Hip Abduction – Using Resistance Bands (Leg Exercise)

By: Dr. Marc Robinson, PT, DPT, Cert. MDT

Standing hip abduction helps to strengthen an important muscle in the hip called the gluteus medius.

 In this video, I demonstrate how to perform standing hip abduction using resistance bands to strengthen the glutes and keep you pain-free.

Step 1: Place the padded doorstop at the bottom of the door and pull one end of the resistance band through the loop on the doorstop.

Step 2: Fasten the ankle strap around the ankle. The Evercore ankle strap has thicker padding than most resistance band sets to prevent the strap from digging into the ankle.

Step 3: Attach the clip to the ankle strap as shown in the video.  The band can also be attached without looping to reduce tension.

Step 4: Step away from the door to create tension in the resistance band.

Step 5: Activate the abdominals and glutes before raising the outside leg slightly off the ground and slightly backwards.

Step 6: Bring the outside leg to the side slowly as far as you can while keeping your pelvis level. Return slowly to the starting position.

Common Mistakes:

1. Outside Hip Moves Forward – The outside leg has a tendency to move forward due to overuse of the hip flexor muscle. The hip flexors make the exercise easier; however, moving the leg forward will reduce demand on the hip abductors which is not the purpose of the exercise.
2. Pelvis Tilt Upward – Try to keep the pelvis level throughout the movement. There is a tendency to lean sideways and raise the pelvis upward with this exercise.
3. Moving Too Fast- The movement should be completely slow and controlled. Try not to use momentum to bring the leg out to the side.
4. Spine Over-arches or Bends Forward Too Much- The abdominals should be drawn in and the low back should maintain a neutral position.

Muscles Targeted

1. Gluteus Medius
2. Gluteus Minimus
3. Gluteus Maximus
4. Hip External Rotators

Why Perform Standing Hip Abduction with Resistance Bands?  

The gluteus medius is the main hip abductor muscle. It helps to stabilize the pelvis as you stand on one leg; therefore, this exercise targets the gluteus medius in each hip at the same time.

The gluteus medius plays an important role in reducing knee pain and compression at the knee joint with activities.  If the resistance band is looped as shown in the video, then it provides major resistance with hip abduction. The lighter bands (yellow) should be used until you can perform at least 12 reps with good form.

The Evercore resistance bands allow you to strengthen the hips effectively with the standing hip abduction exercise. You can find the resistance bands on sale here.

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