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.
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.