Get 44% Off. Only $8.33/mo

Best Hip Abductor Exercises For Stronger Glutes

793 Views

Listen to the post, Best Hip Abductor Exercises For Stronger Glutes, on our Live Lean TV Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast!

Prevent Knee And Hip Pain With These Glute Exercises

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing the best hip abductor exercises for stronger glutes to prevent hip and knee pain.

Last week I shared the best adductor exercises to strengthen the muscles on the inner thigh.

I also shared this YouTube Shorts video, which, if you look at the comments, a few people misinterpreted what I was actually saying.

I’ll touch on that later at the end of this post.

Today I want to share the best hip abductor exercises to strengthen the abductor muscles. 

But first, let’s quickly cover a high level overview of the anatomy of the hip abductor muscles.

Anatomy Of Hip Abductor Muscles

The hip abductor muscles are a group of muscles found on the outer thigh. 

The primary hip abductor muscles include:

  • Gluteus medius 
  • Gluteus minimus
  • TFL

The secondary hip abductor muscles include:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Piriformis
  • Sartorious

These abductor muscles are targeted with exercises that move your legs away from the midline of your body.

Now let’s talk about the benefits of strengthening your hip abductor muscles.

Benefits Of Strengthening Your Hip Abductor Muscles

Knowing how to train your hip abductor muscles properly will help you: 

  • Transform your flat butt into a set of strong glutes that fill out your jeans
  • Become a stronger, powerful and more explosive athlete
  • Improve your stability, especially when balancing on one leg 
  • Prevent and heal knee and hip pain
  • Reduce knee valgus
    • i.e. knock knees, where you knees cave in when you squat

Just like the adductor muscles, these abductor muscles are often neglected, unless you know how to target them with the right types of strengthening exercises.

Since many people are sitting for long periods of time during the day, this lack of usage can often de-activate your glues from properly activating during your leg workouts.

When your abductors aren’t firing and contracting when they should be, your body compensates by activating other muscles that aren’t designed to be used during specific movements.

This often leads to poor performance and pain, which is one of the reasons why so many men and women have hip and knee pain.

Pros And Cons Of HIIT Cardio

As mentioned, if you notice your knees cave in when you squat, this is often a sign of weak hip abductor strength.

By focusing on these hip abductor exercises, you can strengthen your abductor muscles, which helps stop your knees from caving in, thus ultimately reducing the risk of future hip and knee problems.

With that said, here are the best hip abductor exercises for stronger glutes to prevent hip and knee pain.

Best Hip Abductor Exercises For Stronger Glutes

The most effective way to target and strengthen your hip abductor muscles, is to incorporate a combination of compound and isolation leg movements.

When it comes to most of these compound and isolation movements, it’s very beneficial to incorporate resistance bands, especially a Hip Circle Resistance Band or loop band.

The goal is to push your knees out against the resistance band which helps contract and activate your glutes, especially when it’s bodyweight only.

I personally love using this Sling Shot Hip Circle Resistance band from Mark Bell.

This isn’t sponsored by them, but if you want to try it, here’s an amazon affiliate link to get one.

I think they’re only around $20 and well worth it.

#1. Banded Barbell Hip Thrust With Shoulders Elevated

The Banded Barbell Hip Thrust With Shoulders Elevated is one of the best exercises that targets the glutes.

By adding the band around your knees, it provides you with a cue to press your knees out against the band, which helps activate the abductor muscles, and provides an even better muscle contraction.

To get started:

  1. Load a barbell with weight in front of a sturdy bench, step, or box, then sit down to place the band just above your knees.
  2. Sit down on the floor with your upper mid back and shoulders against a bench.
  3. Carefully roll the loaded barbell over your legs and across your hips.
  4. With your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet firmly planted into the floor, grip the barbell with an overhand grip for balance.
  5. Contract your core, then press your knees out against the bands as you press your feet, especially your heels, into the floor to raise and extend your hips.
  6. Pause and squeeze your glutes hard at the top of the thrust, with your knees to your shoulders in a straight line.
  7. While keeping your core contracted, under control, slowly lower your glutes back towards the ground and repeat without touching the floor.
  8. Repeat for reps.

#2. Banded Barbell Back Squat

The Banded Barbell Back Squat is an excellent leg exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

By adding the band around your knees, it provides you with a cue to press your knees out against the band, which helps activate the abductor muscles, and provides an even better muscle contraction in the glutes.

