This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in September of 2022. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boU3vipxiZ4&t=346s
Brad: Today we are going to show you exercises for glute medius strength, and we're going to show you how to strengthen it so that you can have hip stability which reduces back pain and improves your walking ability.
Bob: And sometimes leg pain.
Brad: We're going to show you how to do this without exercise equipment, only body weight, and they are great exercises. Okay, just briefly, we're going to use Sam to show you where the glute Medius muscle is and why it's so important to stabilize the pelvis, the hip joint, the back, the knee, and the hip. So, my hand represents the fibers of the glute medius muscle. It connects to the hip, the greater trochanter, which is in line with the ball of the hip. And then the fibers go up across the pelvis bone, or the ilium, just like my fingers. So, if my fingers contracted, it's going to stabilize that hip bone. This is an interesting analogy, isn't it, Bob?
Bob: Oh yeah, I think it's great.
Brad: It's a wonderful thing. So that's what we need to strengthen.
Bob: One of the big things it does, is it stops the ball from sloshing around. That'll cause pain.
Brad: Yep, and then the hip is unstable. It's going to affect the back and goes down the chain into the knee and the foot. Okay, so we're going to show you five different exercises to strengthen this muscle. Pick out the one that's good for you. Try them all, and there will probably be one that works best for you. Just do one or two, you do not have to do all five. The goal is to do 10 of them. Once you get strong enough, do two sets of 10. You could get up to three sets of 10, as tolerated. You should feel fatigued.
Bob: Now, a beginner can do these in bed. Especially the first one.
Brad: Yes, exactly. So just lying here, with the bottom leg bend the knee so you have a stable base, and we're going to strengthen this hip abductor. The top leg is straight. Your toe position is important. Don't let it turn out, point it straight out like that. And don't bring your leg forward, but straight in line with you. And here we go!
Bob: It helps to keep that lower leg bent.
Brad: Yes, because I'm a little wobbly with it straight. Again, big mistakes are toes pointed up, no good. And then out in front of you, not good.
Bob: No good.
Brad: Pretend there's a wall right behind your moving along the wall, you could do this against a wall, actually. Boy, I feel it already. That's some nice work. The second one. Now we're going to do the same body position, lying on the floor. You could do this on your bed but a firm surface is better. And now, instead of strengthening the top muscle, it's going to be the one closer to the floor. So you're going to bring your knee bent on the bottom, straight in line, on your elbow. Now, I'm going to lift up my body weight.
Bob: You have to have a pretty good core too for this.
Brad: Yes. Yep. So it's not just that muscle, it's the core, which is functional, which helps you with everything else, all the goals we mentioned earlier.
Bob: It'll help your back pain.
Brad: Yep. So here, you can just do it slow up. You can hold and down. Nice, slow, smooth, tighten the core muscles. And again, as I said, the goal is 10. And if you're just starting on these, you may only do five, and you'll have enough, and that's okay. Build up over a period of time. You know, do these once a day. Take at least one day off a week where you don't do them at all. Number three coming up. Okay, this is the third one. Now, these are not in order, but this is probably the most difficult, so this is when you're really getting strong.
Bob: It's challenging.
Brad: So, first of all, do exactly what we did before. Lift up on your elbow.
Bob: Again, a good core exercise.
Brad: Yep. So now I'm working the bottom hip abductor. Now we're going to double up and work the top one and do the leg lifts at the same time.
Bob: A big challenge.
Brad: Yep. Now, for when you get really strong, there's a way to make this even more challenging. And there'll be a few people that'll get to this level, it depends on your fitness and how long you've worked at these, but you straighten the bottom leg, and you start out like this. Now, I'm touching here, I'm cheating a little bit. If I straighten both legs, that's even harder. Okay. I'm going to touch my foot down because it helps.
Brad: I'm going to tire out. Now, for those people who really want a challenge, lift up with the hip and then lift the leg up, then down.
Bob: Not bad for almost 60, Brad.
Brad: So, again, that's aggressive, not a lot of people will be doing that one, but there are always those people that are high achievers.
Brad: We're going on to the next one. The next two are in the standing position. This first one is the easiest one, but how you do it is important. Have something to hold for balance. We're going to strengthen the right hip. And all I'm going to do is pull the leg out like this.
Bob: But he's leaning onto the left hip.
Brad: One thing you do not want to do is lean your whole body, form is critical on this. This doesn't count.
Brad: So the trunk is stable and upright with good posture. Now, look at my foot. If you point your toe out, and this is what your body will naturally want to do, that takes the glute medius out of the picture. So the toe is straight forward, and it stays that way. And again, don't bring it out in front of you. It needs to go out to the side perfectly and nice and slow, no fast ones.
Bob: You'll be surprised. It's really weak on a lot of people.
Brad: Yeah. All right, we've got one more in the standing position. Okay, now the last one, you will need a step and something to hold onto. This is a tricky one. A lot of people forget this one, and I think a lot of therapists may as well. But if you look at my waistline here, my feet are even. Now, one foot is off, there's nothing underneath it, and I keep my left knee locked in straight, and I drop the hip down, and then I pull it up. Straight down, and pull it up, and this is exercising the glute medius on the side that is standing on the step.
Bob: The left side now.
Brad: And this is where, you get some good hip and pelvis stabilization, which is going to be beneficial for your back, your hip, and your hip joint.
Bob: It's good if you tend to waddle when you walk.
Brad: Yep, exactly, this will help that. Now, these standing exercises are a great benefit as opposed to the lying ones, because you're putting weight through your hip joint, and it transfers over to function.
Bob: It's more function.
Brad: Exactly right. So I would pick at least one of those two and then one while you're lying on your side and get one of each, and that would be a good combination. Bob, I'm feeling incredible. Hips are strong, and everything's feeling good!
Bob: Are you getting shorter?
Brad: Strong like bull! Yeah, I am getting shorter. Either that or you're getting taller. Don't worry, it wasn't from these exercises.
Bob: All right. Thanks.
Brad: Take care.
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