Our main goal in strengthening the hip is to strengthen the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus Medius. In addition to the three Glut strengthening exercises, we will show; you should also be doing the stretching exercises outlined in the video entitled “Bob & Brad Stretching Program for Hip Pain (Based on McKenzie Approach)” In fact the stretching exercises should be given priority.
All the gluteus muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) play a large role in stabilizing the hip and pelvis. However, the gluteus maximus may be the most important stabilizer of all because it helps keep the head of the femur (top of the hip bone) from sliding forward in the hip socket. If it slides forward it can pinch against soft tissue structures (like the labrum) and cause pain. How that happens - the glut maximus is weak or not firing correctly so the hamstrings take over causing the femur to slide forward.
Bob suffered from this weak glut max/dominate hamstring situation (twice in his running career) resulting in hip pain in the front of the hip. He literally had to stop running for a while. Eventually, he changed his running style to engage the gluteus maximus more.
Weak gluteus maximus muscles or gluteal amnesia are quite common. We have become a nation of sitters. When we sit a lot, the glutes become weak and disengaged. Also, with sitting our hip flexors become tight, and that reflexively contributes to the weakness of the gluteus maximus.
Exercises to Strengthen the Gluteus Maximus (beginner):
A. Bridging with feet against the wall. (squeeze a quarter between your butt cheeks). Push feet against the wall. This will activate your quads and deactivate your hamstrings- so your glutes will work better.
B. Clam Shell Exercises
C. Gluteal pumps
Advanced Exercises to Strengthen the Gluteus Maximus:
A. Lateral step-ups.
B. Goblet squats
C. Using exercise bands to perform pull-throughs.
Check out the full Hip Pain Relief Program series of videos along with downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here: https://www.bobandbrad.com/health-programs/hip-pain-relief-program