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Get your Gluteus Medius workin’!

Posted Nov 15 2009 7:28am

Glute Med exercises- Straight from the researchers at UNC & NASM!

Get the Glutes Working!

A current research study out of the University of North Carolina found that some of the best  gluteus medius exercises can be done from the comfort of home.  Researchers tested 12 gluteus medius exercises (side-lying hip abduction,  single-leg squatlateral tube walk , lateral hop with stabilization,  single-leg deadlifttransverse lungetransverse hop with stabilizationsideways lungeforward hop with stabilizationforward lunge , clams (30 degree flexion), and clams (60 degree flexion)) and found that when training the gluteus medius, side lying hip abduction produced the greatest gluteus medius activation (about 80 percent maximum voluntary isolated contraction) of all open chain exercises with the clam exercise (used mostly in physical therapy) producing the lowest activation of the gluteus medius.  Other exercises that qualified as chart toppers were closed-chain exercises such as the single-leg squat, lateral tube walk, and side hop with stabilization.  However, researchers noted that side-lying hip abduction produced similar results to the closed-chain exercises listed above.  All in all, whether you are lying in front of the TV, or working out in the gym, if you want to train the gluteus medius – you have a few options of exercises that will produce great results.


Key Point:

  • The gluteus medius is a commonly worked muscle that can help stabilize the lower body and potentially save some knee problems in the future.  The glute medius helps control the path of the knee by working in concert with the adductors (they are  antagonists ).  If the adductors become tight or overactive, the adductors can move the knee in during activity, putting people at risk of serious knee problems – and potentially weakening the gluteus medius.  Balancing out the body by training the gluteus medius effectively can help keep the knees in line and keep you off the sidelines.  Start with an assessment and check to see where your knees are heading during an overhead squat.  If the knees are moving in – begin with some  flexibility techniques to relax the adductors and start with a side-lying abduction exercise to get the gluteus medius activated.  Move from the side-lying isolated activation activity to the lateral tube walk exercise.  Once you have “woken up” the glute medius, progress to a single-leg squat (you may need to start with some assistance) and add in a side hop with stabilization once you can successfully perform the single-leg squat without assistance or compensations.

Posted in Corrective Exercise, Program Design, Workouts Tagged: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius
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