To get started:

  1. Place the band just above your knees.
  2. With a hip width stance, place the barbell across the back of your shoulders and grasp it with an overhand grip.
  3. While maintaining a natural arch in your back and keeping your torso upright, press your knees out against the band as you lower your body into a squat, by bending at your hips, then knees, until your thighs reach parallel to the ground or deeper depending on your mobility.
  4. Rise back up to standing by pressing the entire platform of your feet through the ground, and pressing your knees out against the band.
  5. Repeat for reps.

#3. Banded Lateral Walk

The Banded Lateral Walk is an excellent exercise to activate and isolate the hip abductor muscles and glutes.

To get started:

  1. With a shoulder width stance, place a hip circle resistance band or loop band above your knees.
  2. Bend your knees to get into an athletic position, contract your core to protect your lower back, then laterally take one step to the side with one foot, keeping your toes pointing forward.
  3. Laterally step with the other foot, as you continue to move in the same direction, staying low, while keeping your hips level, and your chest pointing forward.
  4. Repeat for reps or time.

#4. Banded Side Lying Hip Abduction

The Banded Side Lying Hip Abduction is an exercise that strengthens the abductor muscles found on the outer glutes.

By adding the band around your knees, it helps activate the abductor muscles, and provides an even better muscle contraction in the glutes.

If you don’t have access to a hip circle or loop band, you can simply complete the side lying hip abduction using your bodyweight.

To get started:

  1. Place a band just above your knees, or if you have a more stretchy band, you can add it around your ankles.
  2. Lie down on the floor on your side, with your legs extended and stacked on top of each other.
  3. Your bottom arm is extended and pressed into the floor, with your top arm bent and pressed into the floor in front of your body.
  4. Under control, raise your extended top leg away from the midline of your body to feel a good contraction in the outer glute.
  5. To increase the mind to muscle connection, I like to place my top hand on top of my outer glute to feel the contraction.
  6. Under control, reverse the movement to lower your leg, without allowing it to rest.
  7. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#5. Banded Clamshell Exercise

The Banded Clamshell Exercise is an exercise that can help with hip and glute activation so you can get the most out of your compound leg exercises like squats and deadlifts.

If you don’t have access to a hip circle or loop band, you can simply complete the clamshell exercise using your bodyweight.

To get started:

  1. Grab a small resistance band or hip circle band, put both of your feet inside, and position it above your knees.
  2. Next, lie down on you side on the floor and bend your knees so they form a 90 degree angle, with your heels in line with your glutes.
  3. Spread your knees as far apart as possible, without rotating your back or pelvis.
  4. Squeeze to feel a good contraction in your hips and glutes, then under control, reverse the movement back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for reps, then switch legs and repeat.

#6. Banded Fire Hydrant Exercise

The Banded Fire Hydrant is an exercise that is great for isolating and activating the hip abductor muscles and glutes.

If you don’t have access to a band, you can complete the fire hydrant exercise using just your bodyweight.

To get started:

  1. Place a hip circle resistance band or loop band above your knees.
  2. Get down on the floor with your hands planted directly beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  3. While keeping your knee bent, lift one leg up and out to the side as high as possible without twisting your torso. Your upper body should remain locked down and parallel to the ground at all times.
  4. Under control, lower your bent knee back towards the floor, without resting.
  5. Complete all the reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat.

#7. Banded Iso Squat Hip Abduction

The Banded Iso Squat Hip Abduction is an exercise that is great for isolating and activating the hip abductor muscles and glutes.

To get started:

  1. Place a hip circle resistance band or loop band above your knees.
  2. With a hip width stance, bend at your hips, then your knees, to lower your body down into a squat.
  3. While holding the isometric squat position, continue to press your knees out against the band to contract your abductor muscles, then bring them back to the starting position.
  4. Continue this in and out motion, while keeping your chest upright and your glutes and core contracted.
  5. Repeat for reps or time.

#8. Seated Banded Hip Abduction

The Seated Banded Hip Abduction is an isolation exercise to activate the hip abductor muscles and glutes.

To get started:

  1. While sitting on a sturdy bench, step, box, or chair, place a hip circle resistance band or loop band above your knees.
  2. Sit up tall with your legs bent and feet firmly pressed into the floor.
  3. Press your knees out against the resistance band, while keeping your feet stationary and pressed into the floor.
  4. Hold for a brief moment to feel the squeeze and contraction on the outside of your glutes.
  5. The only movement is from the in and out motion of the knees.
  6. Then under control, reverse the movement back to the starting position.
  7. Repeat for time or reps.

