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Do you have pain in the buttocks? Do they always feel tight no matter how many times you stretch? Have you been misled and told to keep tensing the buttocks to make them firm?

In the last blog I discussed how tensing the quadriceps at the wrong time can cause unnecessary pain and tightness. The same problem can happen with our buttocks muscles, which are the gluteals. The gluteals are a large muscle that is located at the back of the pelvis that is very important for hip and back function. They are a powerful muscle group that helps us to stand up from sitting, squat, lunge and run. These muscles are meant to contract powerfully and then relax.

In standing the gluteals should be relaxed. When we tense the gluteals too much there is increased hip joint compression and increased strain on the low back. This increased hip joint compression means the hips will not move normally and the low back will compensate by moving even further, which leads to pain and injury. It is amazing how many people tense the glutes too much without even realising it.

Try this simple test in standing: tense the gluteals as hard as you can and then try to bend forward. Did you notice how difficult is was to bend? Now try bending with relaxed gluteals and focus on sticking the buttocks out. Did you notice how much easier it was to bend?

If you cannot relax the buttocks in standing you could have:

  • trigger points in the gluteals
  • poor core stability
  • stiff hip joint
  • weak deep hip stabilisers
  • poor body coordination
  • incorrect movement patterns

If you have buttocks and/or low back pain and cannot relax the gluteal muscles in standing then make sure you get assessed by your physiotherapist.

Yours in Good Health

Mark Collins



Request Appointment
Email Us
call now (02) 4396 5686