Class #4541

Glute Release

30 min - Class


Let's roll out your glutes and enjoy the freedom of feeling light in your legs! This class is designed for you to complete again and again. It's recommended to start with a softer ball and over time you can increase the intensity by using a harder ball. By taking the time to release your glute medius and maximus, you will feel your whole body shift into a more ideal posture.

Props Needed: 5" Yamuna USA® Ball or something equivalent
What You'll Need: Mat, Yamuna Balls

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Today's class, we're going to be addressing glute maximus, medius and minimus, the infamous bottoms. So what can happen again, because we're sitting culture, we don't walk the right way, we've started to kind of collapse down because of gravity, is the muscles can drop down. As people get older, they say I lost my butt or my butt fell down to my knees. And more importantly than that, it's not holding the back weight of the body. So these muscles are supposed to be a stabilizer and remove the pressure from the lower back, and actually allow our gait when we're walking to be balanced between the front and the back body.

So the glutes are very key, they release to extend the leg forward and to go backwards and they basically, I hate to say it, but they sell the more in the modern person, you see most people knee walking rather than hip walking and being propelled forward by the pelvis. But thanks to our wonderful balls, when we release those muscles, we wake them up and we start to bring them back into the vocabulary of the body and free up this area and bring power back into our stance and our motions. I'm gonna be working with a ball that is quite pumped up but a little bit softer, and it is maybe five inches, five and a half inches, there is this, these are the tuna fitness balls, they're about more like a four inch, you can work with the tennis ball, you can even work with a golf ball if you want to really really penetrate. It depends on where you're at. So we'll start with glute maximus, a very, very key balance muscle for the whole back shaft of the body.

And if you feel down from the top of your pelvis, you'll feel the bony area and then underneath there's a ridge where your buttock start, you want to search for that and then also search for the area on the side of your sacrum. And we're going to be working from the top towards your greater toe candor or the thighbones. If you feel around where your thigh ends, we're going there. And then a little bit lower, and a little bit lower. And if you're not sure, you'll be okay because you're going to hit into the area no matter what and you will start to notice where your butt is.

I'm gonna be working with the black ball today, so I'll put this ball aside and sitting, see if you can get to that top corner between where the lower spine goes down and the kind of ridge, it's kind of like a section like this in the pelvis and if you're not sure, just hike up somewhere in there and sink in. Now real interesting is that as you sink in, this is the area where all the origins of the muscle are, where they are attached to the bone and it's a big area that then runs as a hammock across and connects to your thigh. So you want to, as you're sinking into the ball, think of tractioning the muscle away from the bone, we're stretching it out. I was just reflecting how people when they get sciatica pain, they go, I have a pinched nerve in my sacrum, we're dealing with all of that we're creating space and lengthen openness and we're actually going to wake up that muscle, especially the high part and start to make it bear weight. So other parts of the body aren't doing a substitute job.

So sink in as much as you can, start to roll out and I'm slightly rotating. So I'm widening into this area, whatever you need to do to sink in. And by the way, for some people, you need to try a few different types of balls. I've had people that they like a super, super hard ball 'cause they feel nothing, and nothing is not good enough, we want to get into the shaft of the muscle, when you go in deep enough, you get right down towards the bone and that's a healthy texture. And it powers up and stimulates blood flow, hydration and good correct operation of that muscle area.

So keep rolling, I'm dragging the ball a little bit further out and down, so it's like this big diagonal, and then I'm starting to come close to where my thigh is going to be connecting into the pelvis and now I'm getting right in there. By the way, you may hit into spots that hurt. Those are your areas, that's where you hang out for a while. When you're doing your own practice, that's what you visit to really be a game changer in your own body. Now I'm right into the top of my thigh.

By the way, all of this connects into the IT band and becomes a language into the legs. Pressing into that area, taking a moment to really sink in, letting the muscle and the area where it connects into the bone have a relationship, it feels delicious. Oh, my back just released and then coming back off and going to the next slightly lower location. So we were up here now the sacrum, the sacrum is running down in the middle here, I'm grabbing just the side of the sacrum out a little bit. Some people you know, can have butts they're not too happy about, they're a bit flashy or they're too bony, I mean, we all have our stories.

But very often, there's a lot of accumulation of weight in the area because nothing's happening, the areas kind of dormant and consequently the relationships of the joints is not working so well and when you start to wake up the muscle and integrate them in your workouts in a more appropriate way, they start to activate, so there's energy in that area again. We want that and it can be a changer for what you look like and how you feel and how your muscles fire. So I'm starting again this journey outwards, I'm slowly rolling through the muscle, pressing in as deeply as I can and check the leg, is it relaxed, is it dropping out or is it grippy? Is the muscle opens the thigh and the hip start to free up a lot more. And now I'm rolling a little bit further out and down towards the bone or towards the femur or towards the thighbone, there it is.

