What Treadmill Incline Level is Best to Target Gluteus Medius?

I have not done one of these in a while.

Before I went to bed last night, I though, I need to block off an hour Friday morning to look at the research and see what is new.

As I started to research, I found great stuff on gluteus medius.

Lets look at the research….

Does Treadmill Incline Affect Gluteus Medius Activation?

What Did They Looked At?

In the study they looked at the muscle activity of gluteus medius at varying angles of treadmill walking.

What Did They Find?

They found as they increased the treadmill from 0 degrees to 5 degrees, there was an increase in gluteus medius activation but the difference was not significant. When the treadmill was at 10 degrees incline, there was less gluteus medius activation compared to 5 degrees.

What Does This Mean to You?

If you are looking at targeting or rehabilitating gluteus medius, think up adding a 5 degree incline to your treadmill walking. Getting on the treadmill and doing this will be a great idea because gluteus medius is key muscle that needs to be targeted is you have foot, ankle, knee, hip or back pain.

Remember to watch the volume and time under tension when it comes to exercises targeting stabilizing muscles like gluteus medius. If you over do it or fatigue them out, it will put other joints at great risk of injury.

Where to get more information: Jeong DE1, Lee SK2, Kim K3. Comparison of the activity of the gluteus medius according to the angles of inclination of a treadmill with vertical load. J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Feb;26(2):251-3. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.251. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

J Phys Ther Sci

Which Way Should You Rotate Your Leg to Target Gluteus Medius More?

What Did They Look At?

The researchers looked to see if it was better to keep your leg straight or rotate it in order to target gluteus medius better in a side-lying isometric hip abduction exercise.

What Did The Find?

They found that gluteus medius activity was greater when the the thigh was rotated in (hip internal rotation) compared to neutral or thigh rotated out (hip external rotation).

What Does that Mean to You?

This result is not earth shattering but it is a nice tweak to remember. Also I am a big fan of isometric exercises in order to address muscle imbalances and for rehabilitation.

If you find doing side-lying hip abduction is difficult, you can regress down to do isometric hip abduction and if you want to target gluteus medius more, just turn your leg in.

Where to get more information: Lee JH1, Cynn HS2, Kwon OY3, Yi CH4, Yoon TL5, Choi WJ6, Choi SA7. Different hip rotations influence hip abductor muscles activity during isometric side-lying hip abduction in subjects with gluteus medius weakness. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2014 Apr;24(2):318-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

That was fun.

I look forward to getting back to doing more of this.

Rick Kaselj, MS