Mobility and flexibility for the glutes
Mobility is key for everything you want to do in life. Especially as you get older and the mobility of your body starts to decline. It may not feel limber as it used to so you’ll find it harder to get moving. The tightness in your body can come from a number fo different areas; It could be from sitting at a computer most of your working life, or you could have not moved as much in your 30’s when you started a family and needed to work to keep food on the table. Regardless, it is almost certain that your posterior chain muscles are the culprits to the lack of mobility.
Especially the glutes, if these guys are tight you can be 100% sure that you have a tight lumber spine and tight hamstrings. So these are some of the great glute stretches that I recommend for you to try to improve your mobility.
Pigeon pose is a yoga pose and is a great one to use when you have tight glutes. If you’ve done yoga you will know all about this one. Position yourself in a press up and bring your knee in between both arms. Start to relax yourself into the stretch. With one foot back and the other foot pushed out at an angle as far as you can. In order to protect the knee flex the foot of the bent leg. Now if you have knee pain, I would suggest skipping this one and starting with something easier like the knee hug (see below).
Sitting leg cradle
You can do this one sitting on a chair or on the floor. I prefer to do it on the floor because it’s more comfortable on the lower back. Sit on the floor and sit up straight. Place your hands underneath your foot and cradle your whole leg. If you can get this far that is great. For more of a stretch on the glutes, place two hands under your lower leg and lift slightly. This will increase your stretch and range of motion. Again to protect the knee, flex the foot of the leg that’s being cradled.
Leg cross over
If you’ve been trained by me in Windsor or Ascot your will know this one as I do it with all of my personal training client after their sessions. Lie down flat on your back with arms in a crucifix positions. Bring one of your legs bent in towards your chest and let it fall over your body. You should feel this stretch in your glutes and lower back. If you were to straighten out your bent leg you would feel more of a stretch in your hamstrings.
The knee hug is a great way to add mobility to your posterior chain. You do this one by coming up onto your sitting bones. Your legs are straight in front of you, bend one leg and bring it to your chest. Take that foot off the floor then re position it over your straight leg. Whilst keeping the bent legs foot flat on the floor, hug your knee into your chest and straighten out your back as much as possible. You shall feel a great stretch in your glutes.
Foam rolling for mobility
Mobile personal trainers like to keep this piece of kit in their car just incase they have a client that has ultra tight glutes. Place your roller underneath your glutes and roll gently on an area that might be tight. You will find that the upper glute and the periformis can get very tight. Therefore, you might need to move the body into a different angle to focus on a different area of the glutes. Ease your way into foam rolling because it can be very painful in spots. If you’ve ever had a sport massage then you know what I mean.
Personal trainers can be the first people you might find using these stretches. So if you have a trainer and they don’t stretch you out at the end of your session or don’t give you a stretch routine, you might want to ask if you could start.