Theraband Exercises for Glute Activation
The gluteal muscle group consists of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. All three muscles originate from the ilium (the uppermost bone of the pelvic girdle) and insert into the femur (thighbone). Because of its insertion point into the femur, they control three movements in distinct movement planes: hip extension (sagittal plane), hip abduction (frontal plane), and hip external rotation (transverse plane) thus making the glutes a very important stabiliser of dynamic hip/pelvis stability. Furthermore, the gluteal muscles will assist with shock absorption and prevent dysfunctional movements patterns such as medial/valgus collapse of the knee
Medial collapse of the knee is defined by hip internal rotation and hip adduction – dysfunctional movement patterns that the gluteal muscles are trying to prevent. This movement pattern places excessive stress on other muscle groups, soft tissue structures and joints in the hip and the knee. We often see this dysfunctional movement pattern in runners and athletes who have weak or underactive glutes. Going through multiple cycles of activity with this dysfunctional movement pattern could then lead to an overuse hip, knee, ankle injury or in the worst case scenario, an acute traumatic injury, due to inadequate shock absorption.
Here are three beginner glute activation exercises that you can try with a theraband loop!
Note: Start with a light resistance theraband, level l
1) Clam Shell Isometric Hold (aim for a 20-25 second hold for 3-4 reps)
2) Side-lye hip abduction (aim for a 20-25 second hold for 3-4 reps)
3) Side-lye hip abduction + hip extension with theraband (20-25 second hold x 3-4 reps)
A few extra notes:
You should initially feel a good burn in the outside (lateral) and back (posterior) of the hip with these glute activation exercises. If you’re feeling it in adjacent muscles groups like your quadriceps, hamstrings or lower back muscles, you may need to regress to a lighter resistance band or correct your starting position!
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to come in for a consultation to speak with our excellent practitioners at Lawrence Park Health.
In my next blog post, I will cover more glute activation theraband exercises once you have mastered these beginner ones!
Author: Clarence Lau, BSc (Hons) MPhtySt | Toronto Registered Physiotherapist