For our #gloriousglutes #moveit series we are really breaking it down so that you understand the action of each glute muscle. Towards the end of the series, guest blogger and Swan Instructor Travis Sisk will offer a full glute home program. Take your time and use these exercises (as well as this one that targets your glute max) to gain a deeper understanding of the actions of each gluteus muscle on the joints they articulate. Better understanding leads to smarter movement!
Side lying leg lifts
This exercise is a Pilates classic within the side lying leg series. As we learned in Shorty's post about Gluteus Medius this muscle moves your thigh away from your center line in abduction.
Lie down on one side with your head, ribs and pelvis all in one long line. Bend both knees into table top. Place a block or half roller under your head to keep your neck in alignment. Place your top hand in front of your waist for stability or on your top hip, or sacrum, to monitor what your pelvis is doing. Extend your top leg out long and bring it back in line with your top hip. Lower it to the mat and then lift it 1-2 inches higher than hip height. Lower it down to the mat keeping it long under your hip. Repeat 12 times. Flip over and set up for the other side.
Variation: Set up with your back against a wall. As you lower and lift your leg keep your heel in contact with the wall. This is great if you have quads that like to dominate.
Wall balance with physio ball.
Stand with your physio ball between your greater trochanter and the wall. Look down and get both feet truly under your hips. You will feel like the ball is shoving you away from the wall a bit. Square your ribs and hips off to the wall in front of you. Reaching tall through your torso, gently bend the knee of your leg that is touching the ball to lift that foot off the ground keeping your pelvis level. Balance here for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the second side. Do three sets. Try this one with your shoes on or off!