A Pain in the Glute

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Trainer tip from Institute Performance Specialist, Lea Dunlap

Do you have back pain? What about knee pain? There can be several reasons behind these irritations but we often see a common theme—weak gluteus medius muscles.

The gluteus medius muscles are located on the top part of the backside over the hip bones. They aren’t as prominent as the big glute muscles (gluteus maximus) but still play a vital role.

Sitting during the work day can have a negative effect on the glute meds. It stretches them out causing the hips to shift and that can lead to nagging back pain.

Test your glute medius – try these exercises at home:

Heel taps - Stand on an elevated surface facing a mirror. Lift one leg off of the surface and leading with your heel, tap the ground and push back up with the leg that is still on the elevated surface to the start position. As you go through the motion watch the leg that stays on the elevated surface the whole time, did that knee rotate in at all? If so, your glute med isn’t kicking on.

Side lying leg raise - Begin by laying down on your side against a wall. This will help keep your hips in the proper position while performing the test. While keeping the heel on the top leg against the wall, begin sliding it up and away from the bottom leg. You can perform multiple reps or just try to hold it for as long as you can. If the movement is difficult or you feel a rotation back in your hips, you probably have weak glute meds.

Michele BerghGlutes, Pain, Training