A well-rounded fitness routine targets major muscle groups and pays attention to smaller, often neglected areas. Focusing on the gluteus medius is critical when building a strong, shapely lower body. This muscle, located on the outer surface of the pelvis, plays a crucial role in hip stability and overall lower body strength. Incorporating targeted exercises for the gluteus medius can enhance your curves and improve functional strength. Here are five practical exercises to sculpt your hips and buns:
Side-Lying Leg Raises
Lie on your side with your body in a straight line. Lift your top leg towards the ceiling while keeping it straight. Engage your gluteus medius throughout the movement. Lower the leg back down without letting it touch the bottom leg. Repeat for a set, then switch sides. This exercise isolates the gluteus medius and helps improve its strength.
Lie on your side with your knees bent and feet together. Keeping your feet in contact, open your knees like a clamshell while keeping your upper body stable. Squeeze your glutes at the movement’s top and return to the starting position. This exercise targets the gluteus medius and enhances hip abduction.
Banded Lateral Walks
Place a resistance band just above your knees. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core. Take lateral steps to the side, maintaining tension on the band. This exercise targets the gluteus medius and improves hip stability, making it beneficial for preventing injuries.
Single-Leg Hip Thrusts
Sit on the floor with your shoulders against a bench or elevated surface. Lift one leg off the ground and extend it straight. Push through the heel of the grounded foot, lifting your hips towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top and lower back down. This unilateral exercise helps correct muscle imbalances and strengthens the gluteus medius.
Utilize a sturdy bench or step. Step up with one foot, drive through the heel, and bring the opposite knee towards your chest. Lower back down with control. This compound movement targets the gluteus medius while engaging other lower-body muscles.