The gluteus medius is the Jan Brady of the gluteals.  I’m sure if it could talk it would say “Maximus, maximus, maximus” – everyone is only concerned about sculpting a perfectly shaped J.Lo bottom. But strengthening the gluteus medius can stabilize the hip in walking and balancing, and help maintain healthy knees.

Wake up your gluteus medius to stabilize your hip in gait!

The action of the gluteus medius is to abduct the hip, the anterior fibers flex and medially rotate the hip, while the posterior fibers extend and laterally rotate the hip.  Weakness in the gluteus medius is caused by poor posture and under use of the muscles during walking and running. Many other muscles, including the Quadratus Lumborum, will begin to take over for the action of the gluteus medius, resulting in low back pain and and an unstable pelvis.

It is important during walking to be strong so the pelvis does not drop or sag to one side, which can lead to pelvic instability, or possibly Trendelenburg Gait, when the torso laterally deviates to find balance over the leg since the muscles can’t support it and the foot drops during walking.  The can lead to low back pain, breathing problems, knee alignment problems.

There are many corrective exercises to regain strength in the gluteus medius, taking it out of the shadows of its bigger sibling, gluteus maximus.

1)    Yoga Tune Up® Abductor Lifts (dynamic and static)

2)    Yoga Tune Up® Moon Rise Minivini

3)    Yoga Tune Up® Magician’s Assistant on Ledge with hip abduction

Once awakened, the gluteus medius no longer has to live in the shadows, but rather be strong in its importance as part of the entire gluteal system.

Watch the QuickFix Hips Online Video

Check out the YTU DVD’s

Read more posts on hips and glutes


Nicole Quibodeaux

Nicole’s love for health and well-being was sparked while taking prenatal yoga classes during the pregnancy of her 1st son. She decided to re-enter the working world and turned her passion for mind/body movement into her career and completed her AFAA Personal Training Certification and 24 Hour Group Fitness Instructor Certification. She went on to become certified with Stott Pilates, Reformer Certification, and Power Pilates Comprehensive Program. Returning to her yoga roots Nicole completed her 200hr RYT Yoga Certification with Yogaworks. Soon thereafter she completed her 300hr RYT Yoga training with James Brown at Yogaposer as well as the Yoga Tune Up® Level 1 Teacher Training. Nicole’s growth as a teacher is to always remain a student. She continues her education through conferences and workshops with master teachers from around the country.

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Janeen Anhara Castillo

‘Maximus, Maximus, Maximus!” love it. Glutes in general are a tough one for me to get firing, but, especially, poor, forgotten little glute med…

Mary D

Good article. It’s interesting that the glut med can cause knee pain. Most people with knee pain are surprised to hear that. Thanks for the exercises.

Shelby Williams

Maximus, Maximus, maximus! lol For years my yoga practice was lacking gluteus medius work. It was alllll stretching. I am so happy to have found some strengthening options through my YTU level one training!

Loren Altura

All Hail the Gluteus Medias! Whenever I teach any type of abductor work, students freak out. So, my take is that everyone needs much more of it!!

Kammy fung

I learn from previous article about the gluteus medius help the pelvis stabilization and extend the knowledge of weak gluteus medius is going to affect the Quardratus Lumborum—result to have lower back pain and unstable pelvis.


Important indeed! As Shakira says the hips don’t lie

sue okuda

It seems counterintuitive that the gluten can be weak when they are used every time a person walks . . . but then, maybe therein lies the problem! Sedentary lifestyle, flat flat walking surfaces, hard sole lifted heel shoes – what more could we ask for! Thanks for the great article.


My gluts are very week especially on my right side and I’m usually in pain in my lower back after walking sometimes just doing my grocery shopping. Since I’ve been strengthening them I’ve noticed quite a difference. Thank you for the info!


Thank you Nicole! I am a runner and I will apply your exercises to strengthen my buttocks

Nadine Maskallis

Thank you, Nicole, for this information and the reminder of the importance of the gluteus medius for hip and lower back health, especially in daily and frequent movement patterns such as walking, which only becomes even more important when similar movement patterns, like running, are taken to the endurance level.


