12/03/2020 by Rich Levy 0 Comments
5 Effective Stretches for Tight Glutes
We all want to have a tight lifted booty and we spend a lot of time squatting, planking, and running to get that shape we dream of. In reality tight or sore glutes can make it difficult for you to walk, sit or stand. Hence you shouldn’t skip stretching your glutes before and after your workout.
Get to know your glutes
Your glutes (in fact anyone’s glutes) are made out of 3 muscles:
- Gluteus medius is a muscle that connects the hip bone to the side of the upper femur. It helps you externally rotate your leg when it’s extended behind you, and internally rotate your hip when your leg is flexed in front of you.
- Gluteus maximus is attached to side of the sacrum and femur and it’s the biggest muscle in your glutes. The maximus creates forward thrust as you walk, run, and rise from a squat.
- Gluteus minimus it helps you flex, internally rotate the hip and abduct. This muscle is used when you make circular movements with your thigh.
Because of these muscles you can stand, plank, walk, lean, run and do other important movements. When you use them too much and even when you use them too little, these muscles become tight. This can result in lower back pains, runner’s knee, and other muscular imbalances which can lead to injuries. Good news is that you can relieve the tightness with a few simple stretches.
1. Glute bridge
How it works - Through the hip extension you activate your gluteus maximus. It also targets the core, and helps stabilize the pelvis so it doesn’t tilt excessively
How it’s done - Lie face-up, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands at sides. Roll up from bottom of spine until hips are lifted. Press through heels to send hips up and round chest towards chin. Hold at the top, then relax. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps, then do 2 to 3 sets total.
2. Reclined pigeon
How it works – it opens the hips, relieves sciatica or piriformis issues, increases blood flow to the pelvis, releases lower body tension and improves circulation in the hips, lower back and lower body
How it’s done - Start on your back with your legs bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Lift your left leg to bring your left ankle to rest on your right thigh, just above your knee.
Flex your left foot and wrap your arms around your right thigh, gently pulling it closer to your chest as you press your left knee away from your body. Hold for one to two minutes before repeating on the opposite side. That’s one rep
3. Pigeon pose
How it works – this stretch will work out several muscles in the same time, including gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, your hips and piriformis. It’s important to relieve any soreness in these muscles to avoid any injuries.
How it’s done - From a downward dog position, bend left leg and drop knee to left. Then, extend right leg behind you. Press right hip towards the mat. Inhale, then exhale as you walk your palms as far forward as is comfortable. It’s very important to keep your hips squared away in this pose. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the right leg.
4. Seated leg cradle
How it works – will help alleviate sore glutes, no matter how tight they are from the previous day’s training. There are a few variations of this stretch, depending on how much flexibility and mobility you have in your glutes and hips.
How it’s done - Start in a seated position with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Draw your right knee toward your chest and cradle the lower leg by placing the right knee in the crook of the right elbow and the sole of the right foot in the crook of the left elbow.
Flex your right foot and keep your spine straight and your chest lifted as you gently rock your leg from left to right. You should feel this in your right hip and glute area. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing your leg and repeating the stretch on the opposite side.
You can modify the intensity of the stretch by holding your knee and foot with your hands or scooping both elbows under your calf muscle and drawing your leg toward your chest.
5. Standing Figure Four Stretch
How it works – this stretch will target your piriformis and glutes, will help you improve your balance and stability while you have to stand on one leg and will also strengthen your core.
How it’s done - From a standing position, bend knees slightly. Cross right ankle over left knee. Press right ankle into left leg, and push back with left leg. Keeping a neutral spine, try to send hips back to fold upper body forward to deepen the stretch. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Slowly release and repeat on the other side