Weak Gluteus Medius? Try These 3 Strength Exercises

The gluteal muscles are comprised of three unique muscles that extend and abduct the hip and leg. The gluteus maximus is the largest and strongest of the three. The glute medius and minimus are smaller but also important. The gluteus maximus is made up of about 60 percent fast twitch and 40 percent slow twitch muscle fibers. Some studies suggest that the gluteus medius and minimus consist primarily of slow-twitch muscle fiber. This is important to understand this when designing any strength program.

Another great question was posted in the Jefit community this week. The person wanted to know if there were other great hip abduction exercises they could do rather than just the hip abduction/adduction machine at their gym. Here are three exercises that I came up with. Feel free to discus each exercise in our Jefit community. My suggestion before you give any pro/con answers, though, is to try each exercise first. If you do, you’ll see each were recommended as they quickly activate and overload the hip muscles especially the gluteus medius which is what the Jefit user was looking to do.

Band Side Step

This is a terrific exercise to add as part of any leg day or before each workout as part of your dynamic warm-up. To begin, Start in an athletic stance with an exercise band around your ankles. Keep the knees soft throughout each set. A set can be for a specific number of steps to the side and back or for a specific time period or distance. As you execute the movement, think about pushing off from one foot while you step to the side with the other foot. Remember to move side-to-side in both directions. The gluteus medius muscle is small, so you should feel this pretty quickly as you perform hip abduction.

Side-Lying Bridge with Hip Abduction

You have most likely tried a bridge or side-lying bridge which is the first part of the exercise. Begin in a side-lying position with hips and knees bent (aka, fetal position). Keep the bottom leg bent and straighten out the top leg. Then raise the body off the floor and hold (bridge position), keeping your forearm on the ground. Next, raise the top leg off the floor until it is parallel (or slightly higher) with the floor. Repeat this up and down motion with the leg as you hold up the bridge position. The progression would be to try this side-lying exercise with legs straight and stacked on top of each other.

Band Hip Thrust with Hip Abduction

The idea of this exercise is to add-in hip abduction (and adduction) to a hip thrust movement. Keep the legs and feet together to start though. Position the band around mid-thigh. Perform a hip thrust and hold at the top. Then perform a repetition on the left and right side and lower and repeat. You can also stay in the (up) bridge position the whole time as you do hip abduction.

Final Thoughts

Each of the three exercises are easy to do and very effective exercises. They can be perform anywhere, at home, in the gym or when traveling. Try each one and let us know your thoughts in our Jefit community. Strong hips are important and needed for just about every daily activity. Get started with building stronger hip muscles today with these three exercises.

Stay Strong Together

Jefit is an advanced strength training tracking & planning app. Their workout log can help you meet your fitness goals. By providing an extensive exercise library, individuals can pick and choose their own program according to specific goals. You can also join the members-only Facebook group where you can connect and interact with your fellow Jefit members. Share your successes, stories, advice, and tips so you learn and grow together.

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