Now that you have a new found knowledge of just how important your gluteus medius is in the health of your low back, knees and breath, you want to awaken the strength of this middle sibling of the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus.

Practicing Yoga Tune Up® Prasarita Lunges and putting emphasis on the pushing out to move from side to side will exercise and strengthen your gluteus medius.

Also, you can work on your balance and range of motion at the hip joint by incorporating Yoga Tune Up® Moonrises.  Try completing 20-25 reps on one side before switching sides.

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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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Kati Terray

Yes! Pushing the hips out to move from side to side is great way to feel and strengthen the glute medius

Loren Altura

I love going from internal to external rotation in Moon Rises. Buttock Lifts from prone are also great for the three gluteal muscles.

Katrina Sukola

These both seem deceptively easy, but are very effective in strengthening the glute! The only other exercise that makes my glutes feet that ‘worked’ the following day is lifting/ heavy squats. When done properly, prasarita lunges are effective during and after as well.

Kammy fung

With the articles reading I start to understand the reason of why I keep sending my butts up on the Prararita lunges. Now it is the time to practice the praratita lunges and moonrise to help my lower back pain (over use my QL)


Oh gosh! Performing Moon Rises was so informative. I have a chronic right hip discomfort, and I always thought that my left leg was stronger. I could actually do more moon rises with my right leg as the main standing leg than I could with my left. And i could do way fewer reps on that standing left leg. So…my poor right hip muscles have probably been overworked and over activated which is why they are always in discomfort.

Lindsey Rockett

I am teaching moon rises to my students for the first time tomorrow and was looking for inspiration…I can always find it here! Thank you for re-awakening my love the for exercise and good ole glute med.


Just learned about this two YTU poses and I love moonrises! I will definitely incorporate these into my practice. Thanks!

Catherine de Marin

Thank you Nicole – I have a long way to go toward “rising my moon” the way Jill does in the video. Thank you for linking this to the gluteus medius – it helps me embody & imprint the movement – as I develop mind and muscle memory.

Amanda Shepherd

Hi Nicole:

I love igniting the gluteus medius. One of my favorite benefits to these poses (esp. moonrises) is as a lower body prep for backbends like anuvittasana (standing back bend), urdhva dhanurasana (upward facing bow), dropbacks, or natarajasana (king dancer pose). I find after this work, it’s easier to feet the neutral so your sacrum has that much more space to elongate. Without exploring the difference between that external and internal range of motion (in moonrises) first, the importance of neutral (as you can muster) hips can get lost.

Thanks for posting <3.

Yvonne Cone

Holy MOLY awesome video, that second one down is awesome for Glut Med. I have a weak GM but doing the exercise with Jill’s video I felt it working almost immediately and found stabilizing the foundation and spine easy so long as my core was engaged. Never thought about doing or teaching dynamic movement in half moon. It’s important to have a strong GM so that the quads, knees and working all the way down the leg to the bottom of your foundation stays strong. The IT and Vastus Lat can become destabilized without that Glut work. Thank you thank… Read more »


Thank you Nicole! Thank you for your exercises for my buttocks


As a non-yogi, I was introduced to moon rises for the first time this past week at Jill’s Level 1 training. Fantastic closed-chain exercise for learning to better propriocept the glute medius and its role in hip stabilization. These exercises can really have a lot of good carryover into the strength and conditioning world, particulary in regards to squatting and deadlifting.


My hips have been feeling really unstable recently and I’m thinking it’s due to a lack of isolating glute med strengthening and a lack of use of the gluteus in general in some traditions. I’m excited to add this work in to my own practice and introduce it to my students as wel.

Michelle Clemens

Moon rises used to be so challenging for my gluteus medius. With just a little stimulation I feel like my glute has life again! Thank for the good reminder!

Eva Roig

Oh yes! I’ve been ignoring my gluteus medius for years!!! I started improving my hip movement and stability and reducing my low back pain when instructed by my physiotherapist when to use it. Moon rises are so good to recruit this muscle and strengthen it. Important point in my practice. Thanks for posting!


Love, love, love the prasarita lunges and I hope, over time, to develop the same love for Moon rises though they are quite challenging for me. A perfect clue that I have plenty of work to do in this important area. Thanks for all the great instruction in Level 1 training. What a powerful experience it has been for building my Embody Map!


Love these new prasarita lunges! Gluteus medius, hello! Who knew? Thanks, Nicole!

Bernie Cook

Now I know why my butt is so sore from the Yoga Tune Up Level 1 Teacher Training! I have been working my gluteus medius with the Moonrise pose. The video really demonstrates the internal and external rotation superbly.

Wendy Melville

I love all the new poses discovered in Level 1 training especially the Moonrise. My creaky hips and lower back are much happier. I will be using this pose in the final exam tomorrow. Thanks for the great demo.

