Bulletproof Your Bum: Gluteus Medius Exercises
Gluteus medius is one of the most common muscles in your body. You probably have it at least once or twice during your life.
It’s a large muscle located just above the knee joint, between the buttocks and thighs. Its main function is to stabilize the pelvis when standing up from sitting down, walking around and other similar activities.
The gluteus medius is composed of two muscles, the gluteus maximus and the soleus. These two muscles are responsible for all the movement in running, jumping, climbing stairs and many other movements.
Glutes are made up of three major parts: the upper part (glute) which lies underneath the lower part (tibia), middle part (hamstring) and lower part (femur).
In order to understand the purpose of these exercises, you need to know some basic anatomy. Here’s a diagram showing what happens inside your body:
Figure 1 – Anatomy of the Body
Your gluteus maximus muscle originates from the bottom part of your thigh bone (femur) and attaches directly to your tibia. It connects with several other muscles in your leg, including those in your calf, quadriceps and hamstring.
Your gluteus maximus muscle allows you to extend your hip joint, which is also known as straightening your leg. In other words, when you walk or run your legs move back and forth, but when you stand up from sitting down, jump or climb stairs, your hips move in and out.
You can strengthen your glutes in two ways: by strengthening the actual gluteus medius or by doing exercises that work the muscles of your thighs.
Strengthening the gluteus medius: Before you start any exercise program, it’s always a good idea to see your physician. Once you get the ‘go-ahead’, you’re ready to begin strengthening your gluteus medius.
Step 1: Lie down on your stomach with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend both your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground.
Step 2: Lift your knees up and down, in a quick motion, without moving your feet at all.
Step 3: Do not let your hips slide back or forth on the ground: keep them completely still. Stop once you can’t lift your legs any longer or if you experience pain in your hips or knees.
Step 4: Repeat this process for about two to three times a week, making sure to wait at least a day in between sessions.
Strengthening your thigh muscles: In addition to strengthening your gluteus medius, you should also strengthen the muscles of your thighs. Doing so will allow you to lift more weight when you’re working out, which in turn will tone your glutes even more.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your body with your palms facing your body.
Step 2: Bend your knees slightly and bring the dumbbells as close to the sides of your hips as you can.
Step 3: Keeping the dumbbells at your sides, extend your knees and hips, and draw a line with the dumbbells out in front of you. After a moment, pause, and then repeat the process.
Make sure that you are lifting the weight only with your thighs—do not throw the weight up with your arms.
Sources & references used in this article:
Bulletproof diva by L Jones – 2010 – books.google.com
Working Towards Powerful Mobile Glutes by J Pilotti – breakingmuscle.com
The Balance of Power in the Hips by J Pilotti – breakingmuscle.com
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