Proper strength and flexibility in the hips translates throughout your entire body. Above you hips, your back and upper body are supported. When there is weakness or tightness in your hips, your back, shoulders, neck and upper body compensate. Below your hips there is a intricate network of IT band, tendons, ligaments and complicated knee and ankle joints.

The glute medius is one of the key muscles to keep your hips functioning correctly. That is because the glute medius helps control internal rotation of the femur, meaning that it keeps the knee from collapsing inward during the strike phase of running or walking. That collapse can lead to big trouble for the ankle, knee and hip. It is one of the primary causes of trouble for runners of all experience levels. We often think of the gluteus maximus as the primary hip muscle. The small but mighty glute medius needs our attention.

Glute kick exercise

Glute kicks improve the strength of the gluteus maximus and medius and teaches the body to fire these muscles while running, hiking or walking.


  1. Start with a band loop around each ankle.
  2. Keep your legs straight, bring one leg back against resistance.
  3. Keep an upright posture and have the leg movement occur at the hip.
  4. Perform two sets of 20 reps per leg.

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Additional exercises

Check out our key strength exercises and stretching guide for more ways to keep your hips and core strong and flexible.

More band exercises