Think of an inactive muscle as someone who’s fallen asleep or a machine thats been powered off. It’s not dead or broken, but it needs to be woken up and turned on before it can get to work again.
Take your gluteus muscles (read: butt) as an example. If you spend all day sitting, particularly if you’re slouched, your hip flexors (the muscles at the front of your hip which hold your trunk upright) are forced to work overtime.
Meanwhile your butt muscles, which are on the opposite side of the body, turn off in response.
You might be thinking, “So what? Let my glutes take some time off. They’ve earned it!”
Well, when you finally do sit up and start walking around, your butt might’ve been inactive for so long that it fails to wake up. Then, to compensate, your hamstrings are forced to pull double duty, doing its job AND your glutes’.
As you might’ve guessed, this isn’t so great for the hamstrings, which eventually become so overworked that they become an imbalance, changing the entire alignment of your pelvis and even influencing distant sites such as your back, shoulder, elbows, and wrists.
See this video for a great exercise to re-fire and activate your glutes!