The gluteus medius is one of the three gluteal muscles that make up your buttocks. This muscle group is responsible for the internal and external rotation of the hip, stabilization of the pelvis, and abduction of the hip joint. The gluteus medius works in sync with other gluteal muscles to ensure the whole gluteal muscle group functions as it should.
Weakness of the gluteus medius can result in several problems such as limping, back pain, loss of normal movement, and even injuries. This happens because of an uneven distribution of weight load among other areas in your body. One way to strengthen or prevent a weak gluteus medius is through stretching.
Why You Need To Stretch Your Gluteus Medius Muscles
Weak glutes are majorly caused by lack of activity or a “desk-bound’ lifestyle – thanks to the digital age. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a sedentary lifestyle is a strain on the hip and even on the knee.
Stretching your glutes puts you on the path to developing stronger glute muscles. Below are a few more benefits of stretching your gluteus medius muscle group:
· Eases tightness and tension
· Improves flexibility and range of motion
· Saves you from future muscle tears and damages
· Helps improve your posture
· Reduces and delays fatigue on the glute muscles
5 Gluteus Medius Stretches for Tight Hips
Tight hips can cause pain, discomfort, and can affect your posture. Luckily, regular stretching can help ease this condition. Below are five stretches that can help loosen your tight hip muscles:
1. Hip Drops
The hip drop is one great exercise to deal with weak glutes as it trains your gluteus medius to stabilize and align your pelvis. This makes movements such as running or lunging much easier.
To do the hip drop exercise, you should stand upright on one leg, keeping your hip level, and then slowly drop the opposite hip lower than the hip on the standing leg. Reverse the move and do equal reps on both legs.
2. Piriformis Figure-4 Stretch
Your piriformis is a small muscle that becomes inflamed when your hips are tight. The figure-4 stretch is great for tackling tightness in the hip by improving the flexibility and mobility in your hips, glutes, and piriformis.
To do this exercise, you will need to lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Cross your right foot over your left knee – forming the figure “4.” Link your hands together behind your right thigh and gently pull your leg in toward you for a few seconds until you feel the tightness in your right glute and hip loosen up. Repeat the move on your left side as well.
3. Cross-Legged Glute Stretch
The cross-legged glute stretch is a common stretch that helps to loosen up tight hips and improve your range of motion.
To do this stretch, you will need to sit on the floor cross-legged – your left foot tucked into your right thigh. Next, lean your torso forward over your crossed legs with your arms stretched out. You could hold the position for about 30 seconds, and then repeat the stretch with your right foot tucked into your thigh this time around.
4. Pigeon Stretch Pose
The pigeon pose loosens tight hips by stretching the internal and external hip rotators. This stretch targets your thighs, groin, back, and piriformis, thereby greatly improving flexibility and mobility in your hip area.
To do this stretch, start in a downward-facing dog position and bring your right knee toward your right wrist (with your shin touching the floor). Let your right ankle reach your left hand in this position. Lowering your hips to the floor and resting on top of your right leg, straighten your left leg out behind you.
Keep your hip square while extending your spine by pressing your hand down onto the floor or mat in front of you. You can maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds as you breathe slowly, then switch legs and repeat the process.
5. The Bridge Exercise
Bridging strengthens all your gluteal muscles and hamstrings. To do this exercise, you will need to lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. And then with your hands lying flat as well, push your hip towards the ceiling. As you do so, squeeze your buttocks firmly and do the exercise in reps of 10 lifts.
Learn How to Stretch Your Gluteus Medius With Professional Help
If you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast, understanding the importance and how to stretch the gluteus medius is crucial to achieving long years of success in your career. You do not have to wait until a part of your body hurts before you start to stretch.
Now that you know how to stretch your gluteus medius, incorporating the stretches into your routine is the next step. Whether you are an athlete or simply want to improve your mobility, stretching not only helps to relieve pain, it also helps loosen up the muscles and prevent injuries or tears from occurring during work-out sessions or regular daily activities.
Want to learn more ways stretching can benefit you? Check out our blog or contact us to find out how we can help you improve your overall hip health.