Top Glute Stretches to Try

woman runner stretching her hamstring and glute

Strong glutes are essential for maintaining a solid back and good pelvic alignment. If your glutes aren’t strong enough, you need the top glute stretches to make these muscles stronger.

As a result, you can prevent or reduce back pain, reduce or prevent knee pain, and boost your exercise performance and power.

On the other hand, tight glutes are simply a pain in the rear, literally. It would help if you loosened up.

While you may want your butt to be tight and toned, it also needs to be flexible to have full-range mobility in your lower body.

Before you learn the top glute stretches to support your hips and legs, you should know more about this group of muscles and their functions.

What Are the Glute Muscles?

Your glutes have three different gluteal muscles responsible for hip abduction (moving the leg away from the body’s midline), hip extension, and internal rotation of the hips.

  • The Gluteus Maximus: The largest gluteal muscle group largely contributes to your butt’s shape and functions for abduction and extension of your thigh at your hip joint. It also aids in the adduction and external rotation of your thigh.
  • The Gluteus Medius: This muscle is deep inside the buttocks and supports trunk and pelvis stabilization within the gait cycle. It also aids in the internal rotation and abduction of the thigh at the hip joint.
  • The Gluteus Minimus: The smallest of this group of muscles aids pelvis stabilization, hip abduction, and internal thigh rotation.

One more muscle that connects to the gluteal muscles is the tensor fasciae latae, which is functional for stabilizing the hip and knee joints.

Its function aids in the abduction of your thigh at the hip joint and the external rotation of your leg at the knee joint.

Labeled educational anatomical scheme with physical skeletal and gluteus medius, maximus and minimus vector illustration

What Is Making Your Glutes So Tight?

If you have soreness in your buttocks, hips, or thighs from frequent lower body workouts at home or the gym, you may be overdoing the butt toning.

Besides overworking your glutes, your glutes may become tight for these reasons:

  • Sitting a lot
  • Poor posture
  • Failing to stretch before and after exercise
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Muscle strain
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis of the sacroiliac joints
  • Pelvic instability or pain
  • Herniated disk
  • Tight hip flexors
  • Piriformis syndrome

These are the most common things that cause gluteal muscles to get stiff and tight, but there are more.

What Is the Difference Between Mobility and Flexibility?

It’s not unusual to see mobility and flexibility used interchangeably, but these words do not mean the same thing. When you want to have flexible glute muscles, you are saying you need mobile hips. The reverse is also true.

Mobility relates to the level and quality at which you can move your joints in their full range of motion. For instance, if you have full mobility in your hips and ankles, you can easily move up and down when performing squats.

A person with poor mobility will find it challenging or need to compensate by using other body parts to move up and down during squats.

Flexibility refers to how much you can lengthen your muscles. When you see a gymnast perform the splits with ease, that is flexibility. That kind of flexibility requires hour upon hour of holding stationary stretches.

While these two terms mean different things, they are vital to any glute stretch. It is why the following gluteal stretches can help achieve flexibility and mobility simultaneously.

What Is So Vital About Glute Stretches?

Going back to the three main gluteal muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus, the following will address why it’s so important to perform glute stretches.

Sitting is one of the biggest offenders that cause the hip flexors to tighten and the glutes to get weak and long.

When the gluteal muscles become inhibited or weak, overly engaged hamstrings are also a significant cause of lower back pain, runner’s knee, and tight iliotibial bands.

Also, if your gluteus medius isn’t strong and aligned with your femur, knee, and ankle, the risk of foot pronation is higher. It can result in heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and Achilles tendinitis.

Now you know why it’s essential to take care of your glutes with glute stretches and exercises.

What Are Some Exercises That Help Build Glute Strength?

There are four main types of exercises, plus more variations, that can help you build stronger glutes.

1. Bridge Exercises

You lie on the floor with your hands to your sides and your feet firmly planted on the floor. You then lift your hips as you engage your core. Be careful to avoid spreading your knees apart. It’s vital to clench your glutes, hold for 30 seconds, lower down, and repeat for the glute clench.

Woman practicing yoga, Glute Bridge exercise, dvi pada pithasana pose

2. Squat Exercises

Many people struggle with general squats, much less advanced squats. If you have trouble with squats, try to pretend you’re a mime sitting in a chair, but be careful not to fall over. Once you get to the lowest squat position, you can activate your core and glutes, hold that for 30 seconds, and do it again. Be sure to keep your feet firmly on the floor.

3. Glute Kicks

You will be on all fours for this type of exercise. Facing forward, raise your left or right leg, bringing the thigh and foot parallel to the floor. Your shin should also be perpendicular to the floor. Now, engage your core and glutes, raise the leg a little more (keeping your hips still), and hold that pose for 30 seconds as you squeeze your left buttock. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Lunge Exercises

Finally, lunges will help engage your core while making your glutes stronger. In the standing position, take a long step out with either your right or left leg, firmly planting the chosen foot on the floor. The left or right ankle should be below the left or right knee. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then go back to the start and repeat with the opposite leg.

Next, do the top glute stretches to try and make your glutes stronger.

athletic sportswoman doing lunge exercise isolated on white background

7 Top Glute Stretches to Try

1. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge engages several muscle groups, including the glutes, lower back, abs, and hamstrings. You can only do this with only a yoga or exercise mat, or you can use a resistance band above the knees to challenge yourself.

  1. Begin by lying on the floor or mat, flat on your back. Bend the knees with feet flat on the floor and align with your hips. You should be in a neutral spine position with your arms resting next to your body. It is your starting position.
  2. Push your heels into the mat, and engage your glutes while raising your pelvis until you are straight between your knees and your chin. You will be resting on your shoulders at this point.
  3. Now lower your pelvis back to the mat and start another.

Do as many reps as you can comfortably do.

