Outer Glute & Hip Exercises

Good dance form relies upon strong outer glutes and hips.

Good dance form relies upon strong outer glutes and hips.

If you want to sound like a fitness sophisticate, refer to the outer glute and hip muscles as your gluteus medius muscles. They deserve the distinctive name as these muscles perform important functions, such as moving your leg away from the center of your body, internal and external hip rotation and pelvic stabilization. A weak gluteus medius muscle might trigger knee pain or illiotibial band syndrome, a condition that causes outer thigh and lateral knee pain. While many exercises work your hip and outer glutes, some are more effective than others.

The Clam Shell

Assume a side-lying position with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and your feet together.

Keep your heels together and lift your top knee, so that it points toward the ceiling.

Return to the starting position. Perform 15 repetitions, then switch sides.

Side Plank With Abduction

Lie on an exercise mat on your right side with your legs straight and your left leg stacked on top of the right. Bend your right elbow and position it directly under your shoulder.

Lift your hips and knees off of the mat.

Remain in the lifted position and raise your left leg, keeping your knee facing directly ahead.

Lower your left leg, then lower your hips. Perform 15 repetitions, then switch sides.

Front Plank With Hip Extension

Assume a plank position with your legs extended, toes curled under, your elbows and forearms on the mat and abdominal muscles contracted.

Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle.

Contract your butt muscles and lift your right leg, maintaining a neutral alignment of your spine.

Return to the starting position. Perform 15 repetitions, then switch sides.

The Dirty Dog

Kneel on the exercise mat with your arms straight, your wrists aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips.

Bend your right knee, contract your glutes and lift your leg to hip height.

Keep your leg lifted, and rotate it out to the side, so that it forms a straight line with your hip. Imagine a dog at a fire hydrant.

Return to the starting position, perform 15 repetitions and change sides.

Step Up and Squat

Place three to five risers under an aerobic step. Check to see if the risers are secure.

Place your right foot at the center of the step, and allow your straight left leg to dangle off the rear of the step.

Bend your right knee and push your hips back into a squat position.

Push your hips forward and straighten your right leg.

Step down with your left foot, then your right foot. Repeat for 15 repetitions, then change sides.

Items you will need

  • Exercise mat
  • Aerobic step


  • Engage your core muscles while performing these exercises


  • Avoid arching your back.
  • Consult your doctor if you have been inactive, or have suffered an injury.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM
Brought to you by LIVESTRONG.COM

About the Author

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images