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The gluteus medius is the main “weapon” of many women, which allows you to create the ideal shape of the priests. In addition to the visual aspect, this muscle plays a critical role in most movements, from running and walking to maintaining a standing position. The main problem is that not all athletes do exercises on the gluteus medius. Moreover, an inactive lifestyle leads to atrophy of this muscle, which provokes a number of negative health consequences. Therefore, it is recommended to include exercises on the gluteus medius in each workout, and if the area lags behind, to give it a separate lesson.
Gluteus Medius Anatomy
The gluteus medius is often called the “upper” due to its location. It is located above the gluteus maximus, with an offset to the outside. It has the shape of a triangle and is clearly visible from the side.
The muscle performs the functions:
- Abduction of the thigh (to the side, inward, outward).
- Support when tilting the body (especially when performing a tilt on one leg).
- Stabilizes the body in a standing position and helps lift the foot when walking and running.
In most cases, upper butt exercises are performed for aesthetic reasons. This is exactly the “secret part” for which professional fitness models are so fond of low-waisted jeans. It creates an incredibly sporty look and emphasizes the shape of the butt.
However, in athletics, gymnastics and other sports, gluteus medius training plays an important role. It helps:
- improve athletic performance in running and jumping;
- reduce the stress on the knee and hip joints in daily life.
Therefore, it is necessary not only for women, but also for men to pay attention to pumping the gluteus medius muscle.
How to Build the Upper Butt?
- The first reason for the frequent lag of the gluteus medius lies not in the complexity and peculiarities of training this muscle area, but in the unpopularity of exercises on the upper butt.
- The second reason is that many athletes do not know how to focus on the right muscle when performing an exercise. As a result, the load “spreads” to other muscles and the movement becomes less effective.
To improve the quality of the upper butt, you must adhere to the following rules:
- Alternate power and multirepeat modes.
- Train with moderate weight (so that the gluteus maximus does not “take” the main load).
- Stabilize the pelvis without movement (any inertia or swaying will reduce the effectiveness of gluteus medius exercises).
- Work out the muscle after doing hard basic exercises.
The gluteus medius is a fairly hardy muscle, therefore, for better workout, it is recommended to use the pre-fatigue method. To do this, before doing exercises on the gluteus medius muscle in the gym, perform such heavy movements as squats with a barbell, Romanian deadlift and a pelvic bridge. Basically, individual exercises for this muscle in general training are performed in the form of “finishing”, they do not replace the usual basic movements.
The 5 Best Upper Butt Exercises
To build the upper butt, in most cases, different leg abductions are used in a vertical and horizontal position. These movements are ideally suited to the function of this muscle.
1. Side-Lying Leg Lift
This is an ideal exercise for the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. It can be easily done both at home and in the gym, without using any equipment. The main feature of horizontal lifts is to turn off other muscles from work. This allows you to fully focus the load on the upper butt.
How to Do It?
- Lie on your side, bend your arm at the elbow and put it under your head.
- The other hand rests on the floor to stabilize the body.
- Raise your leg slowly to a 30-degree angle.
- After a short pause, return your leg to its original position.
It is important that your feet do not lie on top of each other. The leg that performs the movement should be pulled back a little (the supporting limb is extended forward) so that the toe of one leg almost touches the heel of the other.
To pump the gluteus medius even more effectively, keep your foot on the floor until the end of the set and use a rubber band or leg weights.
2. Cable Kickback
This gym exercise is done with a low pulley cable crossover using a loop handle. At home – using the resistance band.
How to Do It?
- Step back 1-2 steps to feel a pronounced tension even in the starting position. Additionally, it is recommended to secure the body by holding onto any ledge or handle.
- With a powerful movement, take your leg back as far as possible (but not more than 45 degrees).
- After a short pause, return very slowly to the starting position.
In this movement, it is important to avoid inertia and abduct the leg not with the whole body, but with focus on the gluteus medius.
3. Pistol Squat
It works very powerfully on the target muscle and the entire lower body. This is a tricky exercise, so belay is used to build the upper butt without being physically fit.
How to Do It?
In terms of complexity, there are 4 types of “Pistol Squat” execution:
- With a chair – place a pedestal or stool under you, this is insurance against falling down. Gradually lower the height of the support as the muscles strengthen.
- Partial squats – the exercise effectively loads the glutes and legs, and also prepares the joints and ligaments for more difficult options.
- Full squat with belay – the movement is performed in full amplitude, but while holding any support (it is recommended to hold with one hand).
- Classic pistols are the most difficult execution with maximum efficiency.
4. Fire Hydrant and Bent Knee Glute Kickback
To pump up the upper butt, it is recommended to perform them together, combining in a series (or alternately, according to approaches). The peculiarity of these exercises is that it is very difficult to make technical mistakes when performing them. If your body and pelvis are stabilized, the gluteus medius will actively participate in abduction.
How to Do It?
The technique of execution almost does not change, with the exception of the direction of movement of the leg:
- Rest on your knees and palms with your arms straight and your back straight (no bending or rounding too much). The legs are bent at the knee at an angle of 90 degrees.
- Slowly move your leg to the side, performing a movement only in the hip joint (when moving back, the leg rises in the corresponding direction).
- When the thigh is parallel to the floor, take a minimal pause and return to the starting position.
5. Box Step-Up
- To pump up the upper butt, the exercise is performed with dumbbells and in power mode (12-15 repetitions for each leg).
- To increase the efficiency of the ascent, alternate the position of the feet when climbing the pedestal (once the legs are placed wide, on the edges of the pedestal, the next step is brought together).
How to Do It?
Gluteus Medius Workout
One example of a workout plan that will help you both pump the gluteus medius muscle and work out almost all the muscles of the legs:
- Warm up (whole body) – 5 minutes.
- Cardio (treadmill or elliptical trainer) – 10 minutes.
- Cable Kickback – 4 set per 12-15 reps.
- Pistol Squat — 4 set per 8 reps.
- Side-Lying Leg Lift – 4 set per 15 reps.
- Superset: Fire Hydrant & Bent Knee Glute Kickback – 5 set per 20 reps (on each leg).
- Box Step-Up – 5 set per 60 seconds.