Big toe pose can elongate your glutes.
While a toned and taut buttocks is desirable and attractive, a tight one can cause pain and discomfort. The glutes, one of the largest muscle groups in the body, contain three heads -- the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When the glutes become tight or short, such as from overtraining or sitting for long periods of time, you can experience lower back pain, knee trouble or stability issues. Regularly stretching your glutes to keep them flexible can help to alleviate discomfort and improve your balance and agility.1.
Warm up by performing a cardiovascular activity for 10 minutes, such as jogging, cycling or brisk walking. Warming muscles before stretching can help to avoid injuries.2.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart to perform big toe pose, which will stretch your entire posterior chain, including the glutes. Elongate your spine and engage your quadriceps and abdominal muscles for stability. Bend forward at the hips and bring your chest toward your thighs. Reach your hands down and take hold of the first two toes on each foot; bend your knees slightly if you are unable to reach your toes with straight legs. Pull your torso further in toward your legs as you extend your sit bones toward the ceiling. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds.3.
Lie on your back and place your feet on the floor with your knees bent to perform a lying glute stretch. Bring your right knee in toward your chest. Turn the knee out to the side and rest your right ankle on top of your left thigh just above the knee. Reach your hands behind your left thigh and pull the left knee in toward your chest; keep the left knee bent to 90 degrees and the right knee extending out to the side. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.4.
Stretch your glutes while sitting in a chair; the seated glute stretch can be a more accessible alternative to the lying version if you are injured. This stretch can also be performed whenever convenient, such as at your desk. Sit tall in a chair that does not have armrests. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right knee and extend it to the side as you place your right ankle on top of the left thigh. Place your right hand on the right knee and bend forward at the hips; lower your torso toward your legs until you feel a stretch in your glutes. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
- Stretch your glutes two to three times per week or whenever they feel tight.
- Engage your abdominals in all glute stretches to protect your lower back.
- Discontinue any glute stretch that causes pain in your lower back.
- Consult with your physician before starting a new stretching program; inform your doctor if your glutes are particularly tight or painful.