Sore Glutes? Try These Stretches!
Your glutes make up the largest muscle group in your body, and you’ll use them in full-body workouts, walking, holding a plank — in fact, the glutes are engaged during most exercises!
This complex muscle group plays an essential role in stabilising your pelvis and moving your thighs. There are three large muscles and under these, six smaller stabilising muscles that support the larger muscles function.
When we talk about stretching tight glutes, we usually target the three large muscles — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Some of these stretches will also target the smaller stabilising muscles like the piriformis, a muscle that helps with hip rotation.
The glutes, along with the hip flexors, can get sore and tight — even if you aren’t active!
How to stretch tight glutes
Before doing static stretches, start with some dynamic glute stretches to warm up the muscles. Foam rolling is one way to prepare the muscles to stretch, and you can include other movements to warm up the hips.
Here’s an example:
This exercise switches on the gluteus medius and other muscles in the leg. You’ll also need to activate your core to maintain your form as you warm up your glutes and hips. Do an even number of repetitions on each side!
Once you’ve spent three to five minutes warming up your glutes and hips, you can start these stretches. Grab a yoga mat and it’s time to get flexible!
Seated figure four
This stretch increases flexibility of the gluteus maximus and the lateral hip rotators. You can deepen the stretch by holding the back of your thigh and pulling your knee towards your face.
This stretch is ideal for anyone who isn’t as flexible, because you can deepen the stretch gently according to your range of motion.
In this stretch, aim to keep your spine straight and use light pressure from your arms to stretch the glutes.
Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds before switching to the other side.
The easiest way to get into this pose is from a high plank position, bringing one leg forward and keeping the hips squared as you lower towards the mat.
This is a great stretch if you hike or run. It stretches several of the glute muscles, including the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and the piriformis. It also helps to increase range of motion in the hip.
Hold this pose for 30-40 seconds, and repeat the stretch on the other side.
Standing glute stretch
This is the perfect glute stretch if you are outdoors and don’t want to sit on the ground! The stretch requires you to balance, so you might want to stand near something you can use for support like a tree or pole.
During the stretch, keep a neutral spine and send your hips back, folding your upper body to deepen the stretch.
This is a gentle stretch to open your hips and it’s a great place to start if you find it hard to get into half pigeon. Keep your lower back flat on the mat and gently guide your thigh towards your chest to feel the stretch.
This supine stretch targets the piriformis and external hip rotators.
You can stretch and strengthen sore glutes to reduce tightness
If you have sore glutes from sitting or inactivity, activating your glutes and doing strength exercises can also help.
Muscle recovery is an important part of your training, so don’t leave it out! When you look after your body, you’ll get better results from your training, and you’ll feel better too.
Do you have a favourite stretch for sore glutes? Share it in the comments below!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.