The gluteus maximus -- your butt -- is one of the biggest muscles in your body. If it gets tight or lacks flexibility from sitting too much, simple activities like walking can be painful. Thankfully, you can stretch out your rear end using simple techniques. Stretching regularly will improve flexibility and prevent injury.
Ankle to Knee Stretch
This exercise stretches all of your gluteal muscles and can improve flexibility. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left so that your right ankle is against your left knee. Slowly raise your left leg so that it pushes your bent right leg toward your chest. Hold this position for several seconds, really feeling the stretch in your glutes. Repeat on your left leg.
Hip Twist Stretch
The hip twist stretch simultaneously releases tension in your butt and stretches your hips. Begin by lying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Bend your right knee and straighten out your left leg on the floor. Twist at the waist toward the left, easing your right knee toward the floor. It should be crossed over your left leg, and your left foot should fall to the left. Hold your knee down and try to keep your shoulders flat on the floor. Hold for several seconds and repeat on the other side.
The cross-legged stretch further stretches your butt, including the smaller muscles like the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius. Start by sitting with your right knee bent as if you were going to sit Indian style. Instead of completely crossing your legs, however, place your left leg on top of your right ankle and stretch it out straight. Push your right knee down to engage in a thorough stretch. Hold for several seconds before switching to the other leg.
The butterfly stretch will stretch your glutes as well as your hamstrings. Sit up straight on the floor -- you may wish to sit on a yoga mat. Bend both your legs so the bottoms of your feet touch. Hold your ankles with both hands and slowly release the tension in your legs to allow the knees to drop toward the floor. Go slowly, and don't force it. Hold for several seconds. You can also lean forward slightly to get more of a stretch.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.