competitors typically become very hungry as their competition nears. Restricted-carbohydrate diets lead to cravings for carbohydrate foods. Low leptin due to ultra-low body fat signals the body to eat more, initiating bingeing-type behavior post-competition. It takes longer to feel full, so you feel as if you just can’t stop eating. By the time leptin secretion kicks in, it may be a lot more than necessary, which may result in leptin resistance. Likewise, insulin will be released to cope with the increased intake of carbohydrates, which will lead to the storage of a lot of sugar in fat cells. (All carbohydrate besides fiber is broken down into sugars.) On top of this, your thyroid function is suppressed, another development promoting rapid weight gain.
There’s an additional factor at work here affecting fat metabolism, and that’s the gut microbiome. As mentioned above, when it comes to fat loss, the goal is to encourage the growth of HGC organisms and butyrate producers because HGC organisms promote insulin and leptin sensitivity, regulate inflammation, and regulate fat and sugar metabolism. At the same time, it’s important to discourage the growth of too many LGC organisms.
Diet is the main factor influencing this microbial gene richness and thus your ability to lose weight, independent of the calories consumed in your diet. As an example, a long-term diet low in fiber but high in animal proteins and fats has been found to favor the growth of Bacteroides spp., while a diet low in fiber but with a higher content of simple carbohydrates favors Prevotella spp.
What types of food play a role in the microbiome and its effect on fat loss?
Dietary polyphenols are bioactive compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and some grains, most notably in the skins and peels of colorful fruits and vegetables. They have modbiotic-like properties that can influence the microbial richness of the gut.
Poorly absorbed in the small intestine, polyphenols travel through to the large intestine, where they are metabolized by gut bacteria into various metabolites that either help regulate the ratios of bacteria in the gut environment or are absorbed into the bloodstream where they provide more systemic benefits.
The intake of in-season polyphenols has also been associated with improved HPA axis signaling and improved leptin signaling.
Various types of polyphenols have been shown to encourage the growth of HGC bacterial organisms such as Akkermansia and Bifidobacteria, while decreasing the growth of LGC organisms such as Staphylococcus, Bacteroidaceae, and Clostridium perfrigens.[12,13] Examples of foods that have high polyphenol content include green tea, apple peel, pomegranate peel, skins of berries, citrus fruits, and black rice.
Dietary fiber is metabolized into short-chain fatty acids by colonic bacteria in the large intestine. Three main short-chain fatty acids are formed:
These substances help to support the gut and feed the gut cells to keep them healthy. They can also feed into the energy cycles of cells to keep them going.
The ratio between butyrate and acetate is often used as a predictor of metabolic syndrome or other metabolic disorders characterized by glucose and fat dysregulation, with a higher butyrate-to-acetate ratio associated with easier weight loss. The type of short-chain fatty acids produced depends on the type of microorganisms residing in your gut and your diet. Aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day.
Not all fibers are fermented to produce butyrate, though. Resistant starch and soluble fiber support butyrate production while low-starch fibers don’t seem to aid it much. Examples of foods that support butyrate production include oats, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, broccoli, green peas, apples, berries, and pears.
The Bottom Line
Dietary restrictions are a part of life for many people who are into fitness. For those engaged in calorie and carbohydrate restriction, adding low-caloric supplementary polyphenols, fiber, or both may help them achieve their competition goals while preventing changes to the gut microbiome that may interfere with fat loss going forward.
Addressing thyroid inhibition, gut microbiome diversity, and insulin and leptin resistance post-competition offers other tools for preventing excessive post-competition weight gain.
- Qin, Junjie, et al. (2010). A human gut microbial gene catalog established by metagenomic sequencing. Nature, 464(7285): 59-65.
- Sokol, H., et al. (2008). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is an anti-inflammatory commensal bacterium identified by gut microbiota analysis of Crohn disease patients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105(43), 16731-16736.
- Everard, A., et al. (2013). Cross-talk between Akkermansia muciniphila and intestinal epithelium controls diet-induced obesity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(22), 9066-9071.
- Delzenne, Nathalie M., et al. (2011). Targeting gut microbiota in obesity: effects of prebiotics and probiotics. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 7(11), 639-646.
- Le Chatelier, E., Nielsen, T., et al. (2013). Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature, 500, 541-246.
