Exercises to Strengthen and Stretch your Glutes

Neglecting some muscle groups can affect your development in various areas. Make sure this doesn't happen with your glutes. Keep them in shape with these exercises.
Exercises to Strengthen and Stretch your Glutes

Last update: 01 December, 2020

You can generally find exercises to strengthen and stretch your glutes mixed in with different training routines. The goal is to improve your lower body strength and appearance. However, sometimes if glute exercises are for relaxing or toning, they aren’t sufficient.

Who doesn’t want toned, strong glutes? You probably know that this muscle group is very important for the body as a whole with regards to mobility, accomplishing daily tasks, and any physical activity. With that in mind, we’ll show you some exercises to strengthen and stretch your glutes more effectively.

Why is it important to strengthen and stretch your glutes?

Your glutes are one of the biggest muscle groups in your body. They’re made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Their job is to help you flex your hip, which they do together with other lower body muscles.

However, that’s not the only job that your glutes do. They also help with lateral movements, towards and away from the center of your body, as well as rotating your legs.

In the sports environment, it’s necessary to strengthen and stretch your glutes constantly. This is because your lower body strength has a huge amount to do with your progress and development in different sports, especially those that require extra body strength.

Exercises to strengthen your glutes

You should work your glutes with the goal of strengthening them, the same as other muscle groups. With that purpose in mind, we’ll show you some exercises that’ll help you, both in appearance and physiologically.

Glute bridge

You can strengthen and stretch your glutes with exercises such as the glutes bridge.

You might also know this exercise as a hip elevation. It contributes to the development of your gluteal muscles. Lay down face-up on an exercise mat with your back flat and your knees bent. Your feet should also be flat on the floor. Next, slowly raise your hips until your back is in a straight line with your upper legs. Squeeze your glutes the whole time. Slowly lower your back onto the floor again.

We suggest you do around 10 reps. However, make sure you take into account your current physical state; it’s not good to ask more of your muscles than what they can give.

Hip extensions

A woman doing a hip extension exercise.

You can do these hip extension exercises standing or on all fours on an exercise mat. We suggest you try both positions to stimulate your glutes more.

For the standing exercise, stand with your feet apart about the width of your shoulders. You can hang on to something if you need to for stability. Start to move one leg backward; stretch it out fully with precision and strength.

Make sure you squeeze your glutes while doing this exercise. When you’ve done one leg, do the other one. You can do 10 reps.

Exercises to stretch your glutes

Apart from strengthening exercises, stretching is also important to improve in areas such as flexibility for instance. Stretching also aids in recovery after an exercise session by helping your body to eliminate lactic acid from your muscles.

However, there are actually some exercises that help you to strengthen and stretch your glutes at the same time. Here are some so you can include them in your exercise routine.

Extensions with resistance bands

Exercises to stretch and strengthen glutes like leg extensions are shown here.

Items such as resistance bands can help you work your muscles harder in the same amount of time. Using these bands is one way you can strengthen and stretch your glutes at the same time.

Start by standing up and bending forwards slightly. Put one end of the resistance band under one foot, and hang on to the other end. Lift your leg up, like in the photo, but with your leg stretched out in front as much as you can.

You should keep your back straight and be leaning forwards a little. Make sure you do the movements slowly. We suggest you do 5 reps on each leg.

Stretches while lying down

You can also strengthen your glutes using external resistance. In this instance, you can create resistance using the strength of your own arms.

A man lying down doing glutes stretches.

To do this exercise, you should lie down face-up on an exercise mat. Pull one knee towards your chest, and use your hands to keep pulling it towards you. You can use this exercise to stretch all of the different gluteal muscles.

We suggest you hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. When you finish, repeat the stretch with the other leg.

Stretch and strengthen your glutes: necessary for total body fitness

Working on your glutes won’t just bring benefits for these muscles, but also for the rest of your leg and core muscles. If you strengthen your whole core, you reduce the probability of injury and muscular imbalance.

Of course, working on your glutes doesn’t eliminate the need to work on other muscle groups such as your thighs and back muscles. Each muscle group deserves special attention to get that balanced body!

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  • Cronin, J. Keogh, J. Presswood, L. Whatman, C. (2008). Glúteo medio: Anatomía aplicada, disfunción, valoración y fortalecimiento progresivo. Strength and Conditioning Journal.
  • Scarfó, R. (2014). Activación de los músculos isquiotibiales, cuádriceps y glúteos durante 4 ejercicios de fuerza de tren inferior – National Council On Strength & Fitness. 2 de Junio de 2014.