gluteus medius atrophy

9 messages
26/01/2012 at 02:39

Hi everyone,

I am 25 and have significant gluteus medius atrophy, notably more on the left side. I have been to a physio around a year ago who gave me the clam exercise to do. She reckons the injury stemmed from an old ankle injury where I tore ligaments. When I run (usually 5-6 times per week) my glutes do not appear to be activating and my quads and hamstrings seem to be doing all the hard graft!

I am currently travelling in Australia and cannot really affford to be going to the gym to do weight exercises ( plus they are few and far between out in the bush!) and although I am still running it seems to be getting worse My behind seems flat and untoned despite a lot of exercise and physical activity!

Can someone PLEASE help me with some glute activation and strengthening exercises that can be done in the house/garden?! Any help would be MUCH appreciated!!

 Thanks, Jess.

26/01/2012 at 08:42
Hi Jess

Clams will only increase the strength of your gluts, not the size, as you're training them in a non functional, or weight bearing position.

Go for lots of squats, lunges and single knee squats with fantastic form. Feel the burn and keep it weight bearing.
26/01/2012 at 18:00
I can also recommend the glute bridge. The glute bridge is an excellent exercise to strengthen your glute muscles and to add to your core exercise routine.
27/01/2012 at 10:45

okay thanks guys, squats and lunges it is! Oh and yeah I've been doing the bridge too so will keep doing that!

Anything else is much appreciated!

25/08/2012 at 23:04

Funnily enough I got the same diagnosis while I was living in Australia.  I can tell you from experience that the squats and lunges are probably not going to do it.  I'm a fit, 25 yr old guy, I regularly do squats and lunges and have very defined hams and quads but those excercises failed to touch my glutes at all.  Good news is there are more direct exercises to build those glute medes:

In addition to the Clamshell and Glute Bridge exercises, try:

1) Lying leg lifts

2) Standing leg lifts

  • also, try doing these at several different angles (90 degrees, 110 degrees, etc), you will definitely feel when you hit the sweet spot!

3) Quadraped Hip Extensions

After a few weeks you can also do:

4) Weighted/Exercise Band standing leg lifts (exercise bands are really cheap, and the wide, rubber-fabric type ones can be balled up to fit in the palm of your hand)

5) One legged bridges

For instructions for some of these exercises, check out the following link:


Hope that helps!

Edited: 25/08/2012 at 23:07
26/08/2012 at 13:47

Agree that side lying leg lifts are good, as 'Ann' says above. I've just done these for two months, while not running due to injury, and when I started running again they've helped my glutes to keep driving me forward right till the end of my runs and improve my running form, a noticeable difference to before. I had never done any glute or specific leg exercises for running before.

26/08/2012 at 16:40
The challenge is getting glutes working without too much work from hip flexors or TFL (the muscle on the outside of your hip). Weightbearing exercises are functional but are harder to do specifically for glutes (without activating everything else).

Research has suggested the side lying leg lift (mentioned above) creates good glutes activity with little work in other muscles so worth a go. When you do the exercises make sure you can feel it in your glutes not the side or front of the thigh. You may need a little guidance from a Physio to help.

Lots of info on glutes exercises, and which ones get good glutes activation here;
07/09/2012 at 11:46

Hey guys, I just came back on here after a while as I completely forgot I has posted this thread. I started doing a little strength routine most days including squats, lunges, kickbacks, leg raises (standing), bridge/hipraises and also some core work and pressups. I  have found that this has helped loads! Thank you all for your comments. I am just about to check out that website Tom Goom as I haven't seen that one before. Would you say that the lying down leg raises are better than standing? I guess you have more control over the hip rotation etc when you are lying down... well thanks again for soe great help everyone

I also have to add that now being in New Zealand instead of the Australian outback, and having some proper hills to run up, has definitely contributed to the glute strengthening and is simething I would definitely reccommend to others having the same problem as me!

Cheers guys


07/09/2012 at 23:53

squat squat squat

full squats ie where your hip joints goes inline or below your knee joint when you squat down

learn to squat with a barbell on your back increase weight slowly


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