Woman does glute stretches on a yoga mat

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Give Your Glutes Some Relief with These 6 Stretches

Whether you're sore from a workout or achy from sitting all day, it's time to stretch out this key muscle group. Here's how.

By Michele RossDecember 22, 2023


Whether you love squats and deadlifts or prefer running and hiking, you likely understand the importance of your glutes. This critical muscle group helps power your physical activities. But in the midst of your training, you may be neglecting what these muscles really need—a good stretch. 

Your glutes include three different muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. These muscles keep you stable when you’re standing and help you perform dynamic movements, such as climbing stairs. Even if you don’t focus on your glutes during your workouts, you’ll still benefit from glute stretches if you regularly sit for long stretches of time.

Unsure of where to start when it comes to stretching your glutes? Two Peloton instructors break down what you need to know.

Why Do Your Glutes Feel Tight?

It isn’t just athletes who experience glute tightness. If you have a desk job or a sedentary lifestyle, you’re more likely to experience that tinge of soreness. “Prolonged sitting is often the most common culprit, which leads to muscle shortening and tightening,” says Peloton instructor Matty Maggiacomo.

Some of your favorite forms of cardio can also make your glutes feel tight. “The range of motion for cycling, running, and walking is all the same, verging on overuse,” says Peloton instructor Hannah Corbin. By constantly engaging the front and back of your hips, you may experience increased soreness in your glutes. 

Matty cites a few additional reasons why your glutes may feel tight, which include:

  • Muscle imbalances or injury

  • Underlying conditions

  • Not building in enough recovery time in your workout regimen

  • Failing to stretch your glutes after working out

What Are the Symptoms of Tight Glutes?

You may know exactly what it feels like when your glutes are tight—or have no idea what that sensation is like. “[Symptoms may include] persistent aches or tightness in the buttocks region, particularly during activities like walking, running or even sitting for extended periods of time,” Matty says. A lack of mobility and flexibility in your hips and lower back may also signal that your glutes could use a stretch, he says.

“A lot of the time you’ll also get tightness and discomfort on the outside of your quad, going up in your low back and hips—oftentimes from the front or back of the hips (i.e., the glutes or hip flexors),” Hannah adds.

When Should You Stretch Your Glutes?

If you can, try to stretch your glutes daily. However, if that’s unrealistic, stretching this key muscle group every few days can still give you palpable relief. “My recommendation would be two to three times per week, if not more, especially if you are sitting a lot or you work out frequently,” Matty says. Even a few simple glute stretches can go a long way to relieve that tightness and improve your mobility.

6 Best Glute Stretches

Whether you’re new to stretching your glutes or want to add some variety into your routine, you can gain inspiration from some of Matty’s favorites. (My fellow yoga lovers will be pleased to know that some popular poses are some of the best glute stretches.)

“When performing these stretches, maintain steady, controlled breathing and avoid bouncing or overstretching to prevent injury,” Matty says. Lengthen your body on the inhale and go deeper into your stretch on the exhale. 

3 Glute Stretches to Do Before Your Workout

Woman practices Figure 4 Stretch to stretch her glutes

1. Figure 4 Stretch

  1. Start in a seated position on the floor.

  2. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Gently press down on your right knee until you start to feel the stretch in your glutes.

  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

If you want to try a variation of this go-to glute stretch, lie on your back and lace your fingers behind your left hamstring. Gently pull your left leg in toward your upper body. 

2. Standing Glute Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. 

  2. Cross your right leg over your left leg. 

  3. Lean forward, reaching toward the ground or your ankles.

  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

If you have difficulty reaching your ankles or the floor, bring the ground closer to you with a yoga block, bolster, or another prop. 

Man does a lunging hip flexor stretch to stretch his glutes

3. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Start in a lunge position with your back knee on the floor. If you have knee pain, place a towel or blanket under your back knee. 

  2. Gently push your hips forward, feeling the stretch in the front of your hip and the hip flexor of your back leg.

  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

3 Glute Stretches to Do After Your Workout

Woman does Pigeon Pose to stretch her glutes

1. Pigeon Pose

Pigeon pose is famous for being an intense hip opener, sometimes even unearthing emotional stress held in the body. Go slow and steady with this hip-opening, glute-stretching pose, making sure to maintain even inhales and exhales and only advancing as far as it feels safe and comfortable.

  1. Start in a plank position on your mat. 

  2. Bring your right knee toward your right wrist. Extend your left leg back behind you. 

  3. To minimize the intensity of this stretch, keep your right heel closer to your body. To increase the intensity, place your right shin perpendicular to the top of your mat.

  4. Stay here or fold your upper body over your right shin. Feel the stretch in your glutes. 

  5. Hold for 30 seconds.

  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Man does a seated forward fold to stretch his glutes

2. Seated Forward Fold

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.

  2. Bend forward from your hips and reach toward your shins or toes. Focus on relaxing (rather than tightening) your glutes.

  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

  1. Start in a seated position.

  2. Cross your right leg over your left leg. Your right foot should be planted on the left side of your left leg. Your right knee should be bent. Keep your left leg bent or extend it forward ahead of you.

  3. Twist your torso toward your right knee. Hug your right knee in gently. Feel the stretch in your glutes and lower back.

  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

The Takeaway

Whether you’re feeling tightness from running, cycling, walking, or even just sitting, these glute stretches can offer you some relief. Avoid neglecting regular stretching in favor of saving a few precious minutes. “Incorporating the above glute stretches into your routine can help alleviate glute tightness, improve flexibility, and contribute to better overall physical health,” Matty says.

Try Hannah's 20-Minute Lower Body Mobility Class

Looking for a particular class to alleviate some of that tightness? The Peloton App has you covered. “My favorite glute release is with a lacrosse ball in my 20-minute lower body mobility class,” Hannah shares. “Doing that move before any of the classic glute stretches will change the game.”


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