Hi. My name is Tanner, and I used to have a pancake ass.
One cold morning, because Georgia is in the South but likes to act like it’s in the North sometimes, around 5:15am or so I walked into my locker room. My gym is what one would call a “health club” that resembles Globo Gym from the movie Dodgeball. We’ve got a TV in the locker room, comfy chairs, sauna, showers. The works.
I walk in, gym bag slung over my shoulders and about ready to start my long day of training when out of the corner of my eye I catch a naked man walking by. Now, this is nothing new in my gym. It seems as we get older our proclivity for walking around naked in public increases. Or we don’t give a damn. Something was shocking about this particular birthday suited fellow. He had no ass. A nonexistent ass. One in which a slight protrusion couldn’t even be detected.
Now as a man who enjoys squatting, hip thrusting, and all other ass involved activities I found this shocking. So I decided to do a little anecdotal research and see just how prevalent this really was amongst the patrons of the locker room. After a week of very scientific, heavily researched work, I’ve decided we’re in the midst of an epidemic. And we must stop it.
Male Pattern Pancake Ass.
It’s apropos to tell you that I too once suffered from Male Pattern Pancake Ass. I was in denial, but once I came to terms with it, I could actually start battling it. MPPA is actually a well-known condition, so much it has made it into the highly esteemed ranks of Urban Dictionary.
And while you may not have known about its official designation, I’m sure every single person reading this has seen out in the wild of the real world. You know what I’m talking about. The guy that seemingly has it all together, until you catch a side profile of him.
Where there should be an ass there is none. And this is a problem.
First off, aesthetically glutes make a huge difference to an overall look. Now, that’s not say you’ve got to build a pair of buns befitting of a Sir Mix-a-Lot song, but having a respectable ass is important. From an evolutionary perspective, it signifies that you’re strong and capable of both hunting food and defending your home.
Obviously, our huts aren’t trampled by dinosaurs anymore and we typically don’t have to defend the village from intruders. Things change with time. But even in modernity a well-built ass implicitly signals both strength and virility. All of which are things are attractive. On top of filling out a pair jeans.
It’s not all about aesthetics though. MPPA is ruining your back health.
Male Pattern Pancake Ass actually has serious health consequences. Aside from atrophied glutes that prevent someone from being able to run, jump, hip thrust with the lights off the way they want, MPPA can actually cause serious hip, low back, and knee problems.
To understand how MPPA can adversely affect these other areas, we need to be familiar with something known as Anterior Pelvic Tilt. Anterior Pelvic Tilt, or APT as I’m gonna call it because this is my article and I do what I want, is characterized by a few things:
Lengthen and weakened:
Stiff and strong:
A visual representation for all you visual folk out there
In other words, your hips are tilted forward. This is something that affects almost everyone to some degree, especially those of us who spend all day sitting.
When your hips are tilting forwards this means your ass muscles, hamstrings, and obliques have to stretch out and relax to allow the hips to tilt. Which in turn means the rectus femoris (in your quads), spinal erectors (low back muscles), psoas and iliacus (deep muscles in your hips) become strong and stiff. Strong is good, stiff is no bueno.
APT is responsible for a number of issues including chronic lower back pain. If you paid attention up there you may realize that stretching out the hamstrings may not be the best idea for low back pain. Knee pain thanks to knees having to help out more than they care to do, and hip issues because well, your hips are tilting forwards.
Oh and it makes it look like your belly is hanging out over your belt way more than it actually is. So not only is it wrecking your joints, it makes everyone think you’re fat.
Excessive sitting for prolonged periods of time, some genetic predisposition, and poor posture in day to day life leads to APT. APT then in turn leads to MPPA which in turn leads to more APT. Tired of abbreviations? I sure am. You get the point though. It’s a never ending cycle.
The hidden culprit to it all.
Now, APT itself is no joke and is something you want to be aware of. But for most people, it isn’t as easy as simply just positioning their hips a bit differently. A lot of us lack the kinesthetic awareness to be able to do that and get into proper position.
So another way to look at APT would be through what your ribcage is doing.
If you’re ribcage is up and open and it feels like you’re walking around proudly showing off your chest to the world then chances are you’re hanging out on your lower back a bit too much, weakening your ass muscles, and setting yourself up for back pain at some point in the very near future. If you haven’t already arrived there.
However, if you think about closing and pulling the ribcage down a bit you’ll notice that you suddenly find yourself in more neutral positioning. This is a place your back likes to hang out in, though it might feel like you’re hunched over a bit in the beginning.
A quick and easy way to pull yourself into this positioning would be through a simple exercise called deep belly lift breathing, which I talk about here.
How do we battle APT and Male Pattern Pancake Ass with training?
Pulling your ribcage down and getting your breathing in order is bound to make a huge difference here. But I get it. People don’t read blogs because they want to be told how to breathe. That shit is annoying, right? So on top of paying attention to your breath, here are a few moves that I love to make use of.
Hip thrusts (weighted and unweighted)
Cable pull throughs
Squatting is another good one, it just has to be coached a little more hands on. Generally people with weak glutes and APT have trouble squatting properly. The squat should be initiated by pushing the hamstrings and hips back then down, whereas APT sufferers just drop them hips low. I’m all for dropping it low, just be safe and do it right yo.
The big key to is paying attention to your posture throughout the day. To battle APT focus on keeping your glutes tight, don’t shift your weight from one foot to the other all the time, and keep your back straight in all things you do.
Male Pattern Pancake Ass is an epidemic. If we’re not careful in a few short years we will have millions of men walking around slumped over with pancake asses, complaining of knee pain, hip pain, back pain, and broken hearts because their loyal lover left them for some guy with nice glutes. I don’t want to bear witness to that, and I doubt you do either. So do me a favor and share this article with someone who you think could learn a thing or two.