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Gluteus Medius Exercises For Lower Back Pain Relief

The Gluteus Medius muscle is a lesser known perpetrator of lower back pain and hip problems. Gluteus Medius lies on the upper-side buttock, and can be described as the highest part of the butt with meat. Gluteus Medius exercises are a great defense against lower back, glute, and hip problems.


Gluteus Medius Exercise Anatomy & Function

Gluteus Medius Massage Exercises

Gluteus Medius, pictured above, is extremely important. Gluteus Medius is exercised every time you walk, lift an object off the ground, stand on one leg, and even just while standing. Without Gluteus Medius it would be impossible to walk, run, or do anything active.

In isolation, Gluteus Medius is a hip abductor. This means that Gluteus Medius is responsible for lifting the leg to the side and keeping you upright when standing on one leg. The image below illustrates hip abduction - a great Gluteus Medius exercise to feel the muscle contract in isolation.

Hip Abduction - Gluteus Medius Exercise

Hip Abduction - A Gluteus Medius Exercise


Gluteus Medius Pain

Gluteus Medius pain is exceptionally gnarly. Gluteus Medius pain can refer problems all around the lower back, buttocks, and hips. The image below displays the pain pattern referred by Gluteus Medius muscle knots and trigger points in bright red, as sited by Travell & Simons [1].

Gluteus Medius Pain

Gluteus Medius Referred Pain Pattern [1]


Gluteus Medius Exercises For Relief

The first exercises one should do as a remedy for Gluteus Medius pain are deep tissue massage techniques. Effective deep tissue massage exercises will break up any knots, trigger points, and tightness contributing to the Gluteus Medius pain in the body. Gluteus Medius release exercises can be done by the hands of a physical or massage therapist, or at home with a nifty massage tool like QL Claw. QL Claw was designed to release the 5 main muscles that contribute to lower back and hip pain - and Gluteus Medius high on that list. Check out this video tutorial exercise on an idea of how to use QL Claw for Gluteus Medius release:



Gluteus Medius Exercises For Strength & Injury Prevention

After Gluteus Medius is effectively massaged and the tissue no longer causes pain, it can be very beneficial to strengthen the muscle. Gluteus Medius strengthening exercises are great because they train the muscle to withstand greater stress, which highly reduces the muscle's likelihood to spasm and develop trigger points. Gluteus Medius exercises are not only great for injury prevention, but are also very functional for athletic performance. The Glute muscles are the strongest movers of the human body - and this absolutely includes Gluteus Medius. Gluteus Medius exercises can help you jump higher, lift heavier, cut quicker, hit harder, and enhance power in nearly every sport.

A few great Gluteus Medius exercises include the Fire Hydrant, Suitcase Carry, Single Leg Deadlift, and Lateral Lunge. In addition, any lateral movement will work and require effort from Gluteus Medius, including Skater Hops, Side Shuffles, Step Ladders, and much more.


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[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

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