Effective Gluteus Minimus Exercises for Stronger Hips

by Thomas Martin
gluteus minimus exercises

The gluteus minimus is a critical muscle in the hip responsible for stabilizing the pelvis, aiding in hip abduction, and supporting internal and external rotation. Despite its importance, it’s often overlooked in favor of its larger counterparts, the gluteus maximus and medius. However, incorporating targeted gluteus minimus exercises into your workout routine can significantly improve hip stability, strength, and overall lower body function. In this article, we’ll explore some effective exercises for the gluteus minimus that can be easily integrated into your fitness regimen.

Understanding the Gluteus Minimus

The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles, deep beneath the gluteus medius. It plays a crucial role in hip abduction (moving the leg away from the midline) and assists in medial (internal) and lateral (external) rotation of the thigh. Strengthening this muscle can help prevent injuries, improve posture, and enhance athletic performance.

Top Gluteus Minimus Exercises

Side-Lying Hip Abduction

  • Lie on your side with your legs stacked and your body straight.
  • Keeping your top leg straight, lift it toward the ceiling, focusing on using your gluteus minimus.
  • Lower the leg slowly and repeat for 10-15 reps before switching sides. It is one of the best exercises for gluteus minimus.

Single-Leg Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift one foot off the ground, extending the leg.
  • Press through the heel of the supporting leg to lift your hips toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for a few seconds, then lower your hips and repeat for 10-12 reps on each side.


  • Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent at a 45-degree angle.
  • Keeping your feet together, open your top knee as far as possible without rotating your hip.
  • Pause, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 12-15 reps on each side.

Standing Hip Abduction

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a resistance band around your ankles (optional).
  • Shift your weight to one leg and lift the other leg out to the side, keeping your toes pointing forward.
  • Lower the leg and repeat for 10-15 reps before switching sides.

Lateral Band Walks

  • Place a resistance band around your legs, just above your knees.
  • Get into a slight squat position and step to the side with one leg.
  • Follow with the other leg, maintaining tension in the band. Continue for 10-15 steps in each direction.

Incorporating Gluteus Minimus Exercises into Your Routine

To effectively target the gluteus minimus, consider the following tips:

  • Frequency: Aim to include these exercises in your routine 2-3 times per week.
  • Progression: As you get stronger, increase the resistance or add more repetitions to continue challenging the muscle.
  • Form: Maintain proper form throughout each exercise to ensure you effectively engage the gluteus minimus and avoid injury.

Benefits of Strengthening the Gluteus Minimus

Focusing on exercises for the gluteus minimus can offer several benefits, including:

  • Improved Hip Stability: Stronger gluteus minimus muscles help stabilize the pelvis, reducing the risk of injuries such as hip impingement or IT band syndrome.
  • Enhanced Athletic Performance: A strong gluteus minimus contributes to better balance, agility, and power in movements like running, jumping, and changing direction.
  • Reduced Lower Back Pain: By supporting proper hip alignment, these exercises can alleviate strain on the lower back.


Incorporating targeted gluteus minimus exercises into your fitness routine can significantly improve hip stability, strength, and overall lower body function. You can effectively engage and strengthen this often-neglected muscle by focusing on exercises like side-lying hip abduction, single-leg bridges, clamshells, standing hip abduction, and lateral band walks. Remember to prioritize proper form and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts to maximize the benefits and prevent injury. Strengthening the gluteus minimus is essential to a well-rounded fitness program that supports optimal movement and performance. By integrating these exercises for the gluteus minimus into your regular workout regimen, you can enjoy enhanced hip stability, reduced risk of injury, and improved overall lower body strength.

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