13 Gluteus Medius Stretches for Tight Hips

Looking for the best stretches to help loosen up a painful and/or tight Gluteus Medius?

This blog post covers the 13 best Gluteus Medius Stretches. (also known as Hip Abductor Stretches)

Gluteus Medius Release

Releasing the Gluteus Medius will help relax the tight muscle and potentially make the following stretches even more effective.

gluteus medius release


  • Lie on the floor.
  • Place the Gluteus Medius muscle on top of a massage ball.
    • (Make sure that you know exactly where this muscle is!)
  • Apply as much body weight on top of the massage ball as tolerated.
  • Make sure to relax your body throughout this release technique.
  • Focus on areas of increased tightness.
  • Continue for 2-3 minutes.

Gluteus Medius Stretches

When performing the following Gluteus Medius stretches: Aim to specifically position your body to actually FEEL the stretch in the outer hip!

1. Standing Side Bend

gluteus medius stretches


  • Stand up.
  • Push your hips towards the side that you would like to stretch.
  • Place most of your body weight onto this side.
  • Reach your arm towards the opposite side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of the hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Standing Hip Push

stretches for gluteus medius


  • Place both hands on your hips.
  • Cross your legs.
    • (The leg at the back will be the side that will be stretched.)
  • Lean your body weight onto the back leg.
  • Push your hips towards that side.
  • Lean your torso towards the opposite side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of your hips.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

3. Bent-Over Hip Push (with posterior bias)


  • Place your hands on a table in front of you.
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Push your hips backwards as you hinge your torso forwards.
  • Lean your body weight on to the side that you would like to stretch.
  • Push your hip out to the same side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side/back of the hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Lean over

side hip stretches


  • Stand up.
  • Lean and side bend your entire torso away from the side that you are trying to stretch.
  • Allow the leg to lift and dangle as you do this.
    • Keep this leg as relaxed as possible.
  • Do not let your pelvis rotate.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the side of the hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

5. Sitting on Floor

gluteus medius stretches on floor


  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Place your foot on the outside of the other knee.
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Sit as tall as possible.
  • Pull your knee towards the opposite shoulder.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the outer hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

6. Sitting on Chair

sitting glutes medius stretch


  • Sit down on the edge of a chair.
  • Cross your ankle on top of the other knee.
    • (The leg on top is the side that will be stretched.)
  • Tilt your pelvis forwards.
  • Sit up right.
  • Place your hands on the knee and pull it towards the opposite side.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the outer hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

7. Lying on Floor

stretches to glute medius lying down


  • Lie down on the floor.
  • Cross your leg over your body.
  • Pull your knee towards the opposite side.
  • Make sure to minimize the amount of pelvis rotation as you are pulling the knee.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the outer hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

8. Side-Lying on Bed

side lie gluteus medius stretch


  • Lie on your side on the bed.
  • Allow for your upper leg to hang off the side.
    • (Keep lower leg on bed)
  • Reach over with the upper arm and hold onto something stationary to keep you pinned down.
  • Relax your upper leg and allow gravity to pull you into the stretch.
  • Do not let your pelvis rotate forwards.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the outer hip of the upper leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

9. Cross over wall lean

hip abductor stretch


  • Stand sideways towards a wall.
    • (The hip you will be stretching is closest to the wall.)
  • Place your forearm on the wall for support.
  • Place the foot that is closest to the wall (the one that you will be stretching) to the opposite side of the other foot.
  • Place most of your weight through this leg.
  • Keep the pelvis facing forwards throughout this stretch.
  • Lean your pelvis towards the wall.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

10. Cross Over Side lunge

glute med stretch


  • Assume the position as shown above.
  • Aim to feel a stretch on the outer hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

11. 4 Point Kneel

4 point kneel glute stretch


  • Assume the 4 point kneel position.
  • Cross your knees.
  • Place a majority of your body weight onto the leg at the front.
  • Shift your hip towards the same side.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

12. Partner Assisted Stretch

partner assisted gluteus medius stretch


  • Lie down on your side.
    • (The top side will be the side to be stretched.)
  • Your partner will push your pelvis towards your head as they push your knee down.
  • Make sure that the pelvis does not rotate.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

13. Gluteus Medius Eccentric Strengthening

Strengthening in a lengthened position can help stretch out the Gluteus Medius!

For a complete list of strengthening exercises, see post: Gluteus Medius Exercises.

gluteus medius eccentric strengthening


  • Assume the side plank position.
  • Keep your anchor arm straight and knees in a bent position.
  • Slowly drop your hips towards the ground as far as possible.
  • Do not allow for your pelvis to twist throughout this exercise.
  • Repeat 20 times.

Why should you stretch the Gluteus medius?

A tight Gluteus Medius can lead to the following issues:

a) Lateral Pelvic Tilt

lateral pelvic tilt

A tight Gluteus Medius can pull the pelvis down on one side leading to uneven hips.

For more information: Lateral Pelvic Tilt.

b) Hip Bursitis

A tight Glute Medius may be involved with inflammation of the structures on the side of the hip.

For more information: Hip Bursitis.


  • To determine the best stretch for you: I strongly recommend to perform all of the different variations of Gluteus Medius stretches first.
  • Focus on the one that gives you the best stretch in the desired area.
  • Perform it as consistently as possible.

What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me:

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3. Start doing the exercises!

Disclaimer: The content presented on this blog post is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the content provided on this blog post is at your sole risk. For more informationMedical disclaimer.

21 thoughts on “13 Gluteus Medius Stretches for Tight Hips”

  1. Hey Mark, I have a pinching sensation in hip abduction, hip external rotation and hip internal rotation. All other movements are pain free, this pinching sensation is less felt when my hip muscles are warmed up. How can I be pain free without being warm? So that I can have better hip flexibility.

    • Hey James,

      Thanks for your question.

      Can you let me know exactly where you experiencing your said pinching sensation?

      If there is any pinching sensation in the FRONT of the hip, this could be related to Hip Impingement. (See Blog post). However, this tends to couple pinching sensation more so with hip flexion.


  2. Hi Mark,
    Thank you for the great content.
    May I please use your photos for glue med, adductor, and hip rotator stretches for an online course giving you proper attribution?
    Thank you very much,
    Jerry Hesch
    Hesch Institute

  3. Hi. Do you have a printable version of this post? When I try to print it wants to print over 100 pages! I have had a huge pain in the bum for two years. None of the exercises have helped so far but they were focusing on the piriformis and sciatica. MRI shows Piriformis is fine. I would like to try these new stretches but would like to have a printed copy of the pictures and instructions when working out.

  4. Hi , I am not able to loosen my gluteus medius and it is tight most of times except waking up.

    Should I strengthen any other muscle such as gluteus Maximus (not sure if Medius is compensating for Maximus)?


    • Hi BG,

      The stretches should help loosen the gluteus medius muscle. If not – you might need to rely on the releases for now.

      If your glute medius is overworking, you will need to find out the exact reason why this is occuring.

      Do you have a lateral pelvic tilt by any chance? This is when one hip is higher than the other and can place uneven load through the hips.


  5. Thank you for your expertise. I am following your instructions and feeling better! Thanks again! Peace and good health


  6. Hello Mr. Mark … I know what I am about to say does not come to the topic, but I have been checking your other publications on topics such as “winged scapulae” “rotated spine”, etc … And currently I am suffering from a couple of these conditions that you talk about in those publications … I am 17 years old and I have both winged scapulae, the left one is higher (so I constantly have to lower it to place it in a better position, which makes my upper part thunder scapula and shoulder) … And my right scapula is much more rounded in a forward position than the right shoulder, which has an impingement in the supraspinatus … Additionally I have moderate scoliosis in C, which a specialist for The internet told me that it was left convex “(” and right concavity “)” …. And my left rib is more forward … I know I should go to a specialist, but I live in Venezuela and it’s a bit complicated get a good medi co specialized in your case and who does not want to just take your money, since most of them are very expensive … Not to mention that outside of that it is difficult to get one since most have left the country or are not working … So I ask you please, could you advise me based on images or videos so that I can at least have a diagnosis of my case and see what you can recommend? to heal 100%, but I consider myself a bit lost on what to do at this point … Greetings!