2. Leg Swings

Leg swings fall into the category of glute kicks, but this is a good warm-up before you get started with deep glute stretches or exercises. It is a standing warm-up.

  1. Rest your right hand on the back of a chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Leave your left foot on the floor and your right leg straight as you swing the right leg behind your body, keeping your torso straight and upright.
  3. Now, swing the right leg forward in front of your body, ensuring that your torso stays straight.
  4. Swing your leg backward and forwards a few times and then switch legs. Repeat from the start.

Vector drawing of woman doing leg swing exercise.

3. Open Lunge Stretch

The open lunge stretch is also known as the lizard pose, which is perfect for stretching out the backside of the glute muscles and opening up the hips.

  1. Get on all fours, with your hands and knees aligned. Your hands should be over your shoulder and your knees over your hips. Your spine should be in a neutral position.
  2. Bring your left foot to the outside of your left hand, extending your left leg back as you bring your knee, shin, and the top of your foot to the floor.
  3. Push the right knee out, with your back stretched out, then lower your forearms to the mat.
  4. Hold this pose for between 30 seconds and two minutes.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat these steps for the right leg.

4. Standing Figure 4 Stretch

This stretch requires more balance and is a sort of squat stretch. This one is a perfect way to alleviate the tightness in your glutes. While it’s more challenging than some other glute stretches, it’s well worth it.

  1. Stand upright while keeping your spine long.
  2. Lift your right foot and cross it over the left thigh, right above your knee. This pose should look like a number 4.
  3. Standing on one leg, gently bend your right knee to go into a squat pose.
  4. Let yourself feel the stretch in the left glute, holding this pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Carefully release this pose, straighten your body, and put your foot back on the floor.
  6. Repeat these steps on the left foot.

Chair pose, figure 3 stretch

5. Single Leg Hip Thrust

This one is an equipment-free option for the single-leg hip thrust.

  1. Sit against a couch or bench, placing your shoulder blades on the edge.
  2. Keep your head, neck, spine, and torso aligned through this exercise.
  3. Raise one foot slightly off the floor while simultaneously lifting your hips into the thrust while straightening your body.
  4. Raise the chosen leg until your thigh is at a 90-degree angle to your torso and your shin is parallel to the floor.
  5. While your knee is in the 90-degree pose, pause at the top of the movement and carefully lower your body.
  6. Wait until the set is complete, then put your foot back down on the floor.

6. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

This stretch will stretch the glutes, hips, and quads.

  1. Kneel on your right knee, placing your left foot flat on the floor, knee bent.
  2. Lean forward while stretching your hip toward the floor.
  3. Clinch your glutes for a deeper hip flexor stretch.
  4. Hold the pose for between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
  5. Switch sides and repeat the steps.

Woman in yoga gear doing lunging hip flexor stretch

7. Seated Hip Abduction

This seated hip abduction will help stabilize your hips to help with walking, leg rotation, and standing, t. You will need a looped resistance band for this stretch.

  1. Place the looped resistance band around your lower thighs, sit on a bench, feet on the floor, a little closer than hip-width.
  2. Lean back, placing your hands behind you on the bench. It is the starting pose.
  3. With your hips and glutes engaged, separate your knees and feet until they are further apart than shoulder-width.
  4. Draw up your knees and feet to return to the starting pose.

Why Are There So Many Glute Stretches?

While only 7 top glute stretches to try are included in this article, there are many more for strengthening and stretching the glute muscles. Why are there so many?

Since some glute stretches and exercises are considered corrective exercises, it’s essential to have several stretching methods to guarantee that you get a full and safe stretch for every part of the glute muscle group.

Since this muscle group is responsible for lower body balance and stability, it’s crucial to stretch them to keep them flexible and your joints mobile.

Why Is It Essential to Stretch Glute Muscles After Running?

Strong evidence suggests that having strong glutes offers better sprint performance in runners. It should serve as a reminder to take care of your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus muscles.

It’s essential to stretch your glutes after a run to prevent these muscles from getting stiff and keep them flexible enough for better mobility in the hips and legs. Glute stretching exercises will release any tension and alleviate minor aches and pains from tight glutes.

Not only do glute stretches help relieve soreness and stiffness. They also aid in strengthening your glutes, which is another way of preventing discomfort, pain, and stiffness.

Will Glute Stretches and Exercises Make Your Butt Bigger?

Regarding gaining muscle mass, your butt could get bigger when you workout the glute muscles. If a bigger butt is your goal, it will require time and effort. It takes performing the optimal glute exercises with consistency and great intensity.

You’re not going to get a bigger and stronger butt simply by clinching your cheeks while sitting at your desk. Hip thrusts, hyperextension, and firm glute squeezing exercises like those in this article may help you build a bigger and stronger butt and core.

It’s worth noting that there is no way to fast-track glute building because you must put in the work and time.


Your glute muscles have three primary muscles that make up your bottom. It’s wise to keep them stretched and flexible for better mobility for now and into the future.

These exercises stretch the glutes and the hip flexors, which can help reduce pain and stiffness in these areas.

The glute muscles get weak and compromised when you don’t use them. People who sit at work all day or at home are at risk of having weak glute muscles.

When the glutes are unused in athletes, it results in poor performance and can cause several injuries in the hips, ankles, and knees.

The lack of exercising this muscle group is another cause for why they get weak. It doesn’t need to be that way. Only five to ten minutes a couple of times per week goes a long way to improving your glutes.

Overall, you should include routine stretching of the glutes and other muscle groups in your health and fitness regime. It’s not just about strengthening these muscles but also about achieving enhanced recovery after workouts.

Exercises like glute stretches help relieve stress and make you feel calmer in times of stress. It’s better to start sooner than later regarding self-care and lower body and upper body exercise.

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