I can’t believe it. I searched back through 3 years of email tips and I haven’t written one about stretching your glutes!
The glutes – short for gluteal muscles – are the muscles in and around your bum. They are super strong muscles which help your hip move and keep you stable when balancing on one leg.
They get tight from working hard to keep your pelvis stable and from sitting too much and they can be a primary source of chronic pain in the back.
There is an endless supply of stretches for the glutes, so I’ll start with some variations of one of my favourites (and highlight more over the next couple weeks).
You only need one good stretch, you don’t have to do them all!
Classic figure 4 pose (and endless variations)
- Lie on your back with knees bent feet on the floor
- Cross your left ankle on to your right thigh.
- If you don’t find a stretch, gently press the left knee away – but don’t let your hips move.
- Still no stretch? Use both hands to grab and pull your left thigh towards you, or even grab the shin.
Variation 1: Legs up the wall
- Lie down on your back with your legs up the wall, have your hips about 20-40 cm from the wall
- Cross your left ankle on to your right thigh
- Slide your right foot down the wall until you find the stretch (your hips must stay on the floor)
- If it’s too intense, move your hips away from the wall
- Not intense enough, move closer to the wall.
Variation 2: Seated version
- Sit on the floor with your hands behind you. Knees bent, feet on the floor.
- Lean back and cross your left ankle on to your right thigh.
- Too intense? Bring your elbows to the floor or move your right foot away from you.
- Not strong enough? Tip your tailbone back under you, move your right foot towards, move your chest towards your legs.
Variation 3: Standing (stretch and balance at the same time!)
- Stand with feet hip width apart
- Bend your knees as if you are sitting back into a chair
- Make sure to have a neutral spine – a gentle arch in your lower back, tailbone tipping out behind you
- Cross your left ankle on to your right thigh – keep your right knee bent
- To intense? Lift your chest and bend your right knee less
- Not strong enough? Sit deeper into the squat, lift your tailbone up and tip your chest forward.
Which one is your favourite so far?