If you're one of the unfortunate many who are afflicted with a pancake butt - we've got some sobering news for you. Instead of blaming your flat ass on genetics or body type (guilty as charged), you can blame your sedentary lifestyle, your sleeping habits and - gulp - your exercise proclivities.

In fact, weak gluteal muscles are more than just aesthetically displeasing - they can also cause a whole host of nasty side effects - such knee, hip and back pain. So common is this ailment that researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have coined a term for it - 'Dormant Butt Syndrome'. Catchy, huh? Characterised by tight hip flexors and weak gluteal muscles, Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS) is commonly brought on by lack of exercise, doing the wrong type of exercise, sitting too much and even sleeping in the foetal position. And according to this video below, it's causing millions of Americans injury. "The rear end should act as support for the entire body and as a shock absorber for stress during exercise, but if it's too weak, other parts of the body take up the slack and it often causes injury," says physical therapist Chris Kolba. 

Luckily, rather than despair over your flabby, unshapely butt, there are things you can do to help. Stretching your hip flexors and front of your thighs, plus exercises to strengthen your glutes (squats! Yay) do wonders for preventing injury. So, good news is: flat bums are an actual medical condition. Bad news: you really need to get off your butt to do something about it. We guess Gwyneth Paltrow's trainer Tracy Anderson was right - you can exercise your way out of a 'long butt'.

Flat bum? You could have Dormant Butt Syndrome