Top 5 Glutes Medius Exercises
The gluteus medius is an important stabilizer of the femur and pelvis during weight-bearing activities with the highest activation observed during the stance phase of the gate. With its anterior middle and posterior fibers it accounts for 60% of the total hip abductor muscle cross-sectional area. Hip abduction and external rotation weakness have been associated with patellofemoral pain syndrome due to the fact that it might lead to knee valgus, hip adduction and hip internal rotation – a position that can place increased stress on the knee.
When designing a strengthening or rehab program for patients there are multiple factors that play a role in the exercise selection. One of those factors is the degree of muscle activation that can be achieved by a certain exercise and measured by EMG. Reiman et al. did a systematic review in the year 2012 and evaluated the activation of the gluteus medius in several exercises.
Here are the top 5 with the highest activation from low to high:
Top 5 Exercises at a glance:
1) Side-lying abduction w/o resistance bands
2) Pelvic Drops
3) Single leg deadlifts
4) Single Leg Squats
5) Side-bridge / Side planks
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Reiman MP, Bolgla LA, Loudon JK. A literature review of studies evaluating gluteus maximus and gluteus medius activation during rehabilitation exercises. Physiotherapy theory and practice. 2012 May 1;28(4):257-68.
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