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The Glute Medius- Why is it Important? Our Top 5 Exercises

Do you know where and what your Glute Medius does?

There are 3 muscles that make up your gluteals. Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glute max is the biggest and most superficial muscle. It externally rotates (turns the leg out) and extends (moves the leg backwards).

The glute med and min are 2 deeper muscles. They are both involved with abducting and internally rotating the leg (Moving the leg to the side and turning it in).

During single leg activities, the glute medius contracts to stabilize the pelvis. This prevents the hip from hiking upwards (This is called a Trendelenburg sign).

A weak glute medius can cause other muscles to compensate to do the same job. Muscles in the lower back, the hamstrings and the ITB. These compensation patterns can sometimes lead to injury or chronic pain. It can also lead to improper tracking of the knee, causing knee or foot injuries.

When running the glute medius is especially important. Why?

- It absorbs force as your leg hits the ground.

- Keeps your knee tracking straight, preventing it from falling inward.

- Keeps the pelvis level and prevents hip drop.

Injuries associated with weak glute medius include:

- ITB friction syndrome

- Gluteal tendinopathy

- Gluteal muscle tears and strains

- Patellofemoral syndrome

- Piriformis syndrome

- Trochanteric bursitis

(to name a few...)

Your biokineticist will safely guide you through a rehabilitation programme specifically for you, depending on your specific strengths, weaknesses and severity of the injury.

Our top 5 Glute Medius exercises:

1. Side Bridge to Neutral Spine:

Instructions:

1. Start on your side, with your elbow on the mat directly under your shoulder, knees stacked together, and knees bent feet behind you.

2. Drive your hips up off the floor pushing the floor with your bottom knee.

3. Ensure that your hips are stacked on top of one another.

2. Glute Medius Wall Hinge:

Instructions:

1. Stand with hip and shoulder close to a wall.

2. Lift one leg up and place against wall. Use other leg to stabilise.

3. Push knee into wall, activate Glute muscles. Push for 5 sec and relax.

4. Hinge at the hips tilting torso forward with a slight bend in the knee pushing the glutes back.

5. Return to starting position.

3. Single Leg Deadlift:

Instructions:

1. Ensure that your upper body maintains a safe position for your back (straight). Chest up, a slight arch or neutral spine.

2. Stand on one leg and hinge at the hips sitting back into your heel on your standing leg ensuing that your upper leg, knee and lower leg are in alignment.

3. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and return to start position.

4. Pelvic drop:

Instructions:

1. Stand sideways on a step box or bench that is at least 20 cm high let one of your legs hang free off the side of the box.

2. Keep both of your hips squared forward and shoulders level keeping your standing leg straight

3. Drop free hip downward and lift it up back to the neutral position (hips level).

5. Side-lying hip abduction:

Instructions:

1. Lie on your side with you bottom arm under the head for support. The body should be in a straight line from the shoulder, through the hips to the ankles.

2. Ensure the hips are aligned (top hip is not leaning forward/backward).

3. Move the top leg slightly backward and angle the toes to the floor.

4. In a controlled manner, lift the leg up to hip height (or slightly above) keeping the leg extended.

These are just a few things you can try, but we recommend that you get in touch with a Biokineticist who can help put you on a programme of exercises specifically for you ?.

Check out our socials to see videos of each of the above exercises.