Hip Stability – A Focus on the Glute Med Muscle
In a recent blog, Principal Physiotherapist Tim Ellis wrote on Building the Ultimate Back – A Focus on the Gluteus Maximus Muscle. Another gluteal muscle that doesn’t receive much love is the Gluteus Medius (Glute Med) which is vital for maintaining healthy hips and gives your rear end that extra curve. In this article, Physio Lawrence shares some vital information about this muscle as well as exercises that can help to strengthen the Glute Med.
What is the Gluteus Medius (Glute Med) Muscle?
The Glute Med is a fan-shaped muscle that sits deep to the Gluteus Maximus muscle. It originates deep in the back of your pelvis and attaches to the side of your hip. You can find where the Glute Med sits by putting your hands on your hips and dropping them below the ridge of your pelvis. It might surprise you that it sits more on the side of your hips and this is crucial for its function.
What is the Glute Med’s Function?
The Glute Med plays an important role in walking, running, and almost any lateral movement. It works to maintain the level of the pelvis when weight bearing on one leg and stabilize the hips. For example, when you swing your right foot across in walking, your left Glute Med is contracting to prevent the right side of your hip from dropping. If your Glute Med is weak, this will impede on any sport that requires side to side movement.
What Happens If Your Glutes Medius is Weak?
The gluteus medius muscle works to stabilize the pelvis. If this muscle is weak, your pelvis will drop on the other side uncomfortably. Any weakness through your Glute Med will lead your body to compensate with other movements and muscles. It can create extra stress on other joints and can lead to pain in those regions, such as your lower back and your knees.
Engage the gluteus medius with hip abductor motion to improve the gluteal line. Lift your legs in a side lying position at the hip joint to stabilise the gluteus medius.
“How Can I Strengthen It?”
I’ve been getting great results with my clients when they undergo a rehab program that targets their Gluteus Medius. Here are a couple of exercise routines you can do to strengthen your Glute Med:
This is my go-to-exercise for strengthening the Glute Med. It isolates and targets the Glute Med very effectively and you should feel a difference in your hip stability after this hip abduction exercise.
- Lie on your side with your knees bent and the ankles are in line with your hips.
- Lift your top knee up towards the ceiling while keeping your feet together.
- You will most likely struggle to do 3 sets of 15 repetitions of this exercise.
BRIDGE AND BELT
This exercise challenges the activation of the Glute Med with your bigger Glute Maximus.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and place a resistance band around your knees.
- Lift your hips up towards the ceiling while still pushing outwards into the belt.
- You should feel all your Glutes firing like pistons following completion of these exercises!
There are a lot more exercises and ways to strengthen your Glute Med and, essentially, your back. Get started with building a stronger back today by giving us a call now to schedule your appointment at