Exercises for the gluteus minimus are useful for maintaining and increasing the strength of the hip stabilization especially when you are balancing on one leg. The gluteus minimus attaches to your pelvis and enters the top of your upper thighbone. It is the smallest muscle and often overlooked when compared to the gluteus maximus, which is the strongest muscle in your body.
The most common way to isolate this muscle is by using a hip abduction machine that means you have to do it in the gym. But actually, there is something easier like the exercise below if you want to do it at home. Don’t forget to warm up first, like jogging for 10 minutes before doing targeted exercises.
5 Best Exercises for Gluteus Minimus.
#1 Bent Knee Side Bridge.
How to: Lie on the left side of your body with your left elbow under your shoulder and your upper left arm perpendicular. Place your right hand over your hips while bending your knees. Lift your hips by pushing your left arm up. Simultaneously, lift your right leg and keep your hips straight. Lower slowly and then repeat in 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.
For beginners, you can keep your hips on the floor and only raise your legs. Do it gradually before lifting your hips up and then do it with straight legs to make it more challenging.
#2 Side Bridge.
As I mentioned, this is a challenging version of the bent knee side bridge. If this is too difficult, use a horizontal platform or lean your body against the wall.
How to: Start in the same position as the first exercise but with legs extended. Place your lower left arm under your left shoulder and perpendicular to the body. Keep the sides of your lower legs on the floor. Then push your hips up and lift your right leg away from your left leg at the same time. Lower your right leg slowly while lowering your hips to the floor. Finish in 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps on each leg.
#3 Side Lying Hip Abduction.
How to: Lie on your left side with your left hand under your head. Place your left hand on your right hip and extend your legs. Then bend your left knee 90 degrees and keep your right leg straight. Next, lift your right leg as high as possible. Lower slowly and repeat 12 reps in 3 sets on each leg.
#4 Seated Pretzel Stretch.
This stretch is very beneficial for recovering your muscles after doing strengthening exercises. The pretzel stretch or Ardha Matsyendrasana in Yoga actually targets the lower back, but it also involves the glutes, obliques, and middle back to a lesser extent.
How to: Sit on the mat with your legs extended with your left hand behind your back. Then bend your left knee and cross it over your right leg. Rotate your torso and bring your right arm over the leg of your left leg. Place your elbow on the outside of your left thigh. Feel the tight stretch and hold this pose for the desired time. Next, change the other leg.
#5 Lying Crossover Stretch.
How to: Lie on a mat with your knees bent, and your arms stretched out at shoulder height. To stabilize the spine, tighten your stomach. Cross your left leg and place your left ankle over your right knee. Then exhale slowly and press the knees of the crossed legs away from the body without rotating your torso. Slowly rotate your hips until the sole of your left foot rests on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 3 to 4 times and replace the opposite side.
The best exercises for the gluteus minimus above can help you prevent injury, improve athletic performance, and make your movement better. But if you have a gluteus minimus muscle injury such as pain, tear, or tendinosis, consult your doctor or physical therapist for careful treatment and a specific exercise program.