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Gluteal muscles are commonly referred to as glutes in our industry. I’ve always found it interesting and telling about how we interact with such a physically strong yet socially taboo area. On the therapy side I feel bodywork is incomplete without glute work. These muscles lead to so much back pain and immobility I’m annoyed if I see someone for a session and they don’t at least knead through mine at least once. On the intimacy side, well, Sir Mix-a-Lot writes songs as an ode to the area. Glutes fit right in a middle ground, they need work but also concern intimacy with clients.

Using your knees to work this area is ideal for several reasons. Very few people are going to find your touch suspect while using your knees and your hands will thank you every time you do this. Those large powerhouse muscles love being leaned into with nearly all of your body weight over such a broad surface. Start slow, hands on the ground on either side of the client to step up if you’re concerned about pressure. It’s all flesh that you’re sinking into, no bone.

You’re working multiple layers of muscle in this one move. Gluteus maximus, medius an minimus all get some work as well as the deep lateral rotators. Piriformis is the big guy though, he causes more low back or leg pain than the others in my experience. You’re compressing all of these layers almost all at the same time. Thai massage is effective.

Stay away from the tailbone and the border along the sacrum you can hug up to with your knees. This deep compression can be done for some time and you can also repeat it more than one in a session. I prefer working on clients on a mat on the floor but if your balance is good and you work on a table try hopping up after mentioning it to your client. Thai massage can be adapted to the table but it changes the physics slightly.

Clients will often ask me why this area is so tight when I work on them. Depending on my mood and their psychological set I’ll often reply, “because you’re a tight ass.” I’ll see you soon for Thai massage in Austin, Tx.

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