As the largest and one of the strongest muscles in your body, the glutes can get pretty tight. If they form uncomfortable knots it can make your hips and back feel stiff and sore. Stretch them out before or after your workout to help the problem go away.
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How to Stretch the Glutes
Your glutes extend your legs back and rotate them externally, or to the outside. To stretch them you have to do the opposite motion. That means you'll be flexing your legs and rotating them the opposite way to get a full stretch.
Using both a flexing and rotating motion at the same time is much better for your flexibility. That's why you can't simply do a toe touch stretch and call it a day; you need to add another layer by rotating the leg to stretch the glute from all angles.
A static stretch is a stretch that you hold for 10 to 30 seconds as the muscle gradually relaxes. Some of the best glute stretches are static.
When you start stretching, keep going until you feel slight discomfort and hold the stretch there. Don't push the stretch too hard because you can actually damage your muscle.
Read More: How Long to Hold Stretches?
Figure Four Stretch
Lie on your back on the ground with both knees bent and feet planted flat. Pick your right leg up and cross your ankle over the knee of the other leg. Take your right arm and slide it through the space between your right and left leg. Grab the front of your left knee with that hand. Reach around your left leg with your left hand and grab the front of the left knee.
Slowly lean your upper body back and pull your left knee in towards your chest. You should feel this stretch along the side of your right leg and in your right glute.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Grab one knee and pull it into your chest. Keep pulling it in for thirty seconds, then switch sides.
Start in a push-up position. Bend your left leg and pull it up underneath you by bending your knee. Plant your left knee under your left wrist and your left foot under your right hip so that your left leg is rotated to the side.
Read More: Stretches for Tight Gluteus Muscles
Slowly lean onto the left leg, feeling a stretch in the glute. Your right leg should be mostly flat on the ground with the knee straight. You can lean forward with your torso so that your chest is touching your left knee and reach your arms forwards to get even more of a stretch.
Start on the ground on your hands and knees. Rock your butt back to your heels and fold your torso forwards so that your chest is close to your knees. Reach your arms forwards as far as you can and sink down into the stretch. You'll feel a stretch in your butt and possibly in the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh.
This is a dynamic stretch, which means that you'll stretch while moving as opposed to holding a stretch pose. Use a dynamic stretch before your workout to warm-up and stretch at the same time.
Start standing tall. Grab one knee and pull it up with the hand on the same side. Then, grab the ankle of that leg with the opposite hand and pull it up, rotating your leg. As you pull the ankle up pull the knee up even higher. Then, let go of the leg to step forward and switch legs.