Foam Roller Exercises - Glutes

Glutes Overview

Your glutes are made up of 3 muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus), and they are responsible for hip movements like extension, rotation and abduction (moving your thigh away from your body).

Your glutes are some of your largest, most-powerful muscles, so it's wise to pay special attention to them when foam rolling. If your sport requires lots of hip-drive, like in cycling or running, you will love this exercise. I like to attack these muscles from a few different angles.

Exercise caution when foam rolling your glutes if you have or have had sciatica, and stop rolling this area altogether if your leg pain increases.

While foam rolling your glutes, treat trigger points as necessary. When you roll over a tender spot on your muscle, pause on that spot and breathe deeply for about 45 seconds, waiting for the tenderness to decrease by 50% to 75%. Next, slowly start rolling over that spot again, and then continue with your routine. This kind of trigger point therapy is what begins the process of myofascial release. Over time, with regular sessions of deep-tissue massage and trigger point therapy, your knotty muscular areas will begin to free themselves, and you will find yourself rolling pain-free over stronger, healthier muscle.

Step 1:

Begin by sitting on your foam roller with knees bent and arms behind you, and with most or all of your weight on the foam roller, right underneath your glutes.

Step 2:

Roll yourself forward and backward 8 to 10 times, massaging your buttock muscles. Here you are rolling both glutes at the same time. It is important to pay close attention to the area where you hamstrings meet your glutes, at the bottoms of your butt muscles, as this tends to be a knotty area.

Step 3:

Shift your weight to only your left glute and place your left ankle just-above your right knee, and continue with the same forward-and-backward massage. Placing your left ankle on your right knee stretches out your left glute and allows for a more effective massage. Roll up and down your left glute 8-10 times. At this point, you are also in a good position to roll over your left hip-rotator muscle, toward the outside of your hip.

When you are done with your left glute and left hip-rotator muscle, shift your weight to your right glute, place your right ankle just-above your left knee, and repeat on your right side.

Step 4:

To attack your glutes from a slightly different angle, straddle and sit on the foam roller, as if you are riding a horse. With your weight on the foam roller, right below your glutes, roll to the left 8-10 times, and to the right 8-10 times. You can also place your ankles above the opposite knees, like in step 3, to provide a more targeted massage from this position.

Step 5:

If you just can't seem to get a deep-enough massage on your glutes with your foam roller, grab a tennis ball, sit on it, and roll around until you find trigger points. Warning: tennis ball massage not for the faint of heart.

Also see Complete Foam Roller Recovery Workout, and Foam Rollers for Sale.

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