4 Best Exercises for the Gluteus Medius

Having a strong gluteus medius is going to benefit you in a number of ways. Building up this muscle helps improve your overall physical performance.

You can also change the way you look, giving you a body you’re happier with. If you want to feel great and be physically fit, you need to work all of your body, including your gluteus medius, but it’s often a part of the body that’s neglected during exercise regimens.

The glutes consist of more than one muscle, but the gluteus maximus is the one most people think of when they think of their glutes, and the gluteus medius muscle is one that you want to work out as well.

However, we’re focusing on the medius part of your glutes here and how you can develop it using exercises for the gluteus medius.

The benefit to building up your glute muscles is that they’ll give you strength for lifting and pushing, which can come in helpful during exercise.

A lot of people make the mistake of lifting with their back instead of their glutes. That’s because they’re not lifting properly, they’re not engaging their glutes, or they don’t have the right posture.

By strengthening your glutes, you have more strength there to rely on and you relieve some of the burden off your back. This will help avoid back injuries and allow you to recover from back injuries faster.

Engaging your glutes in the following exercises helps train you on how to use your glutes, lifting and doing other activities with them. Allow your glutes to handle heavy lifting activities, and you’ll be able to do that more easily with these exercises.

Best Exercises for the Gluteus Medius

Weighted Hip Extensions

For this exercise, you want to start by resting on all fours on the floor. Your knees should be aligned directly with your hips, and your hands should be resting directly under your shoulders.

As you begin the exercise, draw your belly in and move your shoulders down and back. Keep your spine in a long line that’s as straight as possible. Hip extensions are decent exercises, but they are not challenging enough for our purposes.

So, add a dumbbell in the bend of your left knee. Make sure it’s a light one to start with, so you can ensure that you’re comfortable with the weight you’re handling.

Using your right glute muscle, balance your body. With your left glute, raise your leg. You want to lift your knee up above your hips and flex your raised foot. To help keep your balance, place your weight equally across your two hands and on your planted knee.

You can do two to three sets of ten reps, switching sides each time you do ten. Make sure you’re working both legs so that your glutes are equally strong. I would recommend leaning trying to keep your neck as straight and long as possible.

Attempt to keep your back straight the entire time too, and some people find that it helps to think of balancing something fragile on their back as they do this exercise

Variation- I want to share with you some advanced versions of this move. You can use a resistance band to increase the challenge. It can be linked between your hands and the arch of your foot.

You can also incorporate some pulses on the leg lift for added challenge.

Banded Barbell Hip Thrust

This exercise helps to build up the gluteal muscles, making them stronger and larger. It works the gluteus maximus primarily, but the gluteus medium gets a workout as well.

This is actually a very effective muscle for your glutes, though it may be a little strenuous for some people.

hip thrust

You can do this without the resistance band, if you want an easier workout. If you’re able to, though, I would definitely recommend putting a resistance band around your knees as you exercise.

The band helps you to work with higher weight loads and forces your gluteus medius to move in a horizontal direction.

Start by lying down on a bench and hang your knees over the edge, allowing them to bend naturally. Make sure the resistance band is around your knees as you start. Spread your legs and use a loaded barbell. Rest the barbell in your hip crease and push your feet down to the ground. Press your hips upwards until you extended them as far as you can.

As you do this, focus on pushing your knees outward. This will help to really work your gluteus muscles, building strength in that area.

Side-Lying Abduction

Are you looking for gluteus medius exercises for the elderly? This is one that I believe is easy enough that anyone can do it. It doesn’t take a lot of strength or skill to pull off.

It’s a great way to build up your leg muscles until they are strong enough to do some of the more challenging exercises for the gluteus medius muscle.

What I like so much about this exercise is that you lie down on your side to do it. It’s a lot like a side plank, so if you are used to do that exercise, this shouldn’t be much different for you. Even though it’s similar to a plank, it’s not as difficult and strenuous as doing the plank.

Side-Lying Abduction

So, it’s a great exercise for people who struggle with mobility, strength, and exercise in general. If you want to increase the load with this exercise and make it more challenging, you can use your body weight to do that or add resistance bands or hip bands.

Start by lying on one side flat on the ground. Your head can be resting on the floor or propped up on your elbow. You can keep your bottom leg locked straight or you can bend it in front of you.

From the starting position, lift up the upper leg as high as possible and then bring it back down. As you do this, keep your leg locked as you are moving. It should stay locked throughout the whole movement.

If you want to increase the challenge of this exercise and use resistance bands, place the band around your knees and do the exercise as normal.

The single leg wall sit can be used as a stand-alone exercise or as a progression towards the single leg squat.  The mechanisms are exactly the same, except you will be performing a wall sit on one leg.

While not as effective as a full squat, you will still get 52% MVIC gluteus medius activation.

Single Leg Wall Sit

Start by standing close to a wall and facing away from it. Rest your weight against the wall on your back and slide down the wall until your knees are at a 90-degree angle to the floor.

Your thighs should be kept perpendicular to the wall, and your shins should be aligned vertically to the wall. You may have to adjust slightly to get into this position, and the positioning is very important to make this exercise work well for you and to ensure you’re not injured while doing it.

Raise one leg and hold it straight out, keeping the knee as locked as you can. Hold that position for a few seconds while your back is firmly planted on the wall. Then, allow your leg to come back down to a resting position to return to the starting point.

Exercises for the gluteus medias and minimus like this are a great way to work all your glutes and help you target the parts of your glutes that don’t often get exercise.

For best results, you should do strengthening exercises for the gluteus medias several times a week, doing a few sets with multiple reps each.