Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Medius muscle activity during common rehabilitation exercises in healthy postmenopausal women Academic Article uri icon


  • Study Design Controlled laboratory study, cross-sectional. Background The gluteus medius (GMed) and gluteus minimus (GMin) provide dynamic stability of the hip joint and pelvis. These muscles are susceptible to atrophy and injury in individuals during menopause, aging, and disease. Numerous studies have reported on the ability of exercises to elicit high levels of GMed activity; however, few studies have differentiated between the portions of the GMed, and none have examined the GMin. Objectives To quantify and rank the level of muscle activity of the 2 segments of the GMin (anterior and posterior fibers) and 3 segments of the GMed (anterior, middle, and posterior fibers) during 4 isometric and 3 dynamic exercises in a group of healthy, postmenopausal women. Methods Intramuscular electrodes were inserted into each segment of the GMed and GMin in 10 healthy, postmenopausal women. Participants completed 7 gluteal rehabilitation exercises, and average normalized muscle activity was used to rank the exercises from highest to lowest. Results The isometric standing hip hitch with contralateral hip swing was the highest-ranked exercise for all muscle segments except the anterior GMin, where it was ranked second. The highest-ranked dynamic exercise for all muscle segments was the dip test. Conclusion The hip hitch and its variations maximally activate the GMed and GMin muscle segments, and may be useful in hip muscle rehabilitation in postmenopausal women. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2017;47(12):914-922. Epub 15 Oct 2017. doi:10.2519/jospt.2017.7229.

publication date

  • 2017