The Best Exercises to Target the Gluteus Medius

Whilst the glutues maximus is associated with the round shape of your glutes, the gluteus medius is important for basic functions and movements. Find out how to keep your gluetus medius as strong as possible below.

gluteus medius workout

What is the gluteus medius?

If you’re looking to build yourself a strong set of glutes, it’s important to know what the gluteus medius is – and how to work it correctly! The gluteus medius is the most important part of the glute muscle, which is already the biggest and most powerful muscle group in the body! Many back injuries are caused by weak glutes, so having a strong derriere is not just pretty to look at, but helpful for your overall health and wellbeing, too!

Exercises for the Gluteus Medius

Weighted deadlift

We’ve all seen those guys in the gym getting their deadlift on and wondering how a move so simple-looking can appear so difficult. Whilst the move can be challenging, the results are a lifted bum, toned legs and a fuller derriere once you increase your weights!

How to do a weighted deadlift, step by step:

1. Begin standing with your back straight and your feet hip-width apart.
2. Choose a weight (if you wish) applicable to your fitness level. You can also start without weights if you’re a beginner. If you don’t have professional dumbbells, you can get creative – water bottles, cans of soup and books can all add some resistance!
3. Lean forward with your shoulders back and your gaze directly in front of you – sometimes it helps to focus on an inanimate object. Engage your glutes, squeezing them as you lean forward from the hips, bending at the knees very slightly.
4. Try not to curve your back when lifting yourself back up, focusing instead on your core and glutes as you raise your body back up.
5. Repeat this movement for as many times as feels comfortable. As you habituate to the movement, increase your resistance by upping your weights.

Weighted Hip Extension

Hip extensions engage the gluteus medius and give your booty that lifted look that some pay thousands to achieve in surgery! Get your butt lift the natural way, by adding weighted hip extensions to your lower body workout.

How to do a weighted hip extension, step by step:

1. Beginning on all fours, ensure that your hands are under your shoulders and your knees parallel to your hips.
2. Hold in your core and try to keep your upper body straight – no curved back.
3. Place a dumbbell (preferably something on the lighter side) in the bend of your left knee.
4. Engaging your foot for balance, raise your left leg slowly, a little above hip level. Keep your balance by distributing your weight between your hands and the knee on the floor.
5. Raise and lower your weighted leg for a number of repetitions, until you feel your glute muscle burning. 10 repetitions should be enough to get those glutes fired up!

Lunge

Lunges can be daunting, especially if you’re a beginner! Whilst they might seem intimidating now, once you get the hang of them you’ll even be able to move onto jump lunges! If you’re not used to the movement, don’t add weights for the first couple of sessions.

How to do lunges correctly, step by step:

1. Begin with your feet parallel and extend one foot around 2 or 3 feet in front of the other.
2. Grab a pair of weights applicable to your fitness level. (You can leave the weights if you’re a beginner, or if you haven’t exercised in a long time)
3. Lower your body halfway to the ground, bending both knees and spreading your weight evenly between both feet. Keep your core straight and your head up.
4. Don’t try to go fast – try to control the movement to really feel your glutes, quads and hamstrings really fire up!
5. Try to complete 5-10 repetitions of the movement on each side.

Glute Bridge

A glute bridge is a relatively easy, low-impact exercise move ideal for beginners. Make sure to use an exercise mat and exercise socks/shoes so that your feet don’t slip during the movement.

How to do a glute bridge, step-by-step:

1. Begin by laying on your back with your feet on the floor and your hands at your side, with your palms up or palms down depending on what is most comfortable for you.
2. To make sure that your legs are placed correctly, try to touch the back of your heels with your palms – you should be able to just reach them. Adjust your feet placement if you can’t touch your heels.
3. Without overarching your back, slowly lift your lower body towards the ceiling. When lifting your lower body, your knees should align perfectly with your ankles, and you should press your lower back into the mat to fire your core.
4. Lower your body and lightly graze the mat when you come down. Use a controlled movement to lower and raise your lower body and do as many repetitions as feels comfortable: begin with 20 and work your way up.

Read more about glute bridges vs hip thrusts here. 

Weighted Squats

We’ve all done the squat challenge before, right? Squats are an amazing exercise for the gluteus medius and can be adapted in various ways to keep your bum muscles active and engaged. From jump squats, skater squats, sumo squats to weighted squats, the classic exercise move remains a great addition to any bum or lower body workout.

How to do the perfect weighted squat, step by step:

1. Begin with your legs shoulder-width apart.
2. Choose a set of weighted dumbbells applicable to your fitness level. You can also substitute dumbbells for a kettlebell, or for resistance bands if you’re a beginner.
3. Hold your weights or kettlebell in front of you, at the centre of your core (or hold two dumbbells at your sides).
4. Keeping your body straight, your chest upright and your head up, lower your body halfway to the ground, before using your glutes and quads to lift your body back up to the starting position.
5. If you’re looking to isolate your glutes, make sure to have your body weight in your heels and not in the balls of your feet or in your toes.

Authors

I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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