Core Stability and Strength Exercise for Gluteus Medius – Side Scissor Kicks

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Runner’s Strength Exercise: Gluteus Medius-Side Scissor Kicks

In the above video I demonstrate a key exercise that I prescribe to runners develop and improve their hip stability ands strength.

All runners need hip strength, including the lateral (side) muscle groups. These include the gluteus medius, and oblique muscles. This exercise targets both muscle groups as well as a bonus for the top leg!

Exercise Prescription

In my book You CAN Run Pain Free! I outline the three stages of hip stability and strength: activation, strength, and endurance (see diagram below). The side scissor kicks target hip strength and endurance.

For a great gluteus medius activation exercise click HERE>>


The three stages of muscle strength development (pg 247 You CAN Run Pain Free!)

To Begin:

  • Start with 3 x12 repetitions on each side off the elbow
  • Progress to 3 x 12 repetitions off the hand (as the above becomes ‘easy’ or no longer challenging)

To Build Strength:

  • Add a small dumbell or object in the hand that is raised in the air (e.g. 1-2kgs)
  • To progress make the weight heavier (the most weight I have ever held with this exercise has been a 7kg dumbell).

To Build Endurance:

  • Increase the repetitions to 3 x 20 repetitions on each leg (with or without weight)
  • The ideal execution of this exercise is to get to a point of being able to perform  1 set of 50 continuous repetitions on each side (N.B. This takes time to develop to this level). I often challenge runners looking to tackle their first marathon that they ideally will be able to x 50 reps ahead of their marathon.

Transcript (video)

Hi guys, it’s Brad from POGO Physio.  Let’s look at a great exercise for hip stability that I like to give out in the treatment room, to help injured runners and people with hip pain rehabilitate.

It’s called a “side single bridge with scissor kicks”.  It looks like this – on our side, elbow underneath your shoulder, hanging onto the shoulder for support to start with, and then we come up and we kick up and down.  This is a fairly advanced exercise.  When you start out you might want to start with 3 lots of 12 repetitions and as you become more competent with it you can build up to 50 reps continuously.  That’s a tough challenge.  Let’s try it on the other side.

So, elbow underneath the shoulder, feet together, hand up in the air, lifting that top leg making a scissor kick up and down – aiming to build up to 50 reps continuously.  That’s called the “side scissor kick”.


Brad Beer physiotherapist gold coast

Brad Beer (APAM)

Physiotherapist, Author You CAN Run Pain Free!, Founder POGO Physio,

pain free performance Gold Coast physio

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