How to Activate Your Gluteus Medius – The Wall Push (VIDEO)

 In Running

How to Activate Your Gluteus Medius – The Wall Push (VIDEO)

The gluteus medius muscles play a key role in the stability and strength of a runner’s hips. In fact the glut medius is one of the chief stability muscles that controls the degree of hip dropping and sideways movement when a runner lands on each single leg (see below).

When the gluteus medius muscles are strong a runner's hips will not collapse on single leg landing.

When the gluteus medius muscles are strong a runner’s hips will not collapse on single leg landing.

The Wall Push-Great Glut Medius Activation Exercise

I have completed the wall pushes for many years. In fact it was my physiotherapist when I was a junior triathlete who first introduced me to these. So this exercise has been part of my life for more or less twenty plus years!

It’s a great exercise for activating the glut medius. Activation means ‘switching on’ the muscle. It’s analagous to charging up a car battery that has gone flat. Once a muscle has been activated it can then be strengthened, with the final step being to develop muscle endurance (see below schematic).

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

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

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 wall push exercise targets gluteus medius activation.

For a gluteus medius strength and endurance exercise click HERE>>


Push the thigh into the wall (with the hip flush on the wall) with a constant pressure for 30s. Repeat each leg twice.

*TIP: This is a good exercise to do when you clean your teeth in the morning-to ‘prime’ and activate the gluteus medius muscles for the day.


Transcript (video)

Hi guys, Brad from POGO physio.  I want to introduce you to the wall push.  The wall push is brilliant for lower back pain rehabilitation, and also for lower leg injuries.

As the name suggests you need a wall, and you take your inside leg up 90 degrees, and you simply push the thigh into the wall as if you are pushing the wall away.  As you do that you will feel the gluteus on the stance leg activates and engage.  You hold this push for 30 seconds, then you simply repeat on the opposite side: up to the wall, push you thigh into the wall and you will feel that contract 30 seconds and then you simply relax.  Now it is good to repeat this twice.  So you will hold the push for 30 seconds each side x 2 and that is a great one for activating the gluteus.  Enjoy.

Any questions or comments please leave them below.

P.S For a great gluteus medius strengthening exercise check out this exercise -side scissor kicks-click HERE>>, or for an intermediate exercise between the wall push and side scissor kicks -click HERE>>

Yours in running,

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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