- Monteleone, P., et al. (2000). Circulating leptin in patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder: relationship to body weight, eating patterns, psychopathology and endocrine changes. Psychiatry Research, 94(2), 121-129.
- Faggioni, R., et al. (2000). Reduced leptin levels in starvation increase susceptibility to endotoxic shock. American Journal of Pathology, 156(5), 1781-1787.
- Wu, Gary D., et al. (2011). Linking long-term dietary patterns with gut microbial enterotypes. Science, 334(6052), 105-108.
- Duenas, M., et al. (2015). A survey of modulation of gut microbiota by dietary polyphenols. BioMed Research International, 2015(7), 1-15.
- Ibars, M., et al. (2018). Seasonal consumption of polyphenol-rich fruits affects the hypothalamic leptin signaling system in a photoperiod-dependent mode. Science Reports, 8(1), 13572.
- Anhe, Fernando F., et al. (2016). Triggering Akkermansia with dietary polyphenols: a new weapon to combat the metabolic syndrome? Gut Microbes, 7(2), 146-153.
- Massot-Cladera, M., et al. (2012). Cocoa modulatory effect on rat faecal microbiota and colonic crosstalk; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 527(2), 105-112.
- Hara, H., et al. (1995). Effect of tea polyphenols on fecal flora and fecal metabolic products of pigs. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 57(1), 45-49.
- Perrin, P., Pierre, F., Patry, Y., Champ, M., Berreur, M., Pradal, G., … & Menanteau, J. (2001). Only fibres promoting a stable butyrate producing colonic ecosystem decrease the rate of aberrant crypt foci in rats. Gut, 48(1), 53-61.
The Real Reason Everyone’s Fat
The Blame Game The world is getting fatter and everybody’s an expert on why. Here’s a list of what people blame: Diets: Too restrictive, conflicting information The fitness industry: Conflicting info, intimidating, too much overt sexiness Sugar: Addictive McDonald’s: Makes us fat Gyms: Intimidating Spouses: Tempt us with junk food Children: Make us buy junk […]
The Blame Game
The world is getting fatter and everybody’s an expert on why. Here’s a list of what people blame:
- Diets: Too restrictive, conflicting information
- The fitness industry: Conflicting info, intimidating, too much overt sexiness
- Sugar: Addictive
- McDonald’s: Makes us fat
- Gyms: Intimidating
- Spouses: Tempt us with junk food
- Children: Make us buy junk food
- Parents: Allowed us to overeat junk food as kids
- Jobs: Cause stress, make us sit
- Magazines: Use Photoshop and good-looking people
Do these things play a role in obesity? Indirectly, maybe. But the buck stops with you and your response to them.
The Ability to Take Responsibility
Is it really any wonder the world is becoming fatter? We’re also becoming less capable of taking responsibility. It’s a virtue that’s going out of style. This sucks because the better you get at taking responsibility, the more likely you are to look for opportunity to fix your circumstances instead of becoming a victim of them. And if you haven’t noticed, cry-baby victimhood is today’s hottest trend.
This is how mental weakness turns into physical weakness. Weak people are quick to point the finger at outside sources instead of finding opportunities to overcome their personal challenges.
Granted, the things they blame can be legitimate challenges. There are physiological and psychological factors that make fat loss and muscle gain seem impossible. But NOBODY gets a free pass. That means fit people often have just as many (or more) personal disadvantages to fight against as fat people.
The Truth About Fit People
Everybody who’s in shape fights for it in some way. It’s not given to us. We all have personal disadvantages and challenges to overcome. So unless you’re among the very few genetically gifted and environmentally blessed, you can’t get lean without a struggle. You can’t build muscle without a struggle. And you certainly won’t maintain either without struggling in some way.
On top of that, your struggles will change yearly, monthly, sometimes even daily. So once you overcome your initial challenges, you’ll be faced with more. And they happen everywhere: under the barbell, at school, in the doctor’s office, in the kitchen or the car, anywhere! Getting in shape isn’t a thing that happens exclusively at the gym. It’s what you do constantly with every choice you make.
