The glute complex is exactly that! Complex. In order to improve your flexibility in this area, there’s a lot to consider. You’ve got layers of tissue fanning out through the area consisting of numerous muscles. There’s your more superficial gluteus maximus and gluteus medius that layer over the gluteus minimus, and then there’s the deeper intrinsic muscles of the piriformis, superior gemellus, obturator internus, inferior gemellus and quadratus femoris. You also have to consider some of the other important tissues such as the sacrotuberous ligament that plays a very crucial role in stabilizing the sacral area, and we’re really just scratching the surface here.
The good news is that you don’t actually need to know all of the fancy terminology. You know your hip joint moves forward, backward, side to side and rotates. When approaching stretching and mobility for a more complex joint such as the hip, keep in mind the multiple angles the joint should be capable of. Linear stretches alone just aren’t going to cut it. You need to move the joint through all of its capable ranges in order to gain the most benefits.
The small nuances can make all the difference in feeling a stretch properly and maximizing its effectiveness as well. In the videos below I demonstrate one of my favorite glute complex stretches and explain some of those small nuances that will give you the most return on your stretch session.