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Tight Gluteus Maximus And Gluteus Medius Muscles

I want to make a lot of comments about tight butt muscles, but they will all get me in trouble with one group or another; so, I won’t. Tight butt muscles come about the same way as tight hamstrings.  10 trillion push-offs.  They are not as common as tight hamstrings just because we spend a lot of time sitting so they do not get as tight as the hams.   Tight butt muscles, by themselves won’t bring a runner to the Repair Shop.  It is when the runner is having difficulty maintaining their previous speed.  As the gluteal muscles become tight, they limit your stride length by limiting your knee lift and limit your speed.


Everything we said for tight hamstrings, ditto.  We feel like we are getting slower in spite of our hard training.  It feels like your strides are getting shorter.  Most tight gluteus maximus in runners are chronic, the build-up on 10 trillion push-offs.  We seem to stretch them and the just get shorter.  They can also happen as the result of a trauma.  It can be a step on an uneven surface or running downhill.  The question I always ask is, “When is the last time you stretched your gluteals?”  The answer is usually something like, ‘Well 1990 something’.


  • Try to pull your ankle up to the opposite armpit.  VID


is exactly the same as for butt weakness on your painful knee.  Since I personally hate it when a website says ‘Go to some other location.’ I have put the treatment here again.

Manage The Pain

  • NSAIDS will help.  

  • Kinesiology taping to stabilize your knee until you get your strength back.  Traditional kinesiology taping usually has you applying the tape directly to the effected muscle.  I could not find any videos of somebody (credible) taping a butt.  In this case, apply the tape to the sore knee where you are experiencing your pain. (If you find a credible, legitimate video of kinesiology tape to the butt, please let me know.)  LIN 

  • Continue running but avoid aggressive speed work and especially hill repeats.

Restore full motion

  • A lot of patients with tight gluteus medius/maximus muscles may have limited hip extension motion.

  • You should include Both of these sequential short-term stretches in your exercise program.  VID1    VID2 

    1. Stretching does not have to be part of your warm-up or cool-down.  But it HAS to be part of your training program. LIN

    1. Most runners with tight gluteus maximus/medius muscles do not have weakness.  It is just the opposite; your butt muscles are tougher than they are long.

Begin non-weight bearing exercises to restore strength without all the pressure on the joints

Correct running mechanics
Return to running speedwork and hills. 

After you have been able to run on flat ground for a week with your with your normal training and have not had any pain, you can begin to add speed and hill training to your program.

My favorite step, get back to full running! 

Have fun.  Eventually you will bust something else and be back to the website to fix that.  

If you follow the steps on the website for 2-6 weeks (depending on how badly you hurt yourself the first time and on how long you tried to ‘run through the pain’) and your problem does not resolve, then call our clinic for an appointment and we can do something Dr. Google cannot do.  We can complete a hands-on evaluation, in-person evaluation to determine the cause of your pain.


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