And I'm literally grabbing that side of the hip and pushing on it and lengthening it out. Oh, feels so good and again range of movement of the leg will be increased. So sometimes we think we need to stretch a lot to become flexible, or that we're naturally stiff, this fascia work, releasing and unwinding your fascia, game changer. I've seen people 12 years tight hamstrings, one hour, loose hamstrings like big, big, big, big chain game changes. Oh, one more time, this time we get as low down as we can.

So I'm literally getting the ball right down close to the bottom of my sacrum. Maybe now I'm leaning back because I get a lot more leverage into the bone really sinking in and widening the sacrum, widening those muscles. So it's the bottom area of the buttocks that I'm running across, this is all glute max, rolling through, pausing, remember the harder the ball you are, you will find your knots in a more deep way but any place you feel a lump, a clump, a grip, a tightness, pain, visit that area it means it's dehydrated, the tissues are dry, everything's pulled together, there's no life there. And we are supposed to be moist, we're supposed to be elastic and more taffy like in the texture in the muscle. Also, please move slowly as you do this work because if you move fast, you're irritating the surface, you're creating more dehydration, we want to get right into the area of tightness and allow it to shift.

Roll all the way out, and then come off and just for a minute lie down. Just lie down, we've done glute max in the one side, just see how this hip feels, the leg feels, the glute feels. For me very open, very flowing, the hip socket feels much more relaxed and then come up because as always we have the other side. So starting again, find the top, that area where the corner is between the sacrum going down in the top of your pelvis, the bony area, wedge yourself in and get weight. Something you may enjoy doing is getting this knee bent up, which gives you more leverage into the area.

Remember, we want as much heaviness and density as we can possibly figure out to create moving in, also press and widen all that muscle group and breathe, some people find that the deep breath really helps them focus to open up. You want to be sure you're encouraging that opening, sinking, stretching of the textures of the muscle. So I am now slowly beginning to roll down on a diagonal towards the back part of my hipbone, the greater trochanter area or thighbone, and searching out where the knots are, where's the grumpiness, where's the dry clumped up muscle tissue that is becoming older and less active, because you can undo it, you want to find those areas and hang out there and then use it to widen the back of the thighbone outwards, you can literally grab into the back of the bone if you're sinking in deep enough and stretch it and open up your hip flexors. So you're again creating a lot more freedom in the joint and release. I'm just taking a moment here, rolling into it, you can do different micromovements, trust your body, no two people are exactly the same in the language and the way they put together, you will get to know yourself so well and really be able to problem solve and release so much congestion inside you.

Which is why I love this work so much because it's very self empowering for you to be your own therapist. Let's come off, move the ball further down. So again, the sacrum is running down the middle, here I am, I'm finding that area lower. If you're a stiff person, you can do it lying on your back and rolling down, you just want to find that area and you can be down this way or you could be more up. You want the pressure into the glute, pooling the glute away from the sacrum and dropping the knee out if it feels right for you, this hip is a little tighter for me so I don't drop it out as much and I just work to release it out of the socket in a way that opens a joint up.

So keep moving through, very slowly inching your way all the way through, you're riding towards the back and top of the thigh. If you hit a knot, take a moment, deep breath in, oh I just released something, and then breathe out and see if you can sink deeper, ha, letting go. Again breathing in, I'm widening that back of the greater trochanter even more and sinking in even further. So in my case, just is gentle movement, I've hooked the back of the hip because that's where the glute max is gonna attach and I'm widening it, and then rolling to the top back of the bone. If you're somewhere a little bit different, it's fine, this is not rocket science, you're just moving through your body, trust yourself, you will be fine and you will get better and you will know your anatomy better than any book can ever teach you.

Last part, way down at the low part of the sacrum, find a way to wedge the ball in and then roll up on to the side, so I'm sinking in and this time we're rolling across the low shaft of the glutes, widening them. We always want nice wide movement going from the origin of the muscle out towards where it inserts or attaches, 'cause the muscles always work between two bony platforms and the relationship between the two, and they're the movers of the bones. So we want to get all of that connective tissue softening and loosening. So I'm very slowly moving through taking my time, pausing at different points that feel very tight. Oh, I just released a huge area, feels so good.

Move a little bit further. Widen now out the back, you may be riding the top of your sit bone, if you can get in that deep. If you're not that deep, it's fine. If you feel the traction, it's good. If you feel nothing, you're just kind of doing it, get a harder ball, get maybe a smaller ball or bigger ball, play around because there is action in your body.

