Gluteus Medius is a vital muscle that’s a flat and triangular muscle located on the outside of the hip which acts dynamically to stabilize the pelvis while standing or walking. The gluteus muscle is the causal agency of abduction at the articulatio coxae. The gluteal muscle acts on the articulatio coxae producing two movements
- its anterior part internally rotates the thigh,
- the contraction of the whole muscle abducts the thigh
Weakness within the glute muscle may result in several lower extremity injuries and even back pain, so its strength and muscular stamina quite essential for pain-free activities. Now the question arises of how to strengthen gluteus medius. There are many strengthening exercises for the gluteal muscle, like Standing Squats, Side-lying clamshells, Monster Walks, etc. Some exercises are often performed as home workouts as they require no complex equipment. Physiotherapy answers the question, “how to strengthen Gluteus Medius?”
Let us elaborate 5 Progression Exercises to Strengthen Your Gluteus Medius:
1. Side Plank with Static Hip Abduction
- Lie on your side and line up the neck, shoulders, pelvis, hips, and ankles.
- Put your elbow and only your bottom leg on the floor.
- Lift your body up into a side plank by coming up on your elbow and the side of your foot.
- Raise your top leg as far as you can and then come down slowly.
- Take care to keep up a straight torso. don’t let your hips sag.
- Aim for 30-60 second holds, 3-5 repetitions on either side.
2. Single-Leg Squat
- Take an elevated surface like a bench or a box to stand on.
- With one foot hanging off the side, perform a squat on one leg by allowing the foot to drop.
- Go down as far as you’ll be able to go. You can choose any of these variations:
- Perform with the complete range of motion.
- Perform with partial range of motion.
- Perform with some type of support or straps.
- Perform with a box or bench.
- Drive your body up to full extension.
- Try to maintain your hip, knee, and ankle in perfect alignment.
- Aim for 5-8 reps up to 3-4 sets on each leg.
3. The Banded Clam Shell
- Lie down on your side together with your knees bent up at 90 degrees and ankles together.
- you’ll be able to either lay your head down or rest on your elbow.
- Place a resistance band around your knees.
- Keep your feet staying stationary and touching each other.
- Rotate your upper knee up to a minimum of 60 degrees.
- Come down gradually.
- Aim for 10-15 second holds for 10-reps on either side.
4. Front Plank with Hip Extension
- Get into a plank position on your elbows and toes.
- Lift one leg up, with the knee bent, as high as you’ll be able to go.
- Try and pull your leg up past parallel.
- Squeeze at the highest and come down.
- Attempt to avoid any extreme side-to-side movement through your hips as you lift your leg up towards the ceiling.
- Aim for 5 second holds for 5-8 reps up to 3-4 sets for each leg.
5. Lateral Step Up/Down
- Stand next to an elevated surface with a side body facing it.
- Lift up the foot near the surface and place it on top. *
- Drive the elevated foot down to lift the body and place it on top.
- Be careful of using minimal push from the lower leg
- You may also do that exercise while holding weights as a progression.
- Maintain the hip/knee/ankle alignment of your stance leg.
- Aim for 5-8 reps up to 3-4 sets for each leg.
After 6 to 8 weeks, the exercises may feel less challenging indicating a necessity for progression. Progression may include adding or increasing resistance or considering replacing it with a new exercise. It’s all about how to strengthen Gluteus Medius.