The Lower Body & Pelvic Stability Control
The gluteus medius is an upper anterior buttock muscle with some of its posterior fibers situated beneath the gluteus maximus. It originates from the part of the pelvic bone beneath the crests known as the ilium, and inserts onto the side of the thigh bone, or femur.
The main function of the gluteus medius is abduction, or moving the leg away from the body. This is a function rarely performed alone in most sports. The more important role of the gluteus medius is that of pelvic stabilization during single leg stances such as when walking or running. This means that a strong gluteus medius can stabilize the pelvis and prevent it from dropping when the opposite side is not supported by that side’s leg. A weak glute medius can place excessive load on the piriformis (posterior) and psoas (anterior) muscles as they work to assist in pelvic stability control.
The primary action of the ITB is to abduct the thigh (move it away from the body’s midline). The ITB is constantly being stressed with flexion and extension by acting to prevent too much adduction (movement towards the body’s midline) of the upper thigh. One of the muscles that assists with this action is the gluteus medius muscle. It is important the keep the glute muscles strong in order to prevent ITB syndrome from occurring or recurring. ITB syndrome is a symptom of pelvic instability control.
The best hip abductor exercises involve single leg standing and lifting the leg to side with medial rotation of the hip. Each time the other leg/hip moves it challenges the ability of the standing leg to stabilize itself. If side-lying position is preferred, resistance bands can be utilized for added difficulty.
My favorite glute med exercises are:
- Side lying hip circles
- Standing hip circles
- Reverse lunge high knee
- Squat lateral leg lifts
- Squat high knee twist
- Roundhouse Kicks
- BOSU work- bilateral, unilateral, dome and inverted
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