2 Exercises to Train your Gluteus Medius and Challenge Your Balance

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Regardless of whether you workout regularly, it’s possible you’re overlooking an important muscle in your training: the gluteus medius. This muscle is found just under the largest and strongest muscle in the body, the gluteus maximus— the glute muscle that gets the most attention in the gym.

The gluteus medius, however, does a lot of work for you, too. It’s the main gluteal muscle responsible for any movements you do that involve hip abduction—so, stepping sideways—as well as maintaining hip stability—so, keeping you balanced.

That’s why I’m sharing these two exercises in this YouTube short; please watch!



Single RDL (Romanian Deadlift) into a Knee Lift with Rotation

Stand on one leg with the knee of the planted leg very slightly bent and holding a dumbbell in the hand opposite the planted leg. Hinge at the hip to lean forward while bringing the back leg up, maintaining a straight spine and hips square (so don’t lift your hip on the leg that’s lifted behind you). Bring the dumbbell as low toward the floor as possible without any back rounding—if you feel your back starting to round, you’re too low. Reverse the motion to come back to standing, and flow right into a knee lift while simultaneously bringing the dumbbell over to the outside of your hip on the side of the lifted leg.
MODIFICATIONS: For beginners and seniors, a great way to start with these is by using your kitchen counter. Place your hands on your counter, don’t use a dumbbell, and practice the movement first holding on. As you get more confident, only hold on with one hand. Next, only hold the counter with one or two fingers. You still get the strength-building benefits of this exercise while holding on.



Crossover Lunge into Hip Abduction

Stand holding a dumbbell on the side of your planted leg. Take a large step backwards with the other leg, crossing it behind your planted leg, lowering your hips. Bend your rear knee towards the ground while keeping your front shin close to vertical. Come back to standing, and then abduct your leg (lift it out to the side). Lift and return the moving leg slowly, making sure you aren’t just kicking it and letting gravity bring it back down. Control the return.
MODIFICATIONS: Again, using your kitchen counter is a great place to start practicing these if you’re a beginner or are working around any injuries. For advanced, if you’d like to make this even more strength-building-focused and want to increase the dumbbell weight, remove the balance component as well, and hold onto a wall as you perform these.


And do let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! Rooting for you, always—


After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

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