The Best Exercise for Hip Abduction

by | Nov 27, 2015

This final article in our gluteus medius series looks at the best exercise to get it working and strong! Side hip abduction produces a high amount of electrical activity in the glut medius that is lifting the leg. To take it a step further, we need to combine it with a side plank.Researchers found this to produce the highest amount of gluteus medius electrical activity of any exercise tested. The surprising thing that they found was that the peak electrical activity for glut med is actually in the supporting leg rather than the leg being lifted. With the trunk having less support, there is more likelihood that if poorly controlled, the back will arch and the hip will drift forward into flexion. It is also important to maintain the trunk in a straight line, not dropping down towards the floor or bowing up towards the ceiling. Poor technique can cause other muscles to be exercised as per our previous blog post. To help avoid this you should first be able to do a good quality side plank and side hip abduction independently. When ready to progress, your repetitions should be low and only increased as correct technique allows. 


Boren K, Conrey C, Le coguic J, Paprocki L, Voight M, Robinson TK. Electromyographic analysis of gluteus medius and gluteus maximus during rehabilitation exercises. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2011;6(3):206-23.

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