If you want to get the biggest burn on your glutes, it’s important that you add some hip abduction exercises to your regular butt workout. When people exercise their glutes, they often only focus on the glutes, the largest muscle in your butt.
But there are actually three muscles that make up your bum – the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are the smaller two on the side – and it’s very important to focus on all of them, Alicia Jamison, CPT, trainer at Body Space Fitness in New York City, says YOURSELF. Your glutes play an important role in stabilizing your pelvic system, the area that connects your core and legs, and the work of all of these muscles is critical to that.
“When you increase the activation of these two other smaller muscles, they help activate the rest of your core and your pelvic stabilization systems,”
They activate your gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – which are known as hip abductors – with different movement patterns than your gluteus max.
Hip abduction exercises work in the frontal plane of motion, says Jamison. This is the side-to-side movement that you get when you lift your leg to the side of your body or when you step to the side, like doing a side lunge. Gluteus maximus exercises, on the other hand, mainly work in the sagittal plane of movement. This is the back and forth motion that you get with flexion and extension, like when you crouch and come back up.
With a well-rounded hip workout, you ideally train all three glutes. Because most people tend to have less developed hip abductors compared to their buttocks maximum, this buttock workout will focus more on the hip abduction exercises to ensure that you are building balanced strength in your glutes.
Are you ready to try this hip abductor workout? Read on below.
What you need: A lightweight mini band, a pair of lightweight dumbbells, and a sturdy box or step. (You can also perform the movements shown with a dumbbell with just your body weight). An exercise mat can make some of the exercises more comfortable.
Circuit 2 (finisher):
Banded conch shell
Banded jumping jacks
Do 8-12 reps (do this amount on each side for the movements with one leg) of each exercise, moving from one to the next without a break. Complete a total of 2-3 rounds. Rest 60 to 90 seconds before going into the finisher.
Do 15 to 20 repetitions (do this amount on each side for the clamshell) of each movement, going from one to the next without a break. Take part in a total of 1-3 rounds.
Demo the movements are below Amanda Wheeler (GIF 1), certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength; Nikki Pebbles, New York City-based fitness trainer for over nine years, and AFAA and NCCPT certified personal trainer and group fitness trainer (GIFs 2 and 5); Krystal Salvent (GIF 3), NASM Certified Personal Trainer in New York City; Cookie Janee (GIF 4); a background investigator and security specialist in the Air Force Reserve; Salma Nakhlawi (GIF 6), the founder of StrongHer Girls; and Lena Marti (GIF 7), a NASM certified personal trainer based in New York City.