In this post I will be focusing on the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus muscles. These two muscles always work together to fulfill their very important role. Not only do these two muscles abduct and internally rotate the hip, but they also function to dynamically stabilize the pelvis and lower body.
It is so important to target these muscles because realistically weak muscles do not stabilize very well, and poor stabilization of the hip joint can lead to imbalance in the other muscles of the lower body. These imbalances can lead to many other issues as our joints are all connected especially the hip, knee, and ankle joints!
The GLUTEAL muscle group is the center of strength and power in the lower body and for that simple reason we must target those muscles. Here are some simple exercises to target GLUTEUS MEDIUS AND GLUTEUS MINIMUS!
The clamshell exercise demonstrated above is a great exercise to begin with, especially if the hip joint has very limited mobility. You may choose to start with no resistance and then add on a resistance band as shown.
The side lying leg lift is also great exercise for the Glute Medius/ Minimus. Simple and effective this exercise is great for targeting Glute Medius and Minimus without recruiting the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) which is often a very tight muscle. TFL often compensate for Glute Medius and Minimus, therefore this exercise enhances the ratio of activity between these two muscles. You may also choose to add a resistance band at the ankle. **Make sure not to flex the hip when you do side lying leg lifts to avoid TFL from firing.
Squats with a resistance band just above the knees are also a great exercise for your hip stabilizers. Make sure not to let your knees cave inward!
I know these aren’t the most exciting exercises to include in a workout program but sometimes taking a step back and performing simple or “boring” exercises may be indicated.
-Carah (YWCA Hamilton, Certified Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor)