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Gluteal Strengthening Exercises

Exercises > Strengthening (Joints) > Gluteal Strengthening Exercises

 

The following gluteal strengthening exercises are designed to improve the strength of the gluteal (bottom) muscles (figure 1). You should discuss the suitability of these gluteal exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Gluteal Anatomy

Figure 1 Gluteal Anatomy

Begin with the basic gluteal strengthening exercises. Once these are too easy, progress to the intermediate gluteal exercises and eventually, the advanced exercises.

Gluteal Strengthening Basic Exercises

To begin with, the following basic gluteal strengthening exercises should be performed approximately 10 times, 3 times daily. As your gluteal strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions and strength of contraction provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Bridging 

Begin this exercise lying on your back in the position demonstrated (figure 2). Slowly lift your bottom pushing through your feet, until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line. Tighten your bottom muscles (gluteals) as you do this. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower your bottom back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Bridging

Figure 2 Bridging

Hip Extension in Lying 

Begin this exercise lying on your stomach in the position demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your knee straight, slowly lift your leg, tightening your bottom muscles (gluteals). Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Hip Extension in Lying

Figure 3 Hip Extension in Lying (right leg)

Hip Abduction in Lying 

Begin this exercise lying on your side in the position demonstrated (figure 4). Keeping your back and knee straight and foot facing forwards, slowly take your leg to the side, tightening the muscles at the side of your hip (gluteals). Make sure you keep your pelvis still. Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower the leg back down. Repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain free.

Hip Abduction in Lying

Figure 4 Hip Abduction in Lying (right leg)

Clams 

Begin this exercise lying on your side with your shoulders, hips and ankles in alignment. Your knees should be bent at right angles and resting together (figure 5). Slowly lift your upper knee away from your other leg, keeping your ankles together, your pelvis still and tightening your buttock muscles (gluteals). Hold for 2 seconds then slowly lower the knee back down. Repeat 10 times as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

Clams

Figure 5 Clams (right leg)

Gluteal Strengthening Intermediate Exercises

The following intermediate gluteal strengthening exercises should generally be performed 1 - 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your gluteal strength improves, the exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Resistance Band Hip Extension 

Begin this exercise standing at a bench or chair for balance with a resistance band around your ankle as demonstrated (figure 6). Keeping your back and knee straight, slowly take your leg backwards tightening your bottom muscles (gluteals). Then slowly return the leg back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

Resistance Band Hip Extension

Figure 6 Resistance Band Hip Extension (left leg)

Resistance Band Hip Abduction  

Begin this exercise standing at a bench or chair for balance with a resistance band around your ankle as demonstrated (figure 7). Keeping your back and knee straight, slowly take your leg to the side tightening the muscles at the side of your hip (gluteals). Then slowly return the leg back to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible provided the exercise is pain free.

Resistance Band Hip Abduction

Figure 7 Resistance Band Hip Abduction (right leg)

 

More Intermediate Exercises

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Gluteal Strengthening Advanced Exercises

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Physiotherapy Products for Gluteal Strengthening Exercises & Rehabilitation

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