Gluteus Medius Workout: The Forgotten One

30 May, 2020
Today, lower body strength work is part of many sports activities. However, the gluteus medius is often one of the most neglected muscles. Let's discover the role that this muscle plays in sports.
 

Currently, strength training is part of all sports planning, whatever the sport we practice is. In many sports, including running, cycling, or soccer, there’s a focus on lower body training. Let’s learn how important the gluteus medius is in these circumstances.

When working out the leg muscles, most people neglect the gluteal region because, in many cases, they don’t know its importance. In the following article, we’ll focus on the gluteus medius muscle, which is, without a doubt, widely forgotten in exercise routines.

Where is the gluteus medius located?

The gluteus medius is a muscle located in the lateral and upper part of the leg, and it has various functions. The main ones are the following:

At the same time, it has a great impact on the movement patterns of the entire lower musculature. This means that it’s very important for actions such as jumping, rotations, running, and flexing, as well as all other movements that require us to be in a standing position.

Image: cambiatufisico.com

Many knee joint problems can derive from a poor activation of the gluteus medius muscle. Hence the importance of good muscle toning work.

 

The gluteus medius in everyday Life

The gluteal musculature is capable of producing more force than any other muscular area. This is one of the main points in its role as a stabilizer. Consequently, good gluteus medius work will help prevent injury and pain.

There’s an important difference in the role that men and women give to the gluteus medius in their training routine. Women usually prioritize this area, but usually only for aesthetics. In this sense, we must know that large glutes don’t necessarily mean strong muscles.

Many jobs are of sedentary nature and require several hours of sitting down in one spot. This renders the glutes in a state of “gluteal amnesia”; in other words, they’re asleep.

This numbness is due to a lack of neuromuscular activation, so other muscles step in to perform the functions that our “sleeping” glutes cannot carry out. This can lead to muscle overload.

Gluteus medius functionality

Anatomically, the main functions of this muscular region are the following:

  • Primarily, the gluteus medius abducts the hip.
  • Internally rotates the femur.
  • Externally rotates the femur.
  • It helps to extend the hip.

These functions make our gluteus medius the main stabilizer of the hip. So, if you’re not actively working on this muscle, it leads to problems regarding the progression of training.

On the contrary, proper strengthening of the musculature of the gluteus medius will help prevent very common injuries. One can avoid protrusions or herniated discs, as well as different problems in the knees or hips.

 

Pathologies associated with a weak gluteus medius

The following pathologies are associated with the gluteus medius:

  • Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligaments and other injuries of the knee joint.
  • Femoral pain labeled syndrome.
  • Injuries to the ankle joint.

Key exercises for toning

Next, we’re going to offer a series of guidelines or tasks that must be included in your gluteus medius training routine in order to avoid and prevent any type of the above-mentioned pathologies:

  • Get into a squat position, placing an elastic band around the ankles. Perform the squat maintaining this position. Next, take a step to one side and continue stepping without breaking the squat. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
band exercises for the gluteus medius

  • Place the elastic band above the knees. Lie down, face up with the legs bent and feet hip-width apart. Without raising the shoulders, raise the hips as much as possible and in turn, push the legs out. Do this 10 to 20 times.

 
  • Again, perform a squat and when lowering down, lift the right leg off the ground, keeping it straight. With balance, try to get as far as possible, without exerting excessive force. Then, return to the starting position and do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.
exercises for the gluteus medius

Conclusions

To end this article, we can affirm that the gluteus medius is a muscle that often doesn’t get the spotlight it deserves, even though it’s the main stabilizer for the hips.

Training this muscle is closely related to the prevention of pain and injuries, be they sports, work, or daily life-related. It’s in your hands to reverse this situation. What are you waiting for to do the right exercises?

 
  •  Contreras B. New Research: The Glute Max is Really Good at Stabilizing the SI Joint – Bret Contreras [Internet].
  • Marshall PWM, Patel H, Callaghan JP (2011). Gluteus medius strength, endurance, and co-activation in the development of low back pain during prolonged standing. Hum mov sci. 30(1):63-73.