Glute Stretches To Reduce Stiffness And Pain
Over the last few years, I’ve seen a lot more requests for glute-focused workouts.
If you want to target this muscle group, it’s important to focus on proper function first.
- What are your glutes?
- Why are glute stretches important?
- My favourite glute stretches
- Simple glute stretch
- Foam rolling for glutes
- How often should you do glute stretches?
While I’ve explained how to activate your glutes, I want to show you some glute stretches that can help support your workouts too.
What are your glutes?
Your gluteals (glutes) form an important muscle group that helps control lower-body movements and also helps you to maintain good posture.
There are three main muscles that make up this group: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Each part is responsible for a slightly different form of movement. For example, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle and it controls the extension of the hips. The gluteus medius helps with lifting the leg sideways and it also stabilises the pelvis as you move. The gluteus minimus, the smallest glute muscle, also supports the pelvis and helps with leg rotation.
Why are glute stretches important?
You might not realise this but your glutes are ALWAYS working. As I’ve explained, they help you to stand, to give you balance and to move in all different directions. Because these muscles support movement alongside other parts of your body (such as your hips and your legs), glutes need to be working properly. Otherwise, other parts of your body may try to compensate and you may end up with problems such as knee pain, lower back issues or ankle sprains.
Another reason to do glute stretches? Sitting all day can contribute to weakened glutes. Yes, if you spend a lot of time behind a desk or sitting, this can cause weak glutes which can then lead to postural problems, muscle pain and an increased risk of injury. That’s why spending some time working on your glutes is really important!
My favourite glute stretches
Now you know how important your glutes are, I want to show you a way to stretch this muscle group!
Simple glute stretch
There is no need to overcomplicate health and fitness, especially when it comes to stretching. This is a simple glute stretch you can do at home, at the gym, in the park or anywhere else you feel comfortable!
How to stretch your glutes:
- Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position.
- Release and turn out your right leg so that your ankle is resting on your left leg just above your knee.
- Draw your left knee in towards your torso, resting both hands on the back of your left thigh.
In addition to stretching your glutes, you can also give them some attention during your recovery sessions.
Foam rolling for glutes
Why would you foam roll your glutes? The glute muscles can become tight from a heavy lower body training schedule and from all-day sitting. Focusing on your glutes when you foam roll can help open up tight muscles and allow you to move more comfortably.
How to foam roll your glutes:
- Position the foam roller horizontally behind you. Carefully sit on top of the foam roller and place both hands on the floor behind you.
- Lift and turn out your right leg so that your ankle is resting on your left leg just above your knee, as shown. Gently tilt your hips to the right to allow the foam roller to press into your right gluteal.
- Slowly roll the foam roller along the length of your gluteal. Once you reach a point of tenderness (called a trigger point), pause and hold that position for 30-60 seconds or until the pressure is significantly reduced. You can choose to perform small strokes over the point of tenderness if you would prefer.
- Continue to roll down the length of your gluteal, pausing on trigger points as needed before repeating on the other side.
The benefits of foam rolling are huge — I include my glutes in all of my foam rolling sessions, so watch the video below to see how I put it all together.
How often should you do glute stretches?
Now you know HOW to do glute stretches and how to foam roll your glutes, you probably want to know how often you should be doing it!
Next time leg day rolls around, try to include glute stretches, like the simple one explained above. If you’re following any of my programs in the SWEAT app, stretches are included in the recovery section, so you can simply follow the guidance of the app!
Don’t neglect glute stretches!
The gluteals can be an underestimated muscle group, which means sometimes they can be neglected when it comes to stretching and self-massage.
Hopefully this blog has helped you to understand more about why paying attention to your glutes is important!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.