#9. Standing Cable Hip Abduction

The Standing Cable Hip Abduction is an exercise that strengthens the abductor muscles and glutes.

To get started:

  1. Connect an ankle attachment to the low pulley on a cable machine, then secure it around the ankle furthest away from the cable machine.
  2. While standing to the side of the cable machine, hold on to the machine with one arm for balance, then take a step away until the cable is tight.
  3. Bring your extended leg with the weight away from your body.
  4. You should feel a good contraction in the outer glute muscles.
  5. Under control, reverse the movement to bring your leg back to the starting point, without allowing the weight to rest.
  6. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#10. Standing Banded Hip Abduction

The Standing Banded Hip Abduction is an exercise that strengthens the abductor muscles and glutes.

To get started:

  1. Place a hip circle resistance band or loop band above your knees.
  2. While standing, hold on to a stable object with one arm for balance.
  3. Bring your extended outside leg away from your body.
  4. You should feel a good contraction in the outer glute muscles.
  5. Under control, reverse the movement to bring your leg back to the starting point, without allowing the leg to rest on the floor.
  6. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

#11. Standing Single Leg Hip Abduction Machine

The Standing Single Leg Hip Abduction Machine can be used to isolate and strengthen the abductor muscles found on the outside of the glutes.

To get started:

  1. While facing the machine, grip the handles with your hands, and lift your leg up to place the outside of your leg close to the knee region, against the pad.
  2. Using your outer glute muscles, push against the pad to move your leg away from the midline of your body.
  3. Hold this position for a brief moment to feel a good glute muscle contraction, then slowly release back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat all the reps on one leg, then switch legs and repeat. 

#12. Seated Hip Abductor Machine

The Seated Hip Abductor Machine can be used to isolate and strengthen the muscles in the glutes.

I like to use it as a glute activator exercise before squats and deadlifts.

To get started:

  1. Sit down on the seat and press the outside of your legs against the pads.
  2. Depending on your body type, you may want to keep your back pressed into the bench or lean slightly forward. Give both ways a try to see which feels best for your body.
  3. While keeping your spine neutral press your legs out to feel a good contraction in your glutes. Hold this position for a second to feel a good squeeze, then in a slow and controlled manner, reverse the movement back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for reps.

Since the glute muscles have a slightly higher proportion of slow twitch muscle fibers, many of these movements should be targeted with higher reps.

Important Note On Training Your Hip Abductor Muscles

I also want to make it clear that these abductor and adductor isolation exercises should not make up the majority of your leg workouts.

To explain why, I shared this YouTube Shorts video.

In the title, I used the word “Girly” in quotes, since many guys incorrectly avoid the adductor and abductor machine, as they think these exercises are “girly”.

Since you mainly see girls using these abductor and adductor machines, I don’t blame uninformed guys for thinking that.

Unfortunately, if you read the comments, a few people misunderstood why I used the quoted word “Girly”, ignored all the other text on the screen, thus clearly missed the main point of the video.

This point was to highlight the importance of incorporating adductor and abductor exercises into your workouts, especially if you are a guy.

However, I wanted to highlight that these isolation abductor and adductor exercises are not intended to be the main exercise in your leg workout program.

I explained that I use them as activator exercises to activate the adductor muscles on the inner thigh and abductor muscles, to improve squat strength and mechanics.

In other words, they should be used as an activator exercise to prepare you for the major compound lifts, which are the exercises you should be focusing more time on.

Hopefully that clears it up.

Join My Workout App To Build Muscle In A Healthy Way

Try Our Live Lean Workout App Free For 7 Days

If you want to optimize your workouts and remove all the guesswork, you can now get all my muscle building, strength, fat loss, and mobility workouts inside my workout app for free for 7 days.

When you join my app, not only will you be supporting me, you’ll also be building a stronger, leaner, and more athletic, injury free body.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.


READY TO BEGIN YOUR LIVE LEAN JOURNEY?

Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.

Take the Free Live Lean Body Quiz

GET STARTED BUTTON


Did You Enjoy This Post On The Best Hip Abductor Exercises For Stronger Glutes?

If you enjoyed this post on the Best Hip Abductor Exercises For Stronger Glutes, show your love by clicking the social media buttons to share this with your friends.

Subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel and leave a comment below on what you want to see in future posts.

Question Of The Day:

  • Which of these hip abductor exercises do you regularly incorporate into your workouts?
  • Are you excited to get access to every program now in our app?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.

Check out our free workout videos here.

Check out my free recipe cooking videos here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *