Glute Stretches

Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board

5 great glutes stretches for the buttock muscles

Glute stretches help to relieve a whole range of problems.

Tight glutes often cause pain in the knee, hip or back by subtly altering the position of the leg, causing an uneven distribution of forces through the knee.

Tightness in the buttock muscles is also a common cause of back pain as it can lead to back stiffness.

Here, you will find our top three glute stretches for the buttock muscles which help improve flexibility, relieve pain and prevent injuries. With easy to follow instructions and pictures, these gluteal stretches can all be done in your own home and don't require any special equipment.

People usually get the best results when they combine stretching and strengthening exercises so make sure you check out our glute strengthening exercises too.

How To Do Glute Stretches

To be most effective with glute stretches you need to:

  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds 
  • Repeat each stretch 3 times

Each of the pictures below show the left-hand glutes muscles being stretched. You only need to do one or two of these glute stretches - pick whichever you prefer. 

If you haven't already read the knee stretches intro page, do have a look to find information on how to get the best results from glute stretches with the minimum effort. 

1. Pretzel Glute Stretch

Glute stretches can be done in number of different ways.  Approved use by

Starting Position: Lie flat on your back and bend both knees. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the opposite knee

Action: Bring both knees towards your chest and gently pull the uncrossed leg towards you until you feel a stretch in your buttock. Hold for 30 secs

Repetition: Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise

2. Twisting Buttock Stretch

Starting Position: Sit on the floor with one leg bent and the other straight.

Buttocks stretch.  Approved use by

Action: Turn your body towards the bent knee side until you feel a stretch in your buttocks. Hold for 30 secs

Repetition: Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise

Progression: 1. Bend one knee and cross it over the other leg so your foot is by the inner side of other knee. Repeat the stretch.
2. Stretch the glutes further by anchoring your elbow round the bent knee and pulling the knee further over to the opposite side

3. Figure 4 Glute Stretch

This is a great way to stretch your glutes.  Approved use by

Starting Position: Sit in a chair and cross one leg so that the foot is resting on the other knee as shown.

Action: Gently lean forward until a stretch is felt in the buttock of the crossed leg. Hold for 30 secs

Repetition: Repeat 3 times, 2x daily, or before and after exercise

Progression: 1. Gently push down on your knee to increase the glutes stretch
2. Progress further by leaning towards the foot resting on your knee i.e. away from the side you are stretching

What Else Can Help?

If the glute stretches aren't quite hitting the right spot, you may want to target the piriformis muscle which sits right in the middle of the glutes. Tightness here often causes pain in the buttocks that refers down the leg to the knee. Piriformis stretches can make a big difference.

To get the maximum benefit from these glutes stretches, see the knee stretches guide for top tips on getting the maximum benefit from the minimum effort.

People often have tightness in more than one muscle, so check out these too:

It is also important to have good strength in your glutes to help avoid knee pain. Most people I've treated with knee pain have weak glutes so it’s really important to strengthen them.  LEARN MORE >

Page Last Updated: 11/30/21
Next Review Due: 11/30/23

Related Articles

How To Do Knee Stretches: Loads of great advice and top tips on how to get the best results from knee stretches

How To Stretch
January 11, 2023

Knee Pain Diagnosis Chart: Find out what is causing your knee pain and how best to treat it

Diagnosis Chart
June 12, 2024

Theraband exercises for legs

Resistance Band Exs
December 7, 2023