Try these 4 glute-boosting Pilates moves

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By Sarah King • 4 years ago • HEALTH & FITNESS


Let’s face it, everyone loves a good glute workout. Unfortunately, squats seem to get all the glory while the smaller gluteal muscles miss out. If you want to create a balanced backside, it’s important to work all three of your glute muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. Gluteus medius (GM), sometimes referred to as glute med, is the muscle we’re focusing on in this workout because it rarely gets the attention it deserves!

Why train your glute med muscle?

If you walk, run, kick a ball, or perform any single leg exercises, your GM muscle will be working hard to keep your pelvis stable. This muscle is located above your gluteus maximus and attaches to the top of the femur (thigh bone). Its main actions are internal rotation of the thigh, lateral leg movements (leg abduction) and preventing the thighs from rolling inwards (leg adduction). Working this muscle not only ensures you look great in your activewear, but also prevents overuse injuries by keeping your pelvis stable so that the knees, hips and ankles stay in good alignment.

How to work the glute med

One of the best ways to isolate the GM is in a side-lying or kneeling position, where you can focus on your form. Do this workout on its own for a quick booty burn, or as a warm-up on leg day to make sure you’re activating the correct supporting muscles to get that perfect squat happening.

Side lying clam

Lie on your side propped up on to your elbow to support your head. Knees should be forward of hips and bent so that feet line up behind you. Engage your abdominals and breathe in. As you exhale, rotate the top knee upwards, keeping the feet together and hips facing forwards. Lower back down and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20 on each side.

Side lying fire hydrant

Set yourself up in the same position as above. This time lift the whole top leg up so that feet separate. Take leg just above hip height. Lower back down and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20 reps on each side.

Side lying leg abduction

Lie on your side propped up on to your elbow to support your head. Bend your underneath leg to a 90-degree angle so that thigh is perpendicular to your hip. Straighten top leg so that it’s in one long line with the rest of your body. Engage your abdominals and inhale. As you exhale lift the top leg up to hip height, keeping toes facing forward. Lower and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20 reps each side.

Donkey kick

Start in a four point kneeling position. Engage your core and inhale. As you exhale lift one foot off the floor and kick the heel up towards the ceiling, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees. Slowly lower down and repeat. Do 3 sets of 20 reps on each side

Bonus exercise: Crab walks

Tie a resistance band around your knees and lower into a squat position. Stay low and take small steps out to the side. Do 3 sets of 20 steps moving to the right, and 20 steps moving to the left.


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Follow Sarah King
Accredited exercise physiologist at SK Active | @skactive

Images supplied by @skactive and @marceauphotography




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