Exercises > Flexibility (Muscles) > Gluteal Stretches
(Main muscles involved: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Piriformis, Obturator Internus, Tensor Fascia Lata, Gemelli superior and inferior)
The following gluteal stretches are designed to improve flexibility of the gluteal muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these gluteal stretches with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.
To begin with, the gluteal stretches should be held for 15 seconds and repeated 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free. Generally you should choose one or two gluteal stretches that are most comfortable for you and perform them 3 times daily. As your flexibility improves, the gluteal stretches can be progressed by increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of the stretches provided they are pain free.
Figure 1 – Gluteal Muscles
Basic Gluteal Stretches
Supine Gluteal Stretch
Begin lying on your back. Using your hands, take your knee towards your opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch in the buttocks or front of your hip (figure 2). Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free.
Figure 2 – Supine Gluteal Stretch (right leg)
Long Sitting Gluteal Stretch
Begin sitting on the floor with both legs in front of you. Place your foot of the leg to be stretched on the other side of your straight leg as demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your back straight, pull the leg to be stretched towards your chest, until you feel a stretch in the buttocks (figure 3). Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times at a mild to moderate stretch pain free.
Figure 3 – Long Sitting Gluteal Stretch (left leg)
Advanced Gluteal Stretches
Gluteal Self Massage Exercises
The following gluteal self massage exercises are designed to improve the flexibility of the gluteal muscles and are an excellent addition to the above gluteal stretches. You should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to commencing them.
Foam Roller Gluteal Release
Place the foam roller under your gluteals (buttock) as demonstrated (figure 6). Using your arms and leg, slowly move your body forward and backwards allowing the foam roller to massage your buttock region. Breathe normally keeping your legs relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain.
Figure 6 – Foam Roller Gluteal Release
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