Hip abduction exercises are important if you want to give yourself a more complete glute workout which is focussed not just on the gluteus maximus but also the gluteus medius, minimus and other hip abductor muscles.
Your hip abductors are the muscles that are located at the side of your hip and are responsible for moving your legs away from your body, out to the side. They also help you maintain balance when your weight is on one leg.
Having strong abductors gives you the appearance of wider hips and a rounder butt. It’s also vital for all-round hip strength, which you need to prevent a whole bunch of lower body injuries that can occur as a result of weak hips.
But your hip abductor muscles are hard to workout using weights or machines. So what’s the best way to hit them?
How to do hip abductor exercises
Fortunately there’s a simple tool which only costs a few bucks and is perfectly designed to workout your hip abduction muscles.
Mini resistance bands can be looped around your legs while doing hip abduction exercises, adding resistance and intensely activating your abductor muscles:
If you’re an advanced user, try the fabric covered glute band, which is many time more powerful than the mini bands (you have been warned!):
10 Hip Abduction Exercises
#1 Standing Hip Abduction
Stand naturally with the band looped around your ankles (or thighs to make the exercise easier). Shift your weight to one leg and lift your other leg out to the side, stretching the band as far as possible. Keep your legs straight and hold for a second, feeling the exercise in your hip abductor.
#2 Lying Hip Abduction
Lie down on your side with your upper body raised and supported on your elbow. Loop the band around your ankles or thighs. Keeping both legs straight, lift the top leg vertically up as high as you can and hold for a moment.
#3 Sumo Squat
Loop the band around your knees and drop into a squat position with thighs roughly parallel to the floor. Now as you raise your body, lift one leg up and out to the side until it is horizontal. Hold it for a moment using your hip abductors, then repeat the exercise on the other side.
#4 Lateral Shuffle
Lie on your side, supporting your head on one arm. Place the band around your knees with legs bent and feet together. Stretch the band by moving your knees wide apart. Keep your upper body still and your feet together during the exercise.
#6 Inverse Clamshell
Begin the exercise on your hands and knees with the band looped around your feet. Now lift one leg up and out to the side using only your hip abductors and keeping your knee bent throughout the exercise.
#7 Knee Raise
Stand straight with feet together and hands on your hips and the band placed around your toes. Lift one knee up high, keeping your lower leg hanging vertically, using your hip flexor and abductor muscles.
#8 Drop Squat
Stand straight with feet slightly apart and the band around your ankles. Now drop your body down into a squat position, at the same time shifting your feet quickly out to the side into a wider stance. Then jump back up to the starting position and repeat.
#9 Horizontal Scissors
Lie on your back with legs straight and raised off the ground, and with the band around your ankles. Use your abdominal muscles to maintain the height of your feet off the floor. Now begin doing scissor-like movements with your legs, stretching the band each time you open them wide.
#10 Bicycle Crunch
Lie on your back with the band around your feet. Bend both knees so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor with feet in the air. Now begin doing the motions of pedalling a bicycle, stretching the band using alternating leg motions. At the same time, touch your elbow to the opposite knee with each motion.
See our full range of resistance bands here.