Hip self care, understanding the glutes
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
This muscle group is a pain in the buttocks! GLUTES!! Composed of Gluteus Maximus (the largest muscle in the body), Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. Gluteus maximus’ main function is hip extension and external rotation of the hip joint, while medius and minimus work to pull the thigh away from the mid-line of the body (abduction). Medius and minimus also rotate the thigh internally when the leg is extended, however when the hip is flexed they rotate externally. Contributors to this pain in the butt are sitting for long periods of time, crossing your legs, running/biking excessively and having your pelvis in a tilted position (caused by tight quads, tight hamstrings or a tight lower back).
To reduce this pain you get in your buttocks start by stretching. Lay on your back and cross your ankle over your knee, then grab the lower leg just under it’s knee. Pull this leg towards you and it will cause a blissful stretch on the top leg’s gluteal muscles. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side. While sitting or standing you want your pelvis to be in a neutral position. Look at the picture of pelvic tilts, while standing place your hands on the sides of your hips and rotate them forward and backwards. Now find the middle space where your hips are in a neutral position. While standing and sitting remind yourself throughout the day to see if your hips are still in this neutral position.
Self massage on a foam roller feels great! Use your body weight and roll back and forth just under your iliac crest and behind the femur. And for something a bit deeper try a tennis ball, even deeper? Try a lacrosse or baseball.