woman doing glute stretches

Best Glute Stretches for Before and After Your Leg Day

by Evelyn Valdez

When working out, you work on specific areas of your body based on your specific workout schedule — for example, upper body one day, lower body the next. As a part of this routine, it’s best to do stretching exercises before, during, and after your workout to keep your muscles nice and supple. And if you're trying to grow your glutes then you definitely have to incorporate glute stretches before and after your leg day

Getting the strong, round booty you’ve always wanted requires just as much work and effort as any other muscle. The glutes help us walk, run, stand, and obviously sit, but intense workouts and sitting for long periods of time can make them tight. 

The glutes are a huge muscle group that consists of three different muscles; the gluteus maximus (round part), gluteus medius (side butt), and gluteus minimus (under the butt). All of this is attached to the pelvis, legs, hips, and back. That’s why if your glutes are tight, you can sometimes feel the tension in these areas.

Stretching your glute muscles, especially before and after exercising, can help:

  • Prep the muscles before the workout
  • Speed up recovery
  • Reduce the risk of injury
  • Improve range of motion
  • Enhance flexibility

So, ready to start growing your glutes effectively? 

Grab your UPPPER Resistance Bands because we'll be going through the best glute stretches you should do on your leg day to improve your flexibility, range of motion, and speed up recovery!

Glute Stretches to Try Before and After Leg Day

Always warm up and cool down after any workout, but especially on your lower body days. Remember, the glutes tighten up after hours of sitting and you want them to be loose and warm for the heavy weight lifting you're about to do! So, warm up to help loosen up your tight glutes, and after that don't forget to do a few glute activation exercises. Doing so will ensure that the muscles are fully prepped and ready to support your lifts, jumps, and other compound exercises. Cooling down is just as important! Taking just five minutes to cool down after your intense workout will help reduce your risk of muscle tears, reduce muscle soreness, and speed up recovery time so you're ready for your next workout. 

That said, stretching your glutes before and after your workout is the key to maximizing your training efforts for better muscle growth! Here are 8 of our favorite static and dynamic stretches that you should try before and after your leg day:

Glute stretches to do before your workout

Start your leg day with 2-3 (or all) of these dynamic stretches to help improve blood flow and increase your range of motion to ensure you're targeting your glutes on your heavy lifts:

Hip-to-heel glute stretch

The hip-to-heel stretch is a great pre-workout warm-up. This exercise helps get your body ready for exercises such as squats and helps to improve hip mobility.

How to do it:

  1. Start by getting down on all fours and crossing your left leg over your lower right leg.
  2. Shift your hips toward the right side, holding for a few seconds.
  3. Shift forward, realigning your shoulders over your wrists. Continue to rock back and forth six to eight times before switching sides.

Leg swings

Leg swings are an easy way to warm up your muscles for a leg day. This exercise will not only stretch your glutes but also engage your joints to help reduce your risk of injuries.

How to do it:

  1. Plant both feet on the floor, hip-width apart, and keep your left hand on the back of a chair.
  2. Swing your right leg back behind your body while maintaining your left foot firmly on the floor, and keep your torso upright.
  3. Now swing your right leg forward in front of your body.
  4. Continue swinging right leg and then switch legs.

Single-leg Romanian deadlift and knee hug

Have heavy deadlifts on your exercise list? Try this stretch in your warm-up! Single-leg Romanian deadlift and knee hug is a unilateral exercise that will help improve your balance and fix any imbalances between your legs. This simple movement might seem hard to do at first, but practice makes perfect! And as you continue to practice it, you'll improve your balance which will make the exercise easier... Oh and your deadlifts too 😉

How to do it:

  1. Keep your left foot firmly on the floor while releasing your right leg and pulling your right knee into your chest.
  2. Bend your left knee and lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms towards the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

Glute Bridge

This isn't only a glute activation exercise, it's also a good glute stretch to do pre-workout! Glute bridges help stretch your hamstrings, glutes, and hips. This will help loosen up your tight hips and glutes while warming up your hamstrings and even your core!

You can do it by using your body weight, or by adding one of our UPPPER resistance bands for some extra resistance. This will help deepen the moves and ensure you have good form.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees. Bring your heels close to the glutes, but not so much that they’re touching. Keep your feet hips-width part with your arms flat on the mat.
  2. Engage your core so your back presses into the floor.
  3. Press your heels into the mat and lift your hips up toward the ceiling until they’re aligned with your knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the stretch, hold for a few seconds, and lower your hips back down. Make sure your shoulders and arms aren’t lifting off the mat. 

Glute stretches to do after your workout

Finish your workout by stretching for 5 minutes! That will give you sufficient time to do these four glute stretches after your workout:

Sitting foam roller glute stretch

This stretch works well when trying to relieve lower back pain and hip tension. However, you will need a foam roller for this stretch. Using one will help increase blood flow, warm up the connective tissue in your glutes, and break up lactic acid build-up.

How to do it:

  1. Start by placing a foam roller horizontally beneath you. Sit on top of it with both hands behind you.
  2. Place your right leg on your left leg, with your ankle area resting just above your knee. As you begin to roll on it, turn slightly to the right so that your right gluteal is pressed against the foam roller.
  3. Moving slowly, work the foam roller down your right gluteal. Whenever you reach a pain point, pause and hold the position for one minute, using small strokes over the pain point if desired. Repeat this process on the left side.

Supine glute stretch

This stretch doesn’t just help with your glutes, it also increases the flexibility of your hips. So, technically it can be considered a hip stretch! This is a great exercise to relieve tight hip flexors, so feel free to do it whenever you've spent long hours sitting.

How to do it:

  1. Lay flat on the floor. Bend your knees and position your feet at hip-width apart.
  2. Put the ankle of your right leg resting just above your left knee.
  3. Get your left leg closer to the torso and place both hands on the left thigh.
  4. Stay in this position for 30 seconds then switch sides.

Standing Figure Four

This exercise is similar to the one above, except it helps to zone in on the largest glute muscle (gluteus maximus) to help release tension.

How to do it:

  1. Stand up straight and cross your ankle over your thigh just above your knee so you form a figure 4 shape with your legs. 
  2. Bend into your straight leg and move back into a squat position. 
  3. Sit deep into the stretch and hold for more than 10 seconds.
  4. Straighten yourself back up, place your other leg back down, and repeat with the opposite leg. You can also do this stretch sitting down to make it easier.

Half Pigeon Yoga Stretch

This is a variation of the popular yoga pose known as the pigeon pose. Unlike the normal pigeon pose, this variation allows for a more controlled rotation when it comes to your hip joints.

How to do it:

  1. Starting in a tabletop position, bring your right knee up toward your right wrist while keeping your shin on the floor. Move your right ankle next to your left wrist.
  2. Slide your left leg back, untuck your toes, and lower your hips to the floor while remaining in an upright position. 
  3. You can either hold this pose or slowly walk your hands forward until your bent all the way down. Hold for 10 seconds and return to the starting position.

In summary, stretching your muscles is just as important as working them out. It can minimize discomfort and tension and keeps your body flexible. The best part is that our short and long resistance bands can be used for all of these stretches and help keep your moves slow and controlled. Pick out your favorite design and get to work toning those glutes!

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