Snapshot: Glute Med

Snapshot - Gluteus Medius

The Gluteus Medius muscle is one of the most overlooked, neglected and vastly underappreciated muscle in training and gym programming. It is an important muscle for preventing injury in both the hip and lumbopelvic region but also down the chain in the knee, ankle, and foot. Effective activation, adequate strength and good endurance of the muscle is required for effective biomechanics in walking, running and single leg / unilateral training. 

Anatomy

The Gluteus Medius, one of the three gluteal muscles, is a broad, thick, radiating muscle. It is situated on the outer surface of the pelvis.

Origin – lateral surface of the ilium (pelvis)

Insertion – greater trochanter of the femur (thigh bone)

Action – works with other muscles on the side of your hip to help pull your thigh out to the side in a motion called hip abduction

 

Importance

Glutes Medius is an extremely important muscle in maintaining stability of the pelvis, especially in walking, running and single-leg exercises. It works by preventing the opposite side of the pelvis from dropping. Weakness on one or both sides of the pelvis can cause asymmetry and muscle imbalances that cause compensations that influence structures down to the foot.

When the Gluteus Medius is weak it causes an altered walking pattern known as a trendelenberg gait.

A brief guide to this can be seen at -https://www.honsbergerphysio.com/blog/Pelvis-Stability-and-Walking~8355.html

Strengthen

Single Leg Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Hold a kettlebell, a barbell, or dumbbells in your hands down in front of you.
  • Lean forward, shift your weight onto one leg while actively engaging and extending the other straight behind you.
  • Lift your extended leg and move your body forward until your body forms a T shape. Keep a slight bend in your standing leg. Activate the glute muscles and slowly return to starting position.
  • Sets 3 Reps 12

Single Leg Squat (Tip: Use a box at first)

  • Position a knee-high box behind you. Stand on your one leg with your palms facing in.
  • Sit your hips back and bend your knee to lower into the squat and simultaneously raise your arms up to counterbalance your body. Keep your back flat, chest up and your knee aligned over your ankle.
  • Continue lowering until you touch the box, or your thigh is parallel to the ground. At this point, your arms should be in front of your shoulders and parallel to the ground. Do not rest on the box.
  • Drive through your foot and straighten your knee and hips to stand up to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite leg.
  • Sets 3 Reps 6

 

Side Bridge

  • Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
  • Engage your core muscles and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
  • Hold this position without letting your hips drop.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Sets 3 Hold 15-30 seconds

Written by: NICK ASHMAN, MScPhysiotherapy, CSCS, BSc (Hons) Applied Sports Science

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