12 Exercises for Gluteus Medius: The Secret to Glutes of Steel

Exercises for Gluteus Medius


This post is all about how to do exercises for gluteus medius – one of the three main gluteal muscles, alongside gluteus maximus and minimus.

Your glute muscles are the strongest in your whole body. Having strong glutes doesn’t just look good, it’s also super important for functional strength, sports performance and injury prevention

To attain glutes of steel, you need to spend time doing isolation exercises for gluteus medius and his two amigos – and that is what you will learn about in this guide.

So let’s begin:


What is the gluteus medius?


Gluteus medius muscle


The gluteus medius is a thick fan-shaped muscle that sits on the upper outside part of your buttocks and extends from the ilium to the proximal femur.

The function of this muscle is to keep your hips level and stabilize your pelvis. It’s the main muscle involved in hip abduction – where your leg moves out to the side. It is also one of the key muscles that helps you keep your balance.

Having a weak gluteus medius can cause instability in your movements and, over time, result in knee problems like osteoarthritis and also lower back pain.


How to do exercises for gluteus medius

Gluteus medius exercises can be done in the gym using barbells or various machines. But the good news is that these exercises are done most effectively with a simple elastic band.

Glute bands are elastic loops which you can place around your legs and are ideal for doing exercises for gluteus medius as well as all other glute, hip and thigh muscles.


Resistance bands for gluteus medius exercises


If you already have strong glutes and are looking for something more powerful, the fabric covered glute band delivers extremely high resistance and is suitable for more advanced glute workouts. But be warned – it’s not for everyone!


Resistance band for gluteus medius exercises


Gluteus medius exercise video

Before we get into all of the 12 exercises, check out this video from our YouTube channel which shows you 10 movements with some variations:


12 Exercises for Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius cannot be exercised in pure isolation – with the movements in this workout you will always be bringing your other glute, hip and core muscles into play. But all the exercises, especially the hip abductions, clamshells and hip bridges, strongly activate the gluteus medius and focus on this muscle as either the primary or secondary mover.

You can do these exercises in any order. It’s good to do them all in the same workout session if possible, or you can pick and choose whichever ones you like best.


Exercise #1: Clamshells

Gluteus medius exercise: clamshell

Place the band just above your knees and lie on your side with your legs bent and your head resting on your arm. Keeping your feet together, stretch the band by opening your knees as wide apart as possible. Focus on your gluteus medius muscles while doing the exercise.


Exercise #2: Standing Hip Abduction

Gluteus medius exercises: standing hip abduction

Stand straight with the band around your ankles. Shift your weight to one leg and then extend the other leg out to the side, stretching the band as far as possible. Keep your balance and try to keep your body in a straight line with the supporting leg.


Exercise #3: Glute Shuffle

With the band around your calves, stretch the band by stepping out with your right foot, then follow with the left. Take a few steps to the right and then switch directions and repeat on the left side. Vary the difficulty by the length of your steps and height of your stance.


Exercise #4: Diagonal Split Squat

Diagonal Split Squat

Start in a squat position with the band around your knees. Now raise your body slightly and with your right foot step forward and diagonally over to the left side. Sink down into the position briefly and then raise your body and step back to feet parallel. Repeat with the other leg.


Exercise #5: Bridge Thrust

Bridge thrust gluteus medius exercise

Place the band above your knees and lie face up with knees bent and arms by your side. Keep the band taut by pushing out slightly with your knees. Now lift your hips as high as possible, keeping your upper body relaxed. Focus on contracting your lower back and glute muscles.


Exercise #6: Lying Hip Abduction

Lying Hip Abduction

Lie on your side with the band around your ankles, supporting your torso with one arm. Keeping both legs straight, stretch the band by lifting your top leg as high as possible.


Exercise #7: Kneeling Glute Kickback

Glute Kickback

Start on all fours with the band looped around your feet. Be sure to keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Stretch the band by lifting one foot up towards the ceiling as high as possible, contracting your glute muscles.


Exercise #8: Donkey Kick

Donkey Kick gluteus medius workout

Starting from the same position as the previous exercise, this time kick one leg back and up towards the ceiling and hold it for a moment using your glute muscles.


Exercise #9: Plank Kickback

Plank Kickback

Start in a plank position with the band placed around your knees. Keep your body straight by engaging your core muscles. Now lift one leg as high as possible without bending the leg, then repeat with the other leg.


Exercise #10: Single Leg Deadlift

Single Leg Deadlift

In this picture, the exercise is done using a long resistance loop, but you can also do it with a glute band, as used in the other exercises. Step on the band with one foot and hold the other end with your hands at your waist. Now let your body lean forward and lift your back leg at the same time, keeping it in a straight line with your torso. Finally, pull the band up by bringing your body back into a standing position.


Exercise #11: Lunge Kickback

Lunge Kickback

Stand straight with the band looped around your knees. Now step forward and drop down into a lunge position. Keep your back straight and your front leg pointing straight forward. Then raise your hips and lean forward, at the same time lifting your back leg leg as high as you can. Step back and repeat on the other side.


Exercise #12: Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat for gluteus medius

Start in a low squat position with the band just below your knees. Keeping your back straight, raise your body up and, at the same time, lift one leg out to the side as high as you can. Then squat down again and repeat on the other side.


We hope you enjoyed these exercise for gluteus medius. Subscribe to our Instagram and YouTube channels for more workout videos.


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