How To Stretch Gluteus Medius? Guide to Glute Stretches
The gluteus medius is a high functional muscle that is used in many movements we do daily. However, when you train, run or lift, this muscle becomes more important than ever.
Many people get confused though. They think the gluteus medius is the gluteus maximus. However, this is not correct.
In this article, we focus on the gluteus medius muscle. Why it is important for an athlete and how to stretch the gluteus medius correctly.
So if you struggle with a weak gluteus muscle, poor running form, or a tight muscle, keep reading.
What Is The Gluteus Medius?
The gluteus medius is a muscle that runs along the outside of the ilium, close to the pelvis. It sits between the posterior and middle gluteal lines.
Because of this, the gluteus medius is a functional muscle that helps hip movement. In total, there are three gluteal muscles, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus.
Besides keeping your hips level, the gluteus medius plays an important role in biomechanics, stability, and balance. It also helps to control the turning of your leg, as well as side-to-side movements.
No matter if you walk, run or hop, a strong gluteus medius muscle helps keep you balanced. However, if the muscle becomes weak or injured, it will cause the hip to drop. When this happens it can affect your gait and other muscles too.
Because of this, it is important to perform regular exercise to help keep the gluteus medius strong and healthy. As well as regular stretching to keep the muscles functioning as they should and keep a full range of motion in the hip.
Gluteus Minimus Vs Gluteus Medius
We already know there are three main muscles in the gluteus. However, there are two that not many people know of, and those are the Gluteus minimus and medius. So what is the difference between the gluteus minimus vs the gluteus medius?
Both of these muscles overlap each other. While the gluteus medius is the larger of the two, the minimus still plays an important role in stabilizing the hip and abductor of the hip similar to the medius muscle.
However, both work together to move the hips. They both also play a role in the internal rotation of the hip and abduction of the thigh.
What Are the Best Gluteus Medius Exercises
Because the gluteus medius plays an important role in our gait, it is important to develop strong and resilient muscles. This helps prevent other injuries and lower back issues.
Some of the most common gluteus medius exercises are:
The clamshell – The clam exercise is a great way to strengthen the muscle and help improve the stabilization of the hips. They also help to balance the effort of the inner and outer thigh muscles and your pelvic floor.
Bilateral supine bridge – The supine bridge is not only a good exercise for strengthening the gluteus medius but also the hip, core, back, and thigh muscles.
Standing hip abduction – The standing hip abduction exercise is an exercise that targets the hip abductor muscles. it also helps to increase strength and promote stability in the hip when running or walking.
Single leg deadlift – While it doesn’t specifically target the medius, it can help strengthen muscles in the legs, lower back, and core. It then can help to reduce the pressure placed on the hips when running, cycling, or walking.
Side bridge – The side bridge exercise is a great exercise to help strengthen the lower back muscles when overloaded from a weak gluteus medius muscle. It not only works your back more than 40% f their maximum, but it also works your obliques well too.
Some more common gluteus medius exercises are:
– Prone hip extension with a flexed knee
– Side lying hip abduction with Medial Rotation
– Side lying hip abduction with Lateral Rotation
– Transverse lunge
– Unilateral side bridge
It is important though when doing any of these exercises that you activate the muscle. So, try to squeeze (contract) the muscle during the exercise.
To increase the benefits of all these exercises, try to activate your core muscles, including the abdominals between your pelvic bones. Doing so will teach you better form and help strengthen the core in the process.
Glute Stretches – How To Stretch Gluteus Medius?
Even though strengthening the glute muscles is important, it is also important not to forget to stretch them. Stretching them can help to promote better movement of the hip, legs, and lower back. That’s why, if you have tight glutes, you may start to feel the tension in your buttocks and your back, hips, and more.
So, what are the best glute stretches and how do you stretch the gluteus medius?
Seated Pigeon Pose – The seated pigeon pose is a great exercise to help loosen up your glutes and other muscles in your lower back. To do this stretch:
1. Sit upright in a chair. Then place your left ankle on your right quadricep. This should be located just above your knee. Then place your shins.
2. While keeping your spine straight, lean forward until you feel the glutes stretch.
2. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and then return slowly to your starting position.
3. Exchange legs and repeat multiple times.
Seated glute stretch – The seated glute stretch is similar to the stretch above. However, the stretch is much more simple for people that lack mobility and flexibility in the hips and glutes. To do this exercise:
1. Sit on the floor and then extend your legs out in front of you.
2. While keeping your back straight, take your right leg and place your right ankle onto your left knee.
2. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch, if you want a deeper stretch, try to lean more forward. But remember to keep your back straight.
3. Hold this position for 15-10 seconds and then return to the starting point and swap legs.
4. Repeat multiple times until flexibility is increased slightly.
Other stretches that are good for promoting flexibility in your glutes, hips, and lower back are:
– Downward facing dog
– Pigeon Pose
– Standing figure-four stretch
– Seated twist
In some cases, it is wise to check with a doctor before doing glute stretches. If you are unsure how to how to stretch gluteus medius correctly, speak to a qualified personal trainer or physical therapist.