The Fitness Fight
I wasn’t a natural born athlete and don’t have the genetics to be naturally or easily lean. As a kid I medicated stress and sadness with food. My role model was my big sister, who was bulimic. As a teen, I attended Overeater’s Anonymous and ended up fighting my challenges with weight training, competitive bodybuilding, cross country, self-help books, and the grace of God.
It was hard. And I still had to overcome some crazy eating patterns in my twenties. But I fought back then and, with a different set of challenges, I fight now. Emotional eating and overeating no longer burden me, but that doesn’t mean leanness and muscularity are just handed to me. Nor are they handed to anyone else who chooses to train regularly and eat wisely.
My challenges today? Injuries that I work around in the gym, painful food sensitivities, and chronically low iron. And once these are fixed a brand new set of challenges will come along later. That’s life. But it’s not a good enough reason to let myself go and blame the world for my missteps.
Your Body, Your Business
Most people haven’t been bitten by the fitness bug. They’re not into lifting, nor do they go to the store thinking about macronutrients, ingredients, or overall nutritional value. That’s fine.
They’re into what they’re into. And they’re often extremely smart people, which means that if they want to get stronger and leaner, they’ll find ways. They can hire trainers, read books, do a bit of research, cook for themselves instead of eating out, imbibe a little less, sleep a little more, and plug into groups of people with similar challenges.
Same with you. If you’re overweight, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have a choice, or that you got this way and it was totally out of your control. Why? Because if you think like that, then you probably won’t ever feel competent enough to take control, at least not long-term.
If you don’t care about strengthening your body or improving your health, that’s your business. You will prioritize what’s important to you. Just don’t say the fitness industry failed you, or that diet books, food manufacturers, or your family is to blame for the repercussions you’re facing now. It’s your body and YOUR business, remember?
Sycophants Aren’t Helping
A sycophant is someone who tells people exactly what they want to hear. Ass-kisser is a synonym.
So let’s say YOU are fit. Maybe you’re even in the business as a personal trainer, expert, or a variation of inspirational-millennial-life-coach. Yet you tell fat people it’s not their fault, they have no choice, and they should embrace the bodies they have now – no matter how unhealthy or out of shape they are. That’s bullshit and you know it.
You know that people who are out of shape could be making the best choices within their circumstances, no matter how unfortunate those circumstances are. And you know that “body acceptance” is a sham because their lives would be much easier if their frail frames and feeble joints weren’t hauling around extra weight.
You know they’d feel better about themselves, have more energy, move more freely, take fewer meds, sleep better, get out more, have fewer doctors’ appointments, deal with less pain, have better sex, and (ironically) enjoy their food a lot more than they do now.
There’s a way to be both compassionate and honest. But by playing the sycophant you’re encouraging people to be the victims rather than the masters of their circumstances. And I hope that people who are out of shape make the choices that prove you wrong. Because you see, if they can CHOOSE to get in better shape today, then they could’ve CHOSEN better behaviors in the first place that would have kept them from getting where they are now. There is a choice.
Your patronizing pity is more insulting than the brutal honesty of someone who says, “You’re fat and here’s what you can do about it.”
I hope your clients flip the mental switch and take responsibility. I hope they embrace the struggle because that’s how you overcome challenges. This requisite struggle is what most people avoid, but it means something new is happening. It means they’re now fighting personal disadvantages, the way we all do when we make the choice to get in shape.
The First Step In Change
The longer you’ve let yourself go, the harder it’ll be to create habits that’ll make you leaner and stronger. And you won’t ever change unless you see challenges as what they are: beatable. The good news is, the more punches you throw, the better you get at it.
Accusing other people for causing your circumstances only postpones the good stuff you could be enjoying. So personal responsibility is nonnegotiable. It’s the first step.
Then expect temptation and plan how you’re going to beat it. Temptation is inescapable and everyone faces it. If you’re still blaming your spouse for sabotaging you with tempting food, don’t count on changing. We’re all tempted by about the same shit; your challenges aren’t special. And even if you’re injured or ill, there’s still a way to choose the best options within your given set of circumstances.
Can’t get support at home? Find it elsewhere, then be a role model for your family. It’ll be a struggle, but it’s supposed to be. Everyone experiences that. If you’re not struggling, then you’re probably not making progress. The struggle is what keeps you from getting weaker, fatter, less mobile, and more incompetent as the owner of your body.
