Gluteus Medius Exercises That You Must Do to Strengthen Your Lower Body

Gluteus medius exercises (Photo via Emily Sea/Unsplash)
Gluteus medius exercises (Photo via Unsplash/Emily Sea)

Gluteus medius exercises should be a part of your overall leg routine. It’s not necessary for you to add multiple gluteus medius exercises to your routine, but a couple should work.

Before diving into the exercises you can add to your leg day routine, let’s understand what gluteus medius is.

What is the gluteus medius?

Glutes (Photo via Unsplash/Taylor Daugherty)
Glutes (Photo via Unsplash/Taylor Daugherty)

Gluteus medius is an important part of the glute muscles. It’s one of the three parts along with gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus.

The gluteus medius originates from the lateral side of the hip and extends to the hip bone (ilium) to the thigh bone (femur). The primary function of the gluteus medius is in hip abduction and stabilization of pelvis during movements.

Additionally, it supports the thigh in movements like jumping, running, walking, and climbing. A weak gluteus medius can affect stability, balance, and increase lower back pain, chances of knee injuries, and hip pain.

Gluteus medius exercises

Exercises (Photo via Unsplash/Ambitious Creative Co. - Rick Barrett)
Exercises (Photo via Unsplash/Ambitious Creative Co. - Rick Barrett)

The following are the gluteus medius exercises you can add to your workout routine.

Side lying leg lift

To do it:

  • Lie on your side.
  • Keep your hips pressed onto the floor and legs stacked one on top of each other.
  • Lift your outer leg towards the ceiling.
  • The other leg along with the hips should be on the floor.
  • Keep your toes pointed forward.


It's done as follows:

  • Lie on your side. Keep the knees bent.
  • Keep your legs together (stacked).
  • Lift your outer knee to move it away from the other, while your feet remain together. You will feel a stretch on your muscles.
  • Hold the position for a second before lowering the knee.

Single leg squat

It's done as follows:

  • Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Put the weight on one foot, and find your balance.
  • Engage your core for stability. Lower yourself towards the floor.
  • Go till a point where the body takes the position as sitting on a chair.
  • Push yourself back up while maintaining balance.
  • Hold onto something for better balance during the initial days.

Side step up

It's done as follows:

  • Keep one foot on a step or bench while the other remains on the floor.
  • Lift your other foot to the bench/step level by pushing through with the foot on the bench/step
  • Use your heel for the push motion.
  • Lower yourself gently after holding the position for a couple of seconds.

The above gluteus medius exercises can be used in a gluteus medius workout with the following reps and sets:

  • Side-lying lift: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Clamshell: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Single-leg squats: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Side Step Up: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Remember that there are certain gluteus medius exercises before and after elements too.

Before the workout, you should warm up so that you do not put yourself in harm’s way. It helps with activating the muscle fibers properly. Similarly, you should cool-down after the workout as well.

Benefits of strong gluteus medius

Posture (Photo via Unsplash/Oksana Taran)
Posture (Photo via Unsplash/Oksana Taran)

One of the best ways to understand why you should add gluteus medius exercises to your workout routine is by knowing the benefits. Here are the benefits of strong gluteus medius:

Improvement in hip stability

The muscle group behaves as a hip stabilizing factor by helping with preventing excessive hip movements and improving stability during movements like walking, running, and jumping.

Reducing risk of lower body injuries

You can put yourself at the risk of injuring the ankles, knees, and hips if you do not strengthen the gluteus medius. A strong muscle group helps reduce unwanted stress in the joints and tissues and improves lower limb alignment.

Improving athletic performance

Speed, agility, power, balance, coordination, and other movement mechanics

Improving posture

The gluteus medius muscle group is involved in stabilization of the pelvis and spine. As a result, it can help with posture and reducing back pain.

Edited by Bhargav
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