Best Gluteus Medius Exercises for a Hip Replacement

I am so excited about this.

I have not done this in a few weeks.

It is “dig into the research and see what is new when it comes to exercises and injuries”.

I know, it is a little strange but we all have our passions or weaknesses.

Let’s get to it. I found some great stuff for you.

What They Looked At

It is common for those with hip arthroscopy (hip replacements) to have a weak gluteus medius muscle which often leads to iliopsoas tendinitis.

In the study, they looked at exercises that focused on gluteus medius but minimized hip flexor activation (iliopsoas muscle).  Finding exercises that had less iliopsoas activation would decrease the risk of iliopsoas tendinitis.

They looked at the EMG (electromyography) of gluteus medius and iliopsoas during 13 hip rehabilitation exercises in 10 healthy subjects.

From the study, they were hoping to create a three-phase continuum that people with hip replacements could do for improving gluteus medius strength.

Gluteus Medius Exercises They Tested

These are the gluteus medius exercises they tested in the study:

  1. Resisted hip extension
  2. Side-lying hip abduction with wall-sliding
  3. Hip clam exercises with neutral hips
  4. Prone heel squeezes
  5. Resisted terminal knee extension
  6. Hip extension
  7. Double-leg bridges
  8. Side-lying hip abduction with internal hip rotation
  9. Stool hip rotations
  10. Single-leg bridges
  11. Resisted knee flexion

This is a great list of exercises and a few of them are new to me.  I will work on getting some videos up for you.

Highlights of the Study

The big highlight was the continuum they recommended based on their research.  It is great.  Here it is:

Phase I – Initial 4 or 8 weeks

  • Resisted terminal knee extension
  • Resisted knee flexion
  • Double-leg bridges

Phase II – subsequent 4 weeks

  • Resisted hip extension
  • Stool hip rotations
  • Side-lying hip abduction with wall-sliding

Phase II – final 4 weeks

  • Prone heel squeezes
  • Side-lying hip abduction with internal hip rotation
  • Single-leg bridges

Key Exercise Rehabilitation Program Design Notes

  • Exercises involving hip rotation were avoided in phase I.
  • Hip clam exercises with neutral hips is an exercise that people with hip flexor tendinitis should be cautious of.

Last Word from Rick Kaselj <==  THE PART TO READ

Not much to say, the program above is a keeper.

Here is one more exercise that I like for gluteus medius:

Where to Get More Information

Philippon MJ, Decker MJ, Giphart JE, Torry MR, Wahoff MS, Laprade RF. (2011). Rehabilitation Exercise Progression for the Gluteus Medius Muscle With Consideration for Iliopsoas Tendinitis: An In Vivo Electromyography Study. Am J Sports Med. 2011 May 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Can Hip Weakness Lead to Patellofemoral Syndrome?

What They Looked At

The study looked to see if hip muscle weakness was a factor that leads to the patellofemoral syndrome.

Prior to a 10-week “start to run” program they tested the isometric strength of the hip abduction, flexors, extensors, internal rotators, adductors, and external rotators in 77 healthy female novice runners.

They had an orthopedic surgeon assess and diagnose the runners.

Highlights of the Study

They did not find any significant difference in isometric hip strength in the runners who ended up having patellofemoral syndrome and those that did not.

Take-Home Message

Isometric strength may not be the best indicator of the potential risk of getting patellofemoral syndrome in novice female runners.

Last Word from Rick Kaselj <==  THE PART TO READ

I agree that isometric strength is not the best tester because I find fatigue to be a big factor.

Where to Get More Information

Thijs Y, Pattyn E, Van Tiggelen D, Rombaut L, Witvrouw E. (2011). Is Hip Muscle Weakness a Predisposing Factor for Patellofemoral Pain in Female Novice Runners? A Prospective Study. Am J Sports Med. 2011 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Rick Kaselj, MS

If you would are looking for some exercises for gluteus medius exercises or gluteus maximus, this will help:

If you would like some more articles on gluteus medius exercises and patellofemoral pain syndrome, check these out:

If you would like more information on gluteus medius exercises and patellofemoral pain syndrome, these videos may interest you:

Importance of Gluteus Medius Exercises

Muscle Imbalances and Gluteus Maximus

Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises.