Side lying hip abductions.

Posted by & filed under Health and Fitness.

An exercise popular with females worrying about the size of their bottom and with physiotherapists, aiming to help rehab runners/cyclists and so on who have sore knees.

As can been seen, it exercises the gluteus medius, which attaches just under the top of the pelvis, running down the outside of the hip to the top of the leg.

The video is a decent demo of this exercise, apart from him doing a bit of dodgy foot move at the start.

Main pointers:

  • Lie on your side, being careful not to lean forwards or backwards.  Lightly resting against a wall will help keep you true.
  • Keep your foot pointing forwards and relaxed.
  • Don’t raise the leg too high or the hips sag and other muscles will get involved.  So the leg only raises to about 45°.
  • The hips stay still, only the top leg moves.
  • Move smoothly, under control.  Lower more slowly than lifting.
  • If it doesn’t make you wobble about too much, put your top hand on the outside top of your hip so you can feel the muscle engage.

Main danger:

Under no circumstances angle the foot downwards.  This will now engage a muscle called the tensor fascae latae which runs into the ITB band on the outside of the thigh.  This muscle gets overtight, especially on one leg and is a major cause of knee pain.  It can pull the kneecap out of alignment, which will bring most exercise activities to an abrupt stop.

As far as I’m concerned, I think this is a rubbish exercise.  There are better ways of rehabilitating a weedy gluteus medius and if you get this exercise wrong, it causes problems.  To reduce saddlebags on the outside of the thigh, it is necessary to get the eating under control and consider an oestrogen detox.  Nevertheless, if you are going to do this exercise, then concentrate and do it well so you get some benefit and do not end up getting the benefit of relieving yourself of having too much money by having to spend it at the physiotherapists.

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