Doing gluteal stretches can help you relieve muscle tightness and tension, reduce low back pain or tightness in your hips, increase your flexibility and range of motion, and reduce your risk of injury.

Your glutes work hard to keep you moving. They help you do many everyday tasks, such as walking, climbing stairs, or even just standing up from a chair.

You have three gluteal muscles:

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus

These are located in your buttocks area. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in your body and is responsible for generating a lot of power.

Your glutes are attached to bones in your hips, pelvis, back, and legs. That’s why, if your glutes are tight, you might feel tension not only in your buttocks but also in your back, hips, and surrounding areas.

Tight glutes can be a result of several factors, including injury, poor posture, lack of proper warmups, muscle imbalance, or poor form when exercising. You may also feel that your glutes are tight if you overexert these muscles during a workout or while playing a sport.

In this article, we’ll explain how to stretch your glutes and the benefits of doing so.

If you have tight glutes, stretching can help release the tension. This can relieve discomfort, including:

Plus, by releasing tightness, glute stretches may help:

You can do glute stretches after a dynamic warmup, before you exercise. This may help get the blood flowing to these muscles and prepare them for movement and activity.

It’s also important to stretch your glutes after you work out. This can help boost your flexibility, prevent stiffness, and improve your performance the next time you work out.

You can also stretch your glutes if they feel tight during prolonged periods of sitting, like when you watch a bunch of episodes of your favorite show or when you’re stuck at your desk for hours.

It’s safe to do glute stretches while seated in a chair. This is especially helpful if you:

  • sit at a desk most of the day
  • are on a long flight or car trip
  • find it uncomfortable to sit on the floor

Here are 7 stretches that can help relieve tension in your glutes, as well as in surrounding areas like your back, legs, hips, and pelvis.

1. Seated figure-four stretch

Also called Seated Pigeon Pose, the seated figure-four stretch helps loosen up your glutes and the surrounding muscles.

To do this stretch:

  1. Sit upright in a sturdy chair. Place your right ankle on your left thigh, just above your knee. Place your hands on your shins.
  2. Keeping your spine straight, lean slightly forward to deepen the stretch.
  3. Hold for 20–30 seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

In addition to doing chair stretches, you can stretch your glutes while sitting on the floor or while standing.

2. Seated glute stretch

This simple stretch helps relieve tightness in your glutes, hips, and back. If your hips need more support, sit on a yoga block or folded towel.

To do this stretch:

  1. Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you.
  2. Keeping your back straight, lift your left leg and place your left ankle on your right knee. Lean slightly forward to deepen the stretch.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

3. Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog is a traditional yoga pose. It stretches many muscles, including your upper body muscles, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.

To do this stretch:

  1. Start in a pushup position, with hands shoulder-width apart and legs together. Straighten your body and engage your core.
  2. Move your hips back and up, forming an upside-down “V” with your body. Slightly bend your knees and place your head between your shoulders, keeping it in line with your spine. Reach your heels toward the floor but keep them slightly raised.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to the starting position.

For extra wrist support, you can place each hand on a yoga block.

Bend your knees if you need to. This may help straighten your back, ensuring that your body stays in an upside-down “V” shape.

4. Pigeon Pose

Like Downward-Facing Dog, Pigeon Pose is a basic yoga move. Practicing this pose can release tension in your glutes, hips, and back.

To do this stretch:

  1. Start on all fours. Move your right knee toward your right wrist, placing your shin on the floor. Move your right ankle toward your left wrist.
  2. Slide your left leg back, point your toes, and keep your hips facing forward. Extend your spine.
  3. Gently walk your hands forward. Hold for 5–10 breaths.
  4. Return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.

You can also challenge yourself by adding a quad stretch. Bend your back leg, point your foot upward, and hold your foot with your hand.

5. Knee to opposite shoulder

If you have sciatica pain, try this glute stretch. Pulling your knee toward your opposite shoulder can help loosen your glutes and release tension around your sciatic nerve.

To do this stretch:

  1. Start on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed upward.
  2. Bend and lift your right knee and place your hands around your knee.
  3. Pull your right knee up toward your left shoulder.
  4. Hold for 20–30 seconds. Return your right leg to the starting position.
  5. Straighten your right leg and repeat with your left leg.

6. Standing figure-four stretch

This move is the standing version of the seated figure-four stretch. It’s an effective way of relieving tightness in your glutes, hips, and back.

  1. Stand up straight. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh, just above your knee, to make a “4” shape. Hold on to a desk or wall for support.
  2. Slowly bend your right knee, moving your hips down into a squat position.
  3. Pause when you feel a stretch in your left glute. Hold for 20–30 seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your other leg.

7. Seated twist

  1. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs out in front of you.
  2. Place your left arm behind you and bring your left leg over your right, placing your left foot on the floor near your right knee.
  3. Position your right arm over your left knee, with your palm facing outward.
  4. Twist to the left and use your right arm to pull your left knee inward.
  5. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  6. Untwist and repeat on the other side.

In some cases, it’s important to check with your doctor or a qualified fitness expert before doing glute stretches. Check with your doctor or physical therapist if you’ve had any of the following in your hips, legs, or back:

  • surgery
  • injury
  • pain

Also, if you’re new to glute stretches or stretching in general, begin slowly. Start by holding each stretch for 20–30 seconds.

Stretching your glutes can have a lot of benefits. These include reducing pain and tension and improving flexibility.

If you’re not sure how to stretch safely, if you’ve had surgery or an injury, or if you have pain in your lower body, talk with a doctor or physical therapist before doing any glute stretches.