Tight glute muscles can cause feelings of stiffness and lower back pain. Our glute muscles are some of the strongest in the body and are fabulously useful when working well as they help to power us through walking, running, stair climbing, standing and just basically keeping us upright!
There are several muscles we call the ‘glutes’ and remedial massage therapists usually deal with several different ones on a regular basis. These muscles are called piriformis, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. There’s even a gluteus minimus!
Below we’ve added a stretch for the glute max muscle. This is the biggest, most superficial muscle of the glutes and therefore the most shapely too! The job of this muscle is to extend the leg at the hip joint from a flexed position (e.g. powering you up the stairs) and to stabilise the hip and knee joints as well as externally rotate the leg. As this muscle attaches around the pelvis it can also act negatively on the lower back if it’s really tight. A remedial massage in conjunction with the following stretch can help to alleviate general feelings of tension in the glutes and decrease lower back pain.
Glute Stretch For Tight Hips
This stretch is recommended for those with a posterior pelvic tilt and may work well in conjunction with hamstring stretches.
Glute Stretch Instructions:
Lying on your back with a pillow under your head if you need, one at a time carefully hug your knees in towards your chest, keeping your lower back flat to the floor.
Draw your knees apart just enough to give room for your tummy and to draw the legs close whilst being comfortable in the hip joints. Hold for around 30 seconds.
Alternatively hug one leg in and stretch the other leg flat, activating the outstretched leg to give a stronger stretch. Do not do this stretch if you have any sacroiliac joint pain, use the first option with caution.
Melbourne Natural Therapies