Archive for October 2012

The Importance of a STRONG Gluteus Medius

One muscle that is usually weak on individuals with hip and low back pain is the gluteus medius muscle. It is a muscle that abducts the leg, or brings the leg away from the midline of the body. Think of it in this way. It works to move your leg away from your belly button. Another function of this muscle is to stablize the hip when the opposite leg is lifted off the ground. If you have ever seen a runway model walk you have witnessed a weak glute medius muscle. The featured image to this post demonstrates what’s happening to your body when the glute medius isn’t strong. When your hips tilt, it makes all of your muscles work at unnatural angles. Over time, this one wonky tilt can create tons of problems for your back, knees, hips, hamstrings, etc. I often prescribe to patients with knee, hamstring and piriformis problems a clamshell exercise to strengthen this muscle to help fix hip and leg problems that are all stemming from a combination of a weak glute med plus a weak / tight posterior chain muscle. Since the glute medius seems to be the key muscle for causing/curing all kinds of hip, knee, and other running injuries. A great exercise to strengthen your glut medius for everyone is the clamshell exercise.  The keys to doing this properly; 1. Make sure that the bottom of your feet and your butt are in line. 2. Slowly raise the top leg and lower the top leg while keeping your feet together. 3. Stack your hips directly on top of each other. Focus on your glute medius while doing these. Perform this exercise 20 reps on each side.

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