Gluteus Medius Exercises

This blog post contains 15 different ways to perform Gluteus Medius exercises.

The Gluteus Medius is a muscle that is located on the side of the hip and has the important role of stabilizing the pelvis, hip and lower limb.

A weak Gluteus Medius may be involved with issues such as:

Exercises for Gluteus Medius

Points to consider:

  • Make sure that you can FEEL the contraction of the Gluteus Medius.
  • You do not need to do ALL of the Gluteus Medius exercises. Focus on the one where you can engage the gluteus medius the most.

1. Standing Hip Abduction

hip abduction glute medius exercise

Instructions:

  • Stand up right.
  • Hold onto a stationary object for balance. (If required)
  • Lift your leg towards the side as high as you can go.
  • Make sure that your spine and pelvis do NOT move as you lift the leg.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

2. Standing Hip Abduction (with resistance)

glute medius strengthening with resistance band

Instructions:

  • Stand up right.
  • Hold onto a stationary object for balance. (If required)
  • Tie a resistance band between both of your feet. (see above)
  • Lift your leg towards the side.
  • Make sure that your spine and pelvis do NOT move as you lift the leg.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

3. Sitting Hip Abduction

sitting gluteus medius exercise

Instructions:

  • Sit upright on a chair with your knees bent to 90 degrees.
  • Loop a resistance band around both of your knees. (see above)
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your knees outwards.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.

4. Bridge (with resistance band)

bridge with resistance band for gluteus medius

Instructions:

  • Lie down on the floor with knees bent.
  • Tie a resistance band between your knees.
  • Keep your feet and knees shoulder-width apart.
  • Push your knees outwards. Maintain this position throughout the exercise.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Push your hips upwards.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

5. Clam shells

clam shell gluteus medius

Instructions:

  • Lie on your side with your hips and knees slightly bent.
  • Whilst keeping your ankles together, lift your upper knee up as high as possible.
  • Make sure that you do not move your pelvis.
    • Block the hip with your hand if required.
    • Only the leg should be moving!
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds at end range.
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Progression: Wrap a resistance band around the knees.

6. Side lie leg lift

side lie gluteus medius exercise

Instructions:

  • Lie on your side with your bottom leg bent.
  • Keep the upper leg straight.
  • Elongate your upper leg away from you.
  • Lift your upper leg as high as possible without moving your spine/pelvis.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

7. Fire Hydrant

fire hydrant exercise

Instructions:

  • Assume the crawling position.
  • Lift your knee towards the side.
  • Do not allow the spine or pelvis to move.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 20 times.

8. Banded reverse lunge

lunge with resistance band

Instructions:

  • Tie a resistance band around your knee.
  • Make sure the band is pulling towards in the inside of the knee.
  • Assume the lunge position.
  • Perform reverse lunges without letting the knee collapse inwards.
  • Repeat 20 times.

8. Hip drop/lift

hip hitch

Instructions:

  • Stand sideways on a step.
  • Keep the leg on the step completely straight.
  • Slowly lower your hanging leg towards the floor without letting the stance leg bend.
  • Hitch the hip upwards.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of your hip of the leg on the step.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

9. Cross over lunge

cross over lunge for gluteus medius

Instructions:

  • Assume the standing position.
  • Bring your foot behind and as far to the side of the other foot. (See above)
  • Perform a slow lunge.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of the hip at the front.
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Progression:
    • Do a deeper lunge
    • Reach your foot further to the side
    • Hold onto a weight

10. Crab walk

crab walk gluteus medius

Instructions:

  • Set up a resistance band as shown above.
  • Pull the band with both of your arms to increase tension.
  • Proceed to take small side steps with each leg over a 1 meter distance.
  • Keep your pelvis level through the exercise.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of both hips.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

11. wall push

gluteus medius exercises using wall

Instructions:

  • Lift your knee up to hip height and place the side of that leg against a wall. (see position above)
  • Bend your planted leg to ~10 degrees.
  • Push the lifted leg into the wall.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of both hips.
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

12. Side plank

side plank for gluteus medius strengthening

Instructions:

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent.
  • Place your forearm onto the floor.
  • Keep your upper leg lifted off the lower leg.
  • Push your knee into the ground and lift your pelvis upwards.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of both hips.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times.

13. Single leg balance

single leg balance

Instructions:

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Make sure to keep your pelvis level throughout this exercise.
  • Make sure to keep your foot and knees facing forwards.
  • Keep your torso upright.
  • Maintain your balance!
  • Challenge your balance:
    • Alternate lifting your arms or,
    • Look behind your left and right shoulder.
  • Continue for 1 minute.

14. Single leg squat

Instructions:

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Place your hands on each side of your hips.
  • Maintain level pelvis throughout this exercise.
  • Perform a single leg squat.
  • Make sure to keep your foot and knees facing forwards.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of the hip of the stance leg.
  • Repeat 10 times.

15. Single leg Hinge

single hinge pelvis control

Instructions:

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Keep your pelvis leveled throughout this exercise.
  • Hinge forwards.
  • Make sure to keep your foot and knees facing forwards.
  • Aim to feel a muscular contraction on the side of the hip of the stance leg.
  • Repeat 10 times.

What to do next

1. Any questions?… (Leave me a comment down below.)

2. Come join me on the Facebook page. Let’s keep in touch!

3. Start doing the Gluteus Medius exercises!

4 thoughts on “Gluteus Medius Exercises”

  1. Hi Mark,

    I’ve started doing your knee exercises and they are very helpful, thank you! Will start on the ones above too. I’ve had long standing sciatica on my right side which is now resolved. However, when I walk uphill (on the flat is ok) my right knee (which is a bit knock kneed) wobbles around. Some stabilising muscle seems to have lost its strength. I was wondering if you could tell me if there are any of the exercises in your exercise lists which are especially good for this?

    Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth,

      First of all, if your knee tends to lose alignment going up hill, check to see if you have tight ankles. (See post: Ankle Dorsiflexion). This can cause the knee to collapse inwards.

      Since going up hill requires your hip to be in a bit more flexion as compared to flat ground walking, you would want to focus on 15. Single hinge. I would also encourage you to do Step ups with your torso leaning forwards.

      Mark

  2. Hi Mark,
    One question, since my left side only quadratus lumborum muscle becomes tight sometimes so do I need to work only on left glute medius?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Sumer,

      Not necessarily. It really depends WHY the left QL is getting tight.

      It could be over used as it might be compensating for a weak glute medius on the other side.

      It could also be part of a lateral pelvic tilt.

      Perhaps even related to the positioning of your spine. (See post: Scoliosis)

      I would also check what kind of movements you are doing throughout the day that might predispose the left QL getting tight.

      Mark

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