I have an exercise routine wherein I lie face-down on an exercise ball and hold my arms out in front of me for a few seconds, then drop them and pick them up again. I do this 10 times. Following that exercise, I hold my arms out to my sides for a few seconds, then drop them. I also do this exercise 10 times.

Perhaps as an unfortunate result of my muscular restrictions, I sometimes feel my butt tightening up to the point where it's kind of annoying. After all, I'm trying to exercise my back, not my buttocks.

  • Are you doing these exercises with weights? Can you clarify what you mean by muscle restrictions, as what you describe won't really do much of anything?
    – JohnP
    Jun 22 '15 at 21:53
  • Are you referring to this exercise (except with a ball instead of on the floor) ? Jun 23 '15 at 1:35
  • 1
    Most people need to have their glutes get activated and strengthened; I would be happy it's happening.
    – Eric
    Jun 23 '15 at 3:16

First, other than using your spinal muscles (erector spinae) and to some extent your posterior serratus, the exercise you describe won't really work your back. It will minimally work your deltoids, and very tangentially your lats on the lateral raises.

Your glutes (butt) will act as stabilizers and help keep the extension on your back when you are on an unstable surface such as a ball. If you want to minimized the involvement of your butt, then you need to lay on a stable surface such as a bench.

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