Becky Battle

Hey- you helped me perfect the Parisita lunges today at YTU training. The verbal cue you gave me as I moved hips side to side was to “pretend I am moving like a typewriter” My brain picked it up instantly ( I guess that ages me too) Thanks for the details

Alexandra Duncan

As we practiced some of these poses in the YTU Level 1 training today, I realize that Yes! I have been ignoring my gluteus medius. With Moon Rises I also noticed how easy my body was trying to compensate for the lack of capability in inward rotation. As yogis, we certainly practice a lot of the external rotation, so we tend to have open hips and strong outter thighs but could be lacking in adductor strength and capability of internal rotation. Also rolling out the gluteus medius revealed a lot of tension and adhesions in these tissues for me. Working… Read more »

Delfina Bonilla-Lopez

These are both actually two of my favorite yoga tune up moves. I find that the prasarita lunges are great to activate both the abductors (including the glute medius), as well as the adductors, depending on where you place the emphasis of the movement. This is one of my favorites, because once you find strength and stability in the pose where in your hips and legs you can add in arm and torso movements that not only feel great, but also feel like you’re dancing. It’s easy to get lost in this pose and the additional movements that you can… Read more »

Mei Wong

Moonrises are very deceitful considering all the work is done on the standing leg/ the hip that looks like it’s doing absolutely nothing. I was blown away by watching the video and listening to the cueing that the extended leg is doing all the fancy leg work when it is only going along for the ride. This amazes me because i’ve been listening to teachers cue give movement directives for the extended leg as opposed to the standing leg. i love these as i can feel my joints getting lubricated with each set.


Moonrises… discovered them today, and remembered how much I need to improve lateral hip stability. I’m always telling my clients, it’s the exercises you avoid that are the very ones you need to do….


Prasarita Lunges are my favorite exercise we’ve learned so far in YTU Level 1 Training. I have already used them in multiple classes, from dance to Pilates. Dancers especially need practice working in a parallel position with abducted hips, since this is a range of motion we really never access. If you don’t use it, you lose it!


I love Prasarita lunges! They are such a great and simple way to warm up lower body. I use this exercise when I don’t have much time for a practice and want to get into my legs. I knew something back there was sore, but never paid attention to what sibling of gluteus it was. Thanks for clarifying!

Sandy Gross

I was so thrilled when I heard in YTU videos, that it was OK and important to use your glutes! They always seem to be in the background in modern yoga and this has never made sense to me, having started by movement training years ago as a fitness instructor. So I did my own research over the years and formulated my own language around how to use the glutes in yoga practice, also informed by my time with OM yoga, CrossFit and now YTU. Mr. Iyengar said, yoga is “integration” and that is one way I cue how to… Read more »


On the first video, is there a benefit to the gluteus medius by going faster in from side to side in prasarita lunges? As we go deeper into the revolve how far is deeper?
Thanks Heather

Cindy Runzer

Moonrises are wonderful! I believe that many people have weak glute medes and that in some cases the muscles are in chronic contraction and not working properly. Again, going through a ball routine and then doing these poses feels amazing.

Kaitrin Doll

I do these exercises with my roller derby team, in roller derby we move in only one direction around the track which causes the gluts to be over developed on one side and under develoed on the other side. These have become a favorite with the team to help improve general pelvis stability and for injury prevention.


I really like the look of those moon rises – hadn’t seen them before. Looking forward to trying them and a great find today, as I’ve been working on the gluteus medius with the therapy balls tonight.

Nikola Michaud

Hi Nicole,
I am quite guilty of having a weak gluteus medius and just revisited the Moon Rises today in class. I hadn’t thought about the fact that it is indeed gluteus medius doing most of the work in bring the hip up to vertical from horizontal. I knew I liked the variation as it gives me a great stretch in the whole lateral line of the standing leg but the fact that it also strengthens glute med is a fantastic bonus, thanks for pointing it out.

Michele Klink

Thank you for this post and reminder of Yoga Tune Poses. I have been teaching Moonrises in my classes and am going to add the Prasarita Lunges. Gluteus Medius along with it’s companion Gluteus Minimus, are the great ABductors taking the thigh away form the midline. Additionally, these muscles also help to internally rotate the hip. Moonrises hit just those muscles to create enhanced awareness to spots in our hips where we are less familiar.

Jason Campbell

love me some moon rises! Students in my classes are always surprised how such a simple movement starts to tire them out so fast. I don’t even make them do 20-25! Maybe i should start to increase my number. 🙂

Nadjiba Medjaoui

I didn’t know that the gluts could affect the knees….My husband has a sciatica and he started complaining about his knee…maybe it is related to his gluts…I will explore that!


Nicole, If I remember correctly, you were the one who first spoke to me about my gluteus medius just not too long ago. I had no idea I had any until you mentioned it! Haha! Now that I know they are something I have and need to work on, I will definitely be doing the Moon Rises. I love them, but I must confess, I’ve never done 20 to 25 reps on one side. Sounds difficult, but I think I’m up for the challenge! How long do you think Prasarita Lunges should be performed to be effective?