Your glutes are the large muscles in your butt – they keep you upright, help stabilize your core and are super important for balance and strength. Every time you walk, bend or raise a leg you are using your glutes. Exercising will keep them strong but it’s equally important to keep them stretched because tight glutes will lead to back problems. Here are some great ways to keep your glutes loose.
Lie on your back, bring one knee towards your chest then push it across towards the opposite hip, keeping your back and hips on the floor (Picture 1). Then bring the knee all the way to the floor allowing the opposite hip to come off the floor (but keeping your shoulders on the floor). This will generally loosen up your hips and lower back (picture 2).
Now for the classic glute stretch – see picture 3 – cross one knee over the other and turn it out, grasp the other leg with your hands and pull your legs towards you, keeping your head and shoulders on the ground. Make sure you do both legs. Picture 4 is another way to achieve this.
Glute stretches can be done seated in a chair (even at work!) either sitting upright or bringing the head down towards the legs for added stretch (picture 5).
You can also achieve this standing up (picture 6) as long as you push your hips backwards and can balance on one leg.
Using a table or bench is another way (picture 7).
Sitting on the floor, you can stretch your glutes by crossing one leg over the other, knee turned out, and leaning forward. (Picture 8). And finally, the yoga ‘pigeon pose’ is probably the toughest glute stretch (picture 9), where the back leg is turned under and hip pushed towards the floor and the front foot is right forward so that the shin is parallel to line of the shoulders. To increase the stretch lean forward on your forearms.