This is our second flexibility challenge. This week we focus on the glute. The gluteal muscles are comprised of three different muscles, the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. As the name proclaims, the gluteus maximus is the biggest and most superficial of the gluteal muscles. It is the biggest single muscle in your body. It needs your attention.
Many people don’t know how to activate the glute partly because they sit so much. When you sit, the glute is inactive and in a semi-stretched position. Then why work on it’s flexibility? Because it is such a big muscle that is responsible for so much movement, that it needs to be in great working order. Although flexibility is different from mobility, without flexibility your mobility suffers. So the larges muscle in your body needs to be flexible because it is responsible for so much movement. In fact, many orthopedist will tell you that lower back issues arise out of a tight posterior chain. Guess what muscles are the biggest in your posterior chain? The glute.
There are three stretches that I will give you, but feel free to look online and get more of them. The one thing I want you to focus on is to keep your back erect when you are stretching the glute. If you curve your back, the tendency is to stretch your lower back and that is not what we are after.
Seated glute stretch - Sitting on the edge of your chair, cross your leg so your ankle is on your knee.
1. Take your hand the corresponds with the crossed leg, sitting erect press the knee towards the floor and lean forward at the hips.
2. Reach the crossed leg side hand through the hole you created while reaching the other hand around the other leg, dropping both hands towards the floor or grabbing your shin.
3. Pull the crossed leg knee towards the opposite shoulder. (Remember to sit erect)
Hold each of these stretches for 30 seconds or 6 deep breaths.