Growing, toning, and strengthening your booty has been a huge trend for years now. Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest are filled with all types of workouts to help you get the glutes of your dreams. Although you may have mastered your booty workout by now, your recovery needs to be just as good!
Your glutes are constantly working! Giving them additional work to do can cause tightness and muscle fatigue, which will make your butt feel sore and can cause pain in your hips, lower back, and hamstrings. It can even start to limit your range of motion over time. While doing a booty-busting workout is great, you need to take the time to stretch correctly, or you'll end with 99 problems, and they'll all be sore muscles.
With the help of some of our personal trainers (aka our glute geniuses), we have gathered a list of the best glute stretches to incorporate into your warm-up and cool-down routine. These stretches will help you to reduce pain and tightness in your lower body, improve your mobility and flexibility, and have you walking right the next day.
Check and see if you use any of these in your stretching routine!
1. Figure 4 Stretch
This stretch is an example of a lying figure 4, but you can modify your figure 4 stretch by incorporating a chair or standing. It just depends on your mobility and preference!
To do the Figure 4 Stretch:
- Find your mat and lay flat on your back. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the ground. Be sure that your spine isn't arched and that your feet are hip-width apart.
- Cross your legs by bringing your ankle over your knee.
- Use your hands to pull your thigh towards your chest and press your crossed knee down until you feel the tension in your glute.
TIP: The further you pull your leg towards your chest, the more you'll feel this stretch in your glute. You can also try straightening your leg up and down 5 to 6 times if you want to get a slight stretch in your hamstring and sciatic nerve!
2. Pigeon Stretch
The pigeon pose is a slightly more advanced version of the figure 4 stretch that gives you a more intense stretch of your leg, glutes, lower back, and hip flexors!
To do the Pigeon Stretch:
- Start from a push-up position.
- Pull one leg forward and try to place it at a 90-degree angle from the side of your mat with your shin on the floor. Keep your other leg extended out behind you.
- Once you find this position, untuck your toes on your back leg so the top of your foot and shin are resting on the floor.
- Keep both hips facing forward, and sink your hips towards the floor. Adjust your positioning as necessary to avoid your hips falling off to the side.
TIP: To make this stretch more challenging, you can go down onto your elbows or extend your arms all the way forward and place your forehead on the floor.
3. Forward Lunge Stretch
A forward lunge is just one of many variations of lunges that you can use to loosen up your hip flexors, hamstrings, and glutes. Depending on your mobility and flexibility, the forward lunge stretch can be standing as well!
To do the Forward Lunge Stretch:
- Lower down into a kneeling lunge by stepping one leg forward to a 90-degree angle and keeping your opposite knee on the ground.
- Place your hands on your front knee for support (if needed).
- Sink deeper into the lunge by pushing your pelvis towards the ground while keeping your chest straight and core tight.
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
TIP: Try to keep your knee above or behind your ankle, not in front of it. If you find that your knees are turning inward, focus on maintaining a neutral spine and moving only through your hips.
4. Hip Flexor Stretch
Lunges have a wide range of variations to target specific muscles in the lower body, which is why it is essential to incorporate them into your stretching routine. Unlike the forward lunge stretch that works multiple parts of your lower body, this stretch targets your hip flexors for a deeper stretch.
To do the Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Find a kneeling lunge with both legs bent at 90 degrees.
- Tuck your glutes under your tailbone to keep a neutral spine, then push slightly forward until you start to feel a stretch in your hip flexors.
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds on each side.
TIP: Many people think that the further you lunge forward, the deeper the stretch gets; however that isn't the case to get the best stretch in your hip flexor. Remember, less is more here!
5. Foam Roller Stretch
This stretch is a variation of the hip flexor stretch. Putting pressure on the foam roller causes a contraction in your muscle that helps you feel the stretch even deeper in your hip flexor for those days you’re feeling extra tight. This stretch would be great to incorporate if you’re noticing reduced mobility in your hips during squats and other exercises!
To do the Foam Roller Stretch:
- Place a foam roller behind your back foot between your foot and shin.
- Come up into a lunge position and alternate between pushing your hips two inches forward and one inch back until you find the deepest stretch for your hip flexor.
- Drive your foot down into the foam roller for 20 seconds on each side.
TIP: If there isn't a foam roller available for you to use, then you can substitute it for your water bottle or a rolled-up towel for the same effect!
6. Hypervolt Stretch
The Hypervolt works by sending targeted pulses of pressure onto your muscles. These vibrations can help activate, soothe, and loosen activate your muscles, making the Hypervolt a great tool to use in your warm-up and cool-down routine. Luckily if you don't own your own, our clubs all have them available and ready to use!
To do the Hypervolt Stretch:
- Hold the Hypervolt gun at a 45-degree angle on the lowest setting.
- Aim the gun behind your hip bone and press down into the top of your glute.
If you're working extra hard to grow your glutes, your muscles can quickly turn tight and fatigued if they don't have time to recover. Your glutes may also be contributing to other pains in your lower body and your ability to move comfortably. These stretches are a sure-fire way to reduce tension and discomfort throughout your lower body. They can even increase your flexibility and range of motion over time. So next time you hit the gym, take a few extra minutes to recover to keep your booty looking and feeling good!