The blame-game won’t make you any fitter or healthier. It’s not working for the rest of the world, so don’t expect it to work for you. The question is, are you going to fight your challenges or let them own you? The choice is yours. It always has been. It always will be.
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This Is What Sitting All Day Does to Your Butt
If you have a desk job, chances are you’re sitting in your chair for 8+ hours each day. When you get up every now and then, maybe you notice your tush is a little sore and your hip flexors a little tight. Well, it’s not just your imagination; it’s very likely that your butt hurts […]
If you have a desk job, chances are you’re sitting in your chair for 8+ hours each day. When you get up every now and then, maybe you notice your tush is a little sore and your hip flexors a little tight. Well, it’s not just your imagination; it’s very likely that your butt hurts if you’re sitting a lot. While all that excess typing and minimal moving may be good for your career, it’s not all that great for your butt.
But don’t quit your day job—there are steps you can take to keep all that time on your keister from going numb or making you achy. If your butt hurts when sitting, these tips are for you.
When you’re sitting, your butt’s not working at all.
“When you sit all day, basically what happens is your glutes shut down,” Dan Giordano, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., and co-founder of Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy, tells SELF. Since your glutes impact your hip movement, pelvis rotation, and pelvic stability, what’s bad for your butt is actually bad for your entire body. After all, everything is connected. And since your glutes are responsible for so much movement in your daily life and workouts, it pays to keep them healthy.
An inactive gluteus can throw off posture and cause back pain.
When you sit for long periods of time, especially with poor posture (which, Giordano notes, the vast majority of us are doing), your hip flexors tighten up and prevent activation of the glutes. “When this happens, your pelvis can’t rotate forward, causing compression in the lower back which can lead to back pain,” Giordano says. Over time, if it goes unchecked, this can lead to chronic pain. Of course, you’re not likely to experience any negative effects after a few weeks or months of sitting for most of the day. But after a while, it does start to add up.
It can even cause pain in other parts of the body.
“If hips or glutes aren’t working properly, it can increase impact force all the way to the knees and ankles,” Giordano says. When the big muscle (the butt) isn’t pulling its weight, the pressure and force relocates to these weaker spots. It’s OK for muscles to help each other out. There are plenty of exercises that require a main muscle but recruit a bunch of other ones to help out, too. But what we don’t want is other muscles to have pitch in because the main ones just isn’t activating or has gotten weak.
A weaker butt can interfere with your workouts.
Inhibited gluteus muscles won’t fire properly, and over time, if they’re not activating regularly, they’ll get weaker. This is called muscle atrophy, and can undo any hard work you’ve done to build a strong, sturdy behind. Not to mention make those squats feel way harder than they used to. And not hard in the good, I-crushed-my-workout way, hard in the sense that you’re lack the strength and/or mobility to perform given moves with good form, especially as you get further along in your workout and need to push yourself harder to keep going.
To minimize the effects of sitting, start with your posture.
Adjust your chair so your hips are slightly above your knees, feet resting flat on the floor. Make sure your lower back is supported, either by a sturdy chair back, or a pillow. Keep your shoulders relaxed, but upright, and head directly over the shoulders. Your computer screen should be eye level or slightly below—if it’s too low, your head will bend forward. Your elbows should be about table height, and make sure you’re close enough to your desk that you’re not reaching for the keyboard. If you find that you start out with decent posture but start to droop and fold as the day goes on, build some breaks into your day to walk around and reset yourself.
And regular workouts can counteract all that sitting, too.
As long as you’re activating those glutes outside of your day job, you don’t really need to worry. And there are more than a few ways to get your glute-saving exercises in.
- Giordano recommends Pilates to strengthen your core and improve your posture.
- Barre classes that target the hips and glutes are also great for anyone who’s sitting all day to fire up those muscles and keep them strong.
- You can try this 10-move butt workout that only requires a resistance band.
- This 15-minute dumbbell workout will also work your butt
- At home, keep these butt exercises in your ~ back pocket ~.
- You can also just do some glute squeezes in your seat, Giordano says, “activating the glutes by just squeezing them together.”
If you’re feeling tight, use a foam roller on your hip flexors, quads, and butt once or twice daily, to ease soreness and increase mobility and flexibility.
This Is What Sitting All Day Does to Your Butt was originally published at LINK