This glute stretch is similiar to low lunge except the front foot and front knee are both turned out. It's also similiar to the pigeon pose hip stretch, because with the foot and knee turned out, the idea is to lean the knee rearwards, towards the floor.
Basic set up for this low-lunge-like glute stretch
To get into this glute stretch, start in a low lunge with one foot forwards, knee bent and shin vertical, the other foot back with the back knee resting on the floor (below left). Hands are on the floor with elbows straight.
From this starting position, first turn your front foot out to 90 degrees if possible.
Your knee will turn out about 45 degrees.
Note how in the picture my front foot is turned out 90 degrees while my knee (and thigh) are only turned out about 45 degrees.
To achieve this difference in rotation, part of the rotation actually happens at the knee. When your knee is bent, your shin can rotate relative to the knee. And, there are muscles that help to control that rotation.
From this position, shift your back foot and knee further back. Your body will move with it.
Move back far enough so that your shoulder is over your foot.
If your left foot is forwards then try to position your body so that your left shoulder is over your left foot.
Instructions for stretching the glute of the front leg
To stretch the glute of the front leg, lean your front knee back, towards the floor.
As you do this, allow the inside edge of your front foot to lift. Imagine trying to lay the side of your thigh on the floor.
Turning the stretch into a more active glute stretch
You may find the pose is less painful if you shift your your weight slightly towards your front foot side and then press your knee back. Alternatively, try pressing the outside edge of the front foot into the floor. In either case, the idea is to activate the muscles along the outside of the thigh and also the outside of the hip.
This then makes this more of an active stretch. It also helps to gives your brain feedback.
Part of that feedback is the idea that muscles are active and helping to support the hip and knee joints.
You may find that this activation makes it easier to deepen the glute stretch.
Keep your elbows straight and focus on pushing your front leg knee back and down.
Options for intensifying the glute stretch
To add weight to the pose, you can lift your back knee.
This means that the muscles of your front leg are working harder to support this additional weight. You may also find that it helps you to go deeper into the stretch.
Options for deepening the glute stretch
To deepen the glute stretch place your elbows on the floor. To make this more comfortable, first drop your back knee (if you lifted it). Then place your outside elbow on the floor. Then sink your other elbow to the floor.
Once your elbows are on the floor, you can hold for a few moments, and then if you like, add weight to the pose by again lifting your back knee.
Another option is to slowly and smoothly lift your knee and then lower it, repeatedly.
A final option for going deeper into the glute stretch
One other option is to go back onto your hands and then from there bend your elbows as if lowering into a push-up position. Work at sinking your chest to the floor.
Try to get your shoulder to your foot or ankle.
Continue to press the knee back and down towards the floor. Again, if you like, lift your back knee.
What you can do afterwards
After doing this glute stretch on both sides, another stretch that you can also use for stretching the glute, as well as the shoulder is armpit pose.
Glute stretch, Quick links
- Armpit Pose: A Stretch for the Hips, Shoulders and Ribcage