Our Gluteus muscles are the large muscles found in our buttocks and are very important for supporting common movements used throughout the day. The gluteus is actually a group of three muscles – gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Many of you have probably heard of the Glut Max which usually gets all of the attention. It is one of the strongest and largest muscles in the lower body. The glut medius is often forgotten, but plays a vital role in keeping the rest of our body healthy and
functional. As shown in the picture above, the glut medius is hidden underneath the large glut max and is located on the side of our pelvis. This muscle doesn’t produce a lot of power but is responsible for keeping our pelvis balanced and stable. During gait it supports the body weight on one leg and prevents our pelvis from dropping to the side. Physiotherapists commonly find a weak glut medius in a lot of patients, which leads to pelvic instability during walking, running, and sports. This imbalance can lead to
increased risk of injury to the low back, hips, knees and feet.
Here are three simple exercises to strengthen that forgotten Glut Medius:
Side leg raise
While lying on your side, slowly raise up your top leg to the side. Keep your knee straight and maintain your toes pointed forward the entire time. Keep your leg in-line with your body. The bottom leg can be bent to stabilize your body. Perform 3 sets of 10 with a 3 second hold at the top of the movement.
Place a looped elastic band around both ankles. Next, bend your knees and step to the side while keeping tension on the band the entire time. After taking 10 sidesteps to the side in one direction, reverse the direction taking sidesteps until you return to the starting position. Repeat 3-4 times
While lying on your side with your knees bent, draw up the top knee while keeping contact of your feet together. Do not let your pelvis roll back during the lifting movement. Perform 3 sets of 10 with a 3 second hold at the top of the movement.
Perform a lateral plank as shown so that while lying on your side, you lift your body up on your elbow and feet. Try and maintain a straight spine with an engaged core. Perform 3 repetitions holding for 30 sec.