A gluteal strain can be a real pain in the butt. Literally. It occurs when a muscle in the region is overstretched or if there’s a tear. This type of injury is often called a pulled muscle. A gluteal strain most often happens when you are running or jumping. And it’s not uncommon for runners to get this injury.
There are various exercises that can be done to take care of this strain. The moment you feel like you have strained your glutes, do the following three exercises immediately
The stretch: Lie down with both knees bent. Rest the ankle on your injured side over the knee of your other leg. Now grab the thigh of the leg on the uninjured side and pull toward your chest. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. You will feel the buttocks on the injured side being stretched and also feel the tension along the outside of your hip.
Gluteal Sets: Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched behind you. Gently squeeze your buttock muscles together, as if clenching, and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Do 2 sets of 15. This will get a nice deep stretch into your glutes which may become tense especially if you are sitting for majority of the day.
Knee to chest: Lie with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bring one knee up to your chest and pull it towards your chest while grabbing the back of your thigh. You will feel that sore buttock muscle being stretched and it will definitely feel relieving. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times for both legs.
Once the sharp pain goes away, you can slowly get back into the groove by doing some recovery workouts. These are also great to make your glutes all strong and fit once again. Do note that some of these require a elastic band.
Resisted hip abduction
Stand sideways near a door with your injured side further from the door. Tie elastic tubing around the ankle on your injured side. Knot the other end of the tubing and close the knot in the door near the floor. Pull the tubing out to the side, keeping your leg straight. Return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. The further away you move from the wall, the more resistance you will get for a deeper and longer stretch. You will feel the entire network of muscles from the glutes down to your thighs being stretched and activated.
Prone hip extension
Lie on your stomach and rest a pillow under your hips. Bend the knee on the recovering leg and draw your belly in towards your spine and tighten your abs. Lift the bent leg off the floor about 6 inches, and hold for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15 on each side for proportionate development.
Lunge: Stand and take a large step forward with your injured leg. Keep your trunk upright. Dip your other knee down toward the floor, bending your back leg. Then step back to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15.