Rolling all the way through onto the side, pressing into that side, making a nice wide pelvis and then coming off the ball and just for a minute lay down, see what your pelvis feels like. How does your lower back feel right now? Does your pelvis feel longer? Does it feel wider? Just move your legs for a minute, do they feel freer than they were a minute ago because all of that can grip can pull your hip into the socket and to create mutations that are much less functional.

So from here, let's roll to the side and come up. Our next one is a really fun one, it's glute medius and minimus. So these are the muscles that run on the side of the glute area or your buttocks, is still part of your buttocks. Very big area of tightness, if you have one hip that's hiked up, you probably have one side, it's much tighter than the other. If you tend to stand on one leg and you'd like to weight bear on one leg versus the other, or you cross your legs one way all the time when you're sitting, they can either add for fee or they can become over tight and create again, an imbalance that later can affect the spinal column.

So many, many things can go on with these two muscles and they are so key for creating a strong pelvis. A strong pelvis means you stand, you walk, you feel good and you feel young. A badly balanced pelvis, you feel frail and you're much more vulnerable in life, so we don't want that. So what's the pattern here? If you go from the top of your bony structure, if you actually start with the waist area and feel down, you're going to find the top of your pelvis, it's really not very far down.

So in my case, it's right here and then you move out a bit towards the side, and then you walk down with your fingers right there. So in the top outer part, is where we're going to start and then we run down towards our thigh. So it's really running the outer side of the shaft of the glutes. And we will start, so I'm actually working with a harder ball because these muscles get very tight and they're harder to penetrate and they are painful very often when you start. So I'm now into that top of the muscle, and because the ball is harder, I can get deeper penetration immediately.

As I mentioned before, you want to find the density that you're ready to experience. Not everybody's ready for the deep intense work, and then it's not it's abusive. Later as you become familiar and your muscles are much healthier and stronger, you'll like that, I love it because I can get so much change fast. As I'm sinking in here, I'm doing very slight micromovements forward and backwards, I'm finding the area of the congestion. So I'm on the back of the pelvis on the side and right here I have a nice knot and I'm pushing.

So again, the muscle starts at the top and moves down, I'm pressing that muscle downward to create more length. I'm staying sunken, so it's always a nice thing to take a breath in, breathe out, sink into the ball, try and get right to the bone, right into the pelvic structure and then roll down a little bit, maybe half an inch, an inch, and notice what you're feeling. If you found it, there's gonna be some congestion, it almost creates a dull ache in my body in the middle of my glute. So there is a connection, something that's still pulling and hasn't fully released. So when the muscles are healthy, there's a pleasurable sense of pressure and a releasing.

When there is already dried up, over traumatized tissue that's becoming dehydrated and not functioning, it starts to be more pain like ropy and resistive to shifting, instead of that nice, elastic, open responding aspect. Rolling a little bit further down. As I'm rolling down, I'm starting to create length because I want the muscle to go long and the body to lift up, the trunk to lift up out of the pelvis instead of to be jammed down and collapsing in. Going a little bit further, oh, the muscle just rolled into the right place. Another interesting thing is, if you're too far forward, see if I can lengthen the leg out.

Remember, we're looking to have this muscle really kick in when we're standing and walking so it holds weight. And again, sitting can make all these muscles just drop down and then we shift forward away from them so they stop having to be weight bearing, they stop doing anything, we want to bring them back. Going all the way down, sinking in, I literally feel it reshaping my glutes, pushing into the femur, top there, getting as much length into this very small area as I can. Remember, you're riding the side of the glute muscle. Oh, very nice, and then I'm gonna roll off and lie down for a minute and feel the legs, roll them in and out, see what they feel like, notice what you're feeling?

How does the legs feel? Do you feel more open? Do you feel longer? Is there more looseness in the hip socket? The glutes are very key with internal external rotation and really providing more stability and mobility in the socket without being over pulled up.

And guess what? We've got the other side. So rolling up, I will feel for the very top of my pelvis, find where the bones are, where the back is. So if you had an imaginary line which was the side of the body, we're going behind the side to the back and find where the top is and sink into it and then roll onto your side to get into that area. So it's pulling the glute almost back to the back, but I'm on the side of the back.

Oh, this is a big pain spot for me, very, very nice to sink into it. And as I relax that muscle, my hip joint just released, the leg just dropped. So there was a gripping connection between glute medius and the whole leg. So allow that area to sink, take a breath in, sync into it, let that muscle release, let it start to wake up again and get hydrated. And then keeping that sunk in area, roll a little bit further down.

