Glute Strengthening Exercises

We all know what kinds of exercises strengthen your glutes…but what about the smaller glute medius? This muscle is very important for hip stability and strength. If you’re a runner, then pay extra attention to this post ;)

I got the idea for this post when “The Strength Guys” wrote about foam rolling and strengthening weak muscles. I asked them about how I foam roll the outside of my hip/IT band area because it is really tight, and they suggested also strengthening my glute medius and hip external rotators.

glute strengthening exericsesBackground Image via Scott & White Healthcare

This concept isn’t new to me – I have gone to physical therapy a couple of times during marathon training and was told my hips are weak. As a personal trainer, I used to have clients warm up with a few of these exercises, and also incorporate them into their programs in order to strengthen the overall hip area. Now I just need to be better with doing it myself!

The Strength Guys recommended a few exercises to me, which I wanted to share with you. If you are experiencing any IT band pain, or your outer hips are really tight (try foam rolling, if they’re tight it will hurt), then try adding these into your training routine, or at least into your warm-up.


Clam With A Band

 You can do these without a band too, but the band adds great resistance.

Fire Hydrant

I do these as a warm-up before leg days, but I like the added band resistance.

Lateral Step With Band

I had my clients do this as a warm-up before every session. Trust me, you will feel this one and instantly know if your glute medius is weak! Start with 5-7 steps on each side and work your way up.

Crouched Band Monster Walk & Sumo Walk

A variation of the lateral step.

Side Lying Leg Raise

Add a band for more resistance.

I highly suggest incorporating some of these into your routine, as a warm-up and as strength work. According to The Strength Guys, strengthening areas that have trigger points can help you rely less on a foam roller, and instead strengthen those areas so they become looser. But in my opinion, if a foam roller helps you feel better than incorporate that too!

I like to foam roll before lifting as a way to increase mobility temporarily, and I foam roll after to get out some kinks. But I do also try to work on weak areas…I just need to be better about focusing on my hips!

Here are some items discussed in this post that can help you with your strength training:

  • Mini resistance bands
  • Dumbbells – I recommend getting a light set and heavy set if you mainly work out at home. Or if you only work out at home, consider investing in an adjustable dumbbell set.
  • Small plyo box – one of my favorite glute exercises are step-ups…also great for plyo moves like box jumps!

Do you do any of these exercises regularly?

Are you guilty of ignoring your smaller glute muscles?


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  1. These are some of my go-to moves because I also tend to have a weak glute medius! And before I started really focusing on my glutes in general, the whole area was weak! Thanks for sharing–this is very important!

    • Thanks for the comment! Strong glutes are very important especially since most of us sit all day which causes them to get weak. Glad you found it useful :)

      • what is the band and were can i get one? i’ve been trying to find one similar but all i can find are the long elastic resistant bands..

  2. Great post! I actually really needed this reminder. More glute work for me from now on!

  3. Thanks, this is great! I’ve been having trouble with my left glute medius with every run since having my last baby 7 months ago. Hopefully this will be the answer!

  4. I learned the hard way during a half-marathon training. This is some great information.
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  5. Can these exercises increase the size of my gluteus medius? I’m looking for exercises that bulk up that muscle not just strengthen it.

    • Yes they can! When you strengthen a muscle you will also grow that muscle. Let me know if you have any other questions! Currently working on a glute training plan to come out in Jan or Feb :)


  1. […] routine to hit the glute medius (side of your glute muscles). Here’s a post I wrote about the glute medius and exercises that target that […]

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