Top 8 Exercises to Stretch Gluteus Medius

The middle buttock muscle, also known as gluteus medius, is located between gluteus maximus, the larger outer muscle, and gluteus minimus, the smaller muscle on the inside. This muscle is important in hip and thigh movements. The gluteus medius also plays an important part in supporting the pelvis when standing on one foot. But overuse or a sedentary lifestyle, may cause shortening and tightness of the muscle. This can lead to pain in the back, hip or knee. You can do some stretches to lengthen the muscle thereby relieving the nagging pain and improving mobility. Here are 9 most effective stretches of the gluteus medius that help keep sciatica pain at bay.

Gluteus Medius Stretch 

1. Prone Glute Stretch

  • With your feet hip-width apart, get on to your knees and lower your hips onto your heels.
  • Breathing slowly, stretch your left foot so that its upper side touches the floor, together with the left shin and inner left thigh.
  • Bring your right foot towards the top of your left thigh so that the outer side of the right thigh touches the floor and the shin faces towards the front.
  • Bend your upper body towards the floor, supporting yourself by your elbows or forearms.
  • Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds before switching to your right side.

2. Wall Glute Stretch

  • Sit on the floor facing the wall and slowly raise your feet to rest on the wall while moving your hips towards the wall so that the shins are parallel to the floor and the thighs are parallel to the wall.
  • Bring your left ankle to rest on your thigh, just below the knee.
  • Without the aid of your hands, stretch your left knee outwards towards the wall and hold it in this position for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with the opposite side.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

  • Sit on the floor, your back straight, and both your legs together and stretched straight.
  • Bend your right leg at the knee and bring your foot over the left knee as far as you can so that the right foot rests on the floor on the left of your left thigh.
  • Keeping your spine straight, put your left hand on to your right knee while your palm rests on the floor beside your right hip.
  • While breathing slowly, twist your upper body towards the right so that your chin is just above your right shoulder.
  • Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds before repeating the gluteus medius stretch for the opposite side.

4. Bridging

  • Start by lying on your back with your arms on either side.
  • Bend your legs at the knees so that your feet rest on the floor.
  • Using both your arms and feet for support, lift your hips and upper body so that they are aligned in a straight line.
  • Bring your hips back to the floor and repeat 10 to 15 times.

5. Lateral Band Walks

  • Wear the lateral band over your ankles.
  • With your feet hip-width apart and your back straight, push your abdomen as far in as possible while you get into a squat.
  • Take a lateral step with one leg. Follow this with a lateral step from your other leg towards the first to complete one step.
  • Keep taking these lateral steps until you reach the wall.
  • Return to the opposite wall by taking lateral steps in the opposite direction.

6. Self-Myofascial Release

  • Get down on to the floor and place a tennis ball under your right buttock.
  • Bring your right foot to rest on your left knee.
  • Slowly lean outwardly to your right.
  • Keep rolling on the tennis ball till you locate a tight spot that can hurt a little.
  • Hold the ball in this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then roll again to locate other tight spots.
  • Repeat this gluteus medius stretch with the left buttock.

7. Supine Hip Rotation Stretch

  • Lie down on your back, with the feet, shoulder-width apart and arms on your sides.
  • Bring your right ankle to your left thigh, just above the knee.
  • Slowly turn your pelvis towards the left until the outer left thigh, knee and right foot touch the floor.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. It stretches other muscles in the hips and lower back.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side. The emphasis is to stretch the medius and other associated muscles without pressure on the spine. The stretch will be felt to radiate from the buttock towards the lower back.

8. Tabletop Hip Stretch

  • Get a tabletop or other platform the height of your pelvis.
  • Lift your left leg onto the platform and place it so that the outer thigh and calf touch the top of the table or platform. Your upper body should be upright and the right leg should stand straight.
  • Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • You can stretch a little more by leaning your upper body forward at the waist each time you exhale. Besides being a gluteus medius stretch, this exercise stretches other buttock's muscles without putting pressure on the spine. In addition, the stretch helps to open the sciatic nerve canal, relieving inflammation and irritation in the area.

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