The Basics of Glute Strengthening

What are the glutes?

There are 3 muscles that comprise the gluteals. These consist of the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. All three of these muscles have unique functions and work as the primary stabilizers of the low back, hips, knees, and ankles. Didn’t know they did that much? Most people don’t and is why we are talking about them today. Having strong glutes that turn on properly and at the right time is crucial in preventing lower extremity injuries, especially an ACL injury. Often there are muscles that do not get mentioned but are also extremely important in preventing ACL injury or re-injury. These muscles are called the external rotators of the hip and are no bigger than one of your fingers. These muscles are small but mighty in helping to prevent your knee from turning inward towards the midline (a huge source of injury and knee pain).

There are 3 exercises you should be doing every single day to strengthen your glutes and prevent re-injury of your ACL or even from developing something as simple as knee pain following your ACL surgery.

1. Sidelying Abduction

  • Lie on side with hips rolled forward slightly
  • Place top leg behind bottom leg with toes pointing towards the ground
  • Squeeze the glute muscles and raise top leg, maintain toes towards ground through full range of motion
  • Repeat for 2 sets of 10

2. Clamshell

  • Lie on side with hips, knees and ankles stacked
  • Keep ankles in line with hips
  • Without hips rolling back, open top knee
  • Repeat for 2 sets of 10

3. Bridge

  • Lie on back on flat surface, place feet flat on ground and bend knees to 90 degree angle
  • Place weight through heels and squeeze glute muscles as you lift hips off the ground
  • Maintain belly button to spine to protect back
  • Repeat for 2 sets of 10


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