8 Best Glute Stretches (Relieve Tension & Prevent Injury)

Tracy Thompson
Published by Tracy Thompson | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 24, 2023
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Whether you are an elite athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or simply someone who sits for extended periods, glute stretches can improve mobility, reduce pain, and prevent injury.

Before becoming a fitness coach more than ten years ago, I worked out regularly at the gym, and the glutes were always a trouble spot for me, so I focused on finding the best stretches to relieve the tension.

I bring what I learned to advise clients experiencing what I once did; therefore, this article discusses the best gluteal stretches you can easily incorporate into your fitness routine.

Quick Summary

  • Stretching the glutes can increase the range of motion, decrease knee and hip pain, and support the leg muscles for walking and jumping.
  • Many glute stretches, like the figure-four stretch, have variations to perform in a lying or seated position.
  • The gluteal region includes the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, with the gluteus maximus muscle being the largest.

Best Stretches for Glutes and Hips

Woman stretching her glutes and hips on floor

The following glute stretches will improve mobility and flexibility and reduce injury risk.

Remember to maintain proper form throughout muscle stretching and breathe deeply to maximize the benefits.

1. Standing Figure Four Stretch

The standing figure four is an effective static stretch that targets your upper glute and helps alleviate hip and low back pain.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your right knee and place your right ankle on your left knee, creating a figure-four shape with your legs.
  3. Slowly lower your body into a squatting position, keeping your torso upright.
  4. Hold for 20–30 seconds, breathing deeply.
  5. Release and repeat with the left leg.

2. Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Old woman holding knee opposite to shoulder

This static stretch will relieve tension in the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that attaches the tailbone to the thigh bone and sits under the gluteus medius.

The piriformis muscle helps with hip rotation and flexion, so this stretch will help with flexibility and mobility.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Using a mat or padded floor for comfort, lie on your back.
  2. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  3. Bend your knees.
  4. Keeping your left foot flat, lift your right leg towards your chest, clasping your hands around your knee or shin.
  5. Slowly guide your right knee across your body towards your left shoulder, using the strength of your core muscles to keep both shoulders on the ground.
  6. Hold the stretch for 10–15 seconds, feeling a gentle stretch in the outer hip, and then lower back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat with your left leg.

3. Kneeling Glute Stretch

Here is a stretch that targets your glutes and hip flexors.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Begin by kneeling on the ground with your knees hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your right leg to the side, keeping your right foot flat on the floor.
  3. Shift your weight towards your left hip as you put both your hands on the floor in front of you.
  4. Slowly lean forward, feeling a stretch in your right glute and hip flexor.
  5. Hold for 20–30 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
  6. Repeat with the opposite leg.

4. Glute Bridge

Doing glute bridge outdoors

The glute bridge stretch targets the glutes, quads, and lower back.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Lie on your back, keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your arms at your sides. Your palms should face down.
  3. Press through your heels, lifting your hips off the ground and keeping your knees aligned with your ankles.
  4. Hold for two seconds at the top of the movement, then slowly lower back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10–12 repetitions.

“Strengthening your glutes will improve your posture. It will also make everyday activities like walking and going up stairs easier.”

- Nicole Bowling, Certified Personal Trainer

Related: Difference Between Glute Bridge and Hip Thrust

5. Seated Twist

This stretch will help increase spinal mobility and release tension in the back and glutes.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Sit on the floor, extending your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bend your left knee, crossing it over your right leg, and place your left foot flat on the floor outside your right thigh.
  3. Set your right hand on your left knee while reaching your left arm behind you, placing your hand on the floor behind your back.
  4. Inhale deeply and lengthen through the spine, then exhale as you gently twist to the left, using the strength of your core muscles to deepen the stretch.
  5. Hold the pose for 5–10 deep breaths.
  6. Release the twist and return to the starting position.
  7. Switch sides and repeat.

6. Supine Glute Stretch

Man doing supine glute stretch indoor

Here is one of the best glute stretches to release tension in the gluteus maximus and hip flexors.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Have both knees bent.
  3. Lift your right ankle and cross it over your left knee, creating a figure four shape with your legs.
  4. Reach through the space between your legs and hold the back of your left thigh with both hands.
  5. Gently pull your left thigh towards you, feeling a stretch in your right glute.
  6. Hold for 20–30 seconds, breathing deeply and relaxing into the stretch.
  7. Release
  8. Repeat on the other side by crossing your left ankle over your right knee.

7. Seated Glute Stretch

Here is a simple stretch to alleviate tightness in the glutes and hips.

Follow these steps: 

  1. Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Keeping your back straight, lift your right leg and place your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. Lean your upper body forward to deepen the stretch.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds, then return to the start.
  5. Repeat with your left leg.

Why Do These Muscles Feel Tight?

Woman stretching tight muscles in glutes and thighs

Your glutes feel tight for various reasons, including exercise, overtraining, injury, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Genetics and age play a role, as some people naturally have reduced flexibility, and our muscles lose elasticity as we age.

Do Tight Glute Muscles Signal a Bigger Problem?

Tight glute muscles can signal a bigger problem, particularly if accompanied by other symptoms [1].

These include:

  • Swelling in your glutes
  • Severe muscle sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Severe muscle weakness
  • Persistent muscle tightness in the gluteal muscles that isn’t relieved with stretching
  • Fatigue or fever


What Causes Extremely Tight Glutes?

The causes of extremely tight glutes can be poor posture, injury, a lack of proper warmups, overexertion, or poor form during exercise. Additionally, sitting for prolonged periods can also cause very tight glutes.

When Should You Stretch Your Glutes?

You should stretch your glutes before and after working out. Stretching before exercise increases blood flow and warms up the muscles. Stretching after training eliminates lactic acid and relaxes muscles, reducing injury risk.


  1. https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/movement-exercise/stretches-for-tight-glutes
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