Hi Nicole, Great article to summarize what we’ve been learning about the gluteus medius in Level I training. This is one small muscle with a powerful ability to correct my overused quadratus lumborum – it was good to have that fact re-emphasized in this article. No wonder moon rises were so hard for me! I can’t wait to ask you to demonstrate what Trendelenburg gait looks like in class today. 🙂

Scott McKee

The Moonrise Minivini was a eye-opener for me! I knew that my hips were tight and not particularly strong in adduction or abduction, but the stark difference between my left and right sides was really shocking. Clearly, this is one area I need to work on. Thanks!

P.S. The Jan Brady reference is fantastic!

susan kjesbo

I am guilty of thinking a lot about the maximus! This is a great way to work and bring some solutions to low back pain and pelvis instability which is so prevalent, so I’m going to incorporate more Moon Rise- MInivini’s. Go Gluteus Medius! Thanks Nicole.


Thank you Nicole for an awesome article. So excited to teach tomorrow about gluteus medius. I ♡ moon rises. They have helped my hip/low back dysfunction greatly.


As someone who has struggled at times in lunging balancing poses, I always thought it was just something “wrong” with, or “bad” about my balance. Having started using these exercises and adding therapy balls into my practice for really just strengthening and tension relief, I had noticed that my balance was getting better. But, I hadn’t put two and two together to realize that my glute med was probably the major culprit all along. Thanks for the insight, and bringing better balance to my understanding of its key role.


Good to know about that Quadratus Lumborum taking over, I had already started using more my gluteus medius, good to hear there are even more benefits to reap out of it!

Alexandra Dionne

Very interesting to see the importance of the gluteus medius in particular for people who have a difficulties to stabilise hips when they walt.


Interesting – I love people watching, especially feet after taking my yoga training, now I will be watching feet and pelvis to see what is going on.

Worked on our glutes yesterday and I found more tender spots than I thought I would have (and I don’t believe we went that deep).

Nicole Garratt

This definitely shines a light on the gluteus medius! It is funny how it plays such an important role yet we all pay no attention to it. I hadn’t really thought of how much it effects our stride and well being. Once again, it starts with creating awareness!!

Catherine Jervis

It’s definitely not as sexy of a muscle as the gluteus maximus– but I think a key lesson of YTU is that we can’t neglect these other key muscles or they become causes of pain. As you call out in the article, weak glute med can be result of increased work for the QL and low back pain– something I think all of us want to avoid!

Andrew Bathory

This is so great! Love the Brady bunch reference! Glute Med is also a super important muscle for those who are recovering from Hip replacement to get firing! Will be sharing this post with my step-mother who is in training now for her Glutes. Thanks Nicole!


Loved this one!!! I’ve never realized how numb my butt was until I put the YTU Therapy balls there and felt nothing. Not because my gluteus were super relaxed but because they were numb not even tensioned but numb. After a few rounds of rolling the YTU Therapy balls I strarted to feel my gluteus and how much they have been neglected for years of sitting down and not using them for the purpose they were made for. I’ve been working on my gluteus now and it has done a lot to my posture, pelvis but also for my legs.… Read more »


This is great! The glutes are the new abs! They are finally getting the attention they deserve and this was a great focus on the glut medius which is definitely overlooked. Thanks for the great info on the importance of this muscle.

Jen Wende

Haha, great reference to the brady bunch! This blog is one of my favourites, I love the way you clearly describe the function of the gluts, why we want to build the glut med and what action steps to take. Will be sharing this one!


Thanks for the article Nicole! Unsung hero and also sometimes extremely tender spot. I noticed my hips loosened up quite a bit after turning attention to the gluteus medius. Sometimes giving attention to the Jans pays larger dividends than always pursuing the Marshas.

martina sturm

These are all such great exercises for the Glut med. even though not Yoga Tune Up ® , another great exercise are 1 legged asymmetrical squats, where the leg that is in hip extension is adducted 30degrees i(behind you and across the midline) . That hip will depress and as you bring the back leg tthrough to hip and knee flexion (tucked) the asis level out again, strengthening the glut med of the squating leg.