If you think your glutes are just there to add shape to your body, think again. The primary function of the gluteus medius muscle is to stabilize the pelvis when your legs are unable to provide support. You can tone this muscle with a series of resistance-training exercises performed on either a machine or with your own body weight. Before starting an exercise program aimed at toning your gluteus medius muscles consult a physician.
Anatomy or Your Tush
The gluteus medius muscle, also called the hip abductor or simply the hip, consists of two muscle heads. The posterior fibers are located above the gluteus maximus muscles and the anterior fibers travel along the posterior head, located more toward the front of the body. The gluteus medius is recruited when turning the pelvis or thigh outward or inward, moving the thigh outward with the hip bent, or moving the thigh outward with a straight hip.
Cable Hip Abduction
The cable hip abduction targets the gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae and gluteus minimus muscle. Stand next to a cable pulley machine with one side of your body facing the station. Attach a cable set to a low pulley to the ankle further from the machine. Grasp the support handle on the station and step away from the weight stack. Stand on the foot near the station and slowly move your opposite leg in front of your body. Flex your hip, moving your leg away from the station as far as possible. Slowly return to the starting position. Do four sets of 15 repetitions to tone your hip abductors. Rest for 45 seconds between sets.
Side Bridge Hip Abduction
The side bridge hip abduction works the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fasciae latae muscles. Lie on your side, positioning one forearm below your shoulder to brace yourself. Make sure one leg is on top of the other. Slowly raise your hips off the ground, making sure the side of your bottom foot stays in contact with the ground. Lift your upper leg upward during the movement. Move your upper leg back to the starting position. Perform four sets of 15 repetitions to define your gluteus medius muscles and rest for 45 seconds between sets.
Thigh Abductor Exercise
The thigh abductor movement adds definition to the entire glutes. Sit on an abductor machine and grasp the handles. Adjust the seat so that your lower legs are approximately perpendicular to your upper legs. Keep your upper body stationary throughout the movement. Move your legs away from each other. Hold the peak contraction for a moment. Slowly move your legs back to the starting position.
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