The other interesting thing is when our tissue, when our muscles and our connective tissue get really, really dry, the dryness is usually right close up to the bone and it's very dehydrated, it's kind of like a dried up sponge. So when we put this pressure in and we go deep with the balls, we're opening that up and then when we release the ball, fluid flushing and hydration comes back so you actually will start to feel that happening. And very often, we're dry close to the bone, we're hydrated at the surface, maybe too hydrated, and then we're dehydrated close to the bone and we want to restore the deep hydration of the body. And it doesn't happen just by drinking, it happens by removing the tightness of the tissue. Oh, roll down a little bit further, taking time remember lengthening out the side of the ribs if you want to add even more benefits because the whole upper body should be pulling up out of the lower body, we should have this uplifting, upswing against gravity, rather than just succumbing to gravity and falling down, which starts to happen when the language of the body is not fully in operation.

Keep pressing that ball a little bit further down, it's now starting to push my whole hip downwards and this is a side that I've had a lot of injuries, so I do have patterns of pulling up and this work has completely empowered me to open up the energy in my body extensively and kind of gain back a functioning left side, very grateful for that. Keep pressing down, lengthening out of the pelvis with the side body and now I'm right down at the bottom of the back of the thighbone, I can feel the connection where it's attaching, pressing in and lengthening, and then rolling off the ball. Oh, was that good. So take a moment, lie down on your backs, see what it feels like? What do your glutes feel like now?

What does your lower back feel like now? What do your thighs feel like? Roll them in and out, do you feel more looseness in the socket, more openness? I hope you do. Let's get back up.

So can you actually check for a minute, see if you can squat. Part of this is the glutes have to open and widened to allow the hinging of the hips. Most people take about a year to get to this point but if you can, push up and just stand for a minute. Check, can you get your hips over your heels instead of forward? Here there's no connection, right here they start to fire and notice the difference of what happens if there's a rebound against gravity, we want this rebounding upwards and just take a few steps and see if something's actually happening to propel you forward rather than the shuffle movement that most people get into now when they're knee walking instead of full leg walking, there's power in there.

So, I hope you feel better. I hope you're proud of you butt, enjoy your glutes. Notice the changes today, tomorrow, give them some love, please comment, share what you're discovering and enjoy the work.

Release Your Fascia: with Niedra Gabriel

This Video
Fascia, Glutes, Release

Jul 23, 2021
Thumbnail image
Glute Release
Niedra Gabriel
30 min
The Pilates Guild
Watch Next
Fascia, Hamstrings, Restorative, Spacious

Jul 30, 2021
Thumbnail image
Hamstring Release
Niedra Gabriel
30 min
The Pilates Guild
Fascia, Restorative, IT Band, TFL Band, Balance

Aug 06, 2021
Thumbnail image
IT Band Release
Niedra Gabriel
35 min
The Pilates Guild


7 people like this.
I so love this work and appreciate all of the videos you have filmed for us on this matter.  It has made a HUGE difference in how I feel day to day living with rheumatoid arthritis.   I’ve even been able to persuade my husband and he has also been doing this work for a few years now.  Now when his back is bothering him, this is the first type of work he does and it has also made a big difference for him in his mobility.  Thank you for more classes on this very important work!
Niedra Gabriel
Lori , I am so happy to read this comment. I believe in this work myself and having others share the miracles of working on their fascia is so gratifying to know . I can only imagine how painful this type of arthritis can be and having these techniques to apply yourself is fabulous. Enjoy enjoy,
1 person likes this.
always love your ball-stretch exercises Niedra.  Glad to now have this one to add to your hip-release mix from a while back!
Niedra Gabriel
Monica W  thanks for ur post. You will be happy to know there are more to come. 
Gayle S
1 person likes this.
So fantastic! 
Thank you Niedra
Katja D
1 person likes this.
Thank you Niedra. I just came home from a hiking day where at the end I felt some trouble in the hip - after doing the stretch with the ball I feel so much better.
Niedra Gabriel
Katja D and Gayle S thank you both for your post. So glad you enjoyed this work.
2 people like this.
This class was awesome.   Tight glutes = low back pain for me so releasing this area is key.   I hope you there is a class upcoming in this series for tight lats, tight pecs and shoulder issues.   
Niedra Gabriel
Debbie A glad you enjoyed this class. we plan to video more routines over time, so yes, there are routines for your other "body parts" that I hope will be recorded by Pilates Anytime. 
1 person likes this.
So yummy … thank you!  This glut release has improved my Taiji.
1-10 of 38

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Pilates Anytime Logo

Move With Us

Experience Pilates. Experience life.

Let's Begin