      • Well … Currently, the area between my right scapula usually hurts, but this I think is because having poor stabilization of the scapula and doing some exercise or physical activity that requires the use of this may be causing this since also It thunders a lot and that practically daily … Although it is to be expected, since that scapula is in a very forward position and exit … On the other hand, the shoulder on that same side tends to hurt from time to time and feel weak , even going as far as to numb my entire arm a bit and to give me one or another blow to the tips of my fingers … And my left scapula is higher, so I have to be constantly positioning it down, and this action It causes the upper part of my scapula and shoulder to thunder … Besides that the rib on that side that I have more outward from time to time feels strange and bothers me a bit … Coincidentally today I did a simple exercise of c Scapular motor control, and I feel that this left scapula works much more … While the right one hurts a little …

      • Hey Leonardo,

        It sounds like there are a few postural issues.

        1. Scoliosis with convexity to the left. Generally speaking – this would automatically place your left shoulder in a higher position. So to address the position of the high left shoulder, you would likely to better addressing the “c shape” curve of your spine rather than pulling that left scapula downwards.

        See post: Scoliosis Exercises.

        2. If you have winging that is due to weakness/inactivity of the serratus anterior, the exercises on this blog post should help: Winged Scapula Exercises. I suspect you might need to address the spine and ribcage position first though.

        3. A flared left rib will usually occur in conjunction with the spine (or part of the spine) bending to the right side. I have some exercises here: Flared ribs exercises but once again, it sounds like you will need to address the spine first.

        4. If your shoulders are forwards, see post: Rounded Shoulders.

        5. If you are developing numbness in your fingers, this can be related to issues of the nerves. If you are keen, you can opt for a MRI to the Cervical spine for this. If there is an impingement there, you can have a look at these exercises: Nerve impingement in neck.


      • Oh ok, thank you very much from the heart for taking the time to answer Mark, I will take into account everything you have told me … Lately alone and chosen to stretch my pectoral minor and elevators of the scapula on each side, and after that I do a couple of rows and scapular punches trying to maintain a good position of the scapula, not retracting, just letting the scapula stay in place and only retracting it very very little while I move my arm in the indicated position of each exercise to work better the muscles that place it in a better position, such as the serratus anterior or the upper and lower trapezius … I also do a small exercise to increase the range of mobility in my shoulder and finally I try to do push-ups with one hand in the wall trying to hold the scapula in place … But today I incorporated an exercise which deals with retracting the scapula a bit, as if you were doing a band pull apart, then rounding the shoulder on the side I am going to work on, and automatically move the scapula and shoulder back and around the rib cage, applying pressure to the serratus anterior and lower trapezius area, leaving my scapula in a better position, the next thing to do is flex the elbow backwards in the back in order to retract the scapula and work it in its proper position … I took from the youtube channel “MoveU” a specialist in this winged scapulae and others … But I notice two things, the first is that when trying to relocate my right scapula, it is better relocated around the thorax, while the left It is much more complicated to do this and to actually feel the adequate tension in the serratus anterior, my scapula sticking out a little through the armpit area, giving a similarity to a person with a very wide dorsal, and when I perform the elbow flexion movement, it is as if it got into its place a bit and the scapula sounds a little to me, and yet when relocating it the upper part of the scapula protrudes a little, and when lowering the shoulder it returns to the same position of coming out through the armpit, so It is very difficult for me to reposition it and also to keep the rib in its proper place, so I put a lot of pressure on that area, also when I flex a hand on the wall, it is just as difficult for me to reposition it and not at least one protruding little bit the upper part of the scapula, and my left rib leans forward as if rotating my body to that side, which is not the case with my right side of the body … And it’s funny what you mention about the left convexity of my scoliosis, since a physiatrist could see some x-rays that I have of my spine, and he told me that the convexity of my scoliosis is on the right side, and that for me does not make any sense! Your email to show you the X-ray and a couple of photos of how I look, to see what you can tell me? Please, I would appreciate it with my soul, greetings! and thanks again, sorry so much text …

  7. Hi Mark

    I’m incredibly time-poor but I want to do these exercises.

    What would be your top 3 to do of the above?

    Thank you so much!

  8. Some of these I use to do all of the time. Some of the more complicated ones I probably couldn’t do even if I was not like I am now. Thanks for the information. I forgot a few of these that I use to do. A food reminder for me.



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