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The Most Important Muscle Everyone Should Exercise!

I often get asked "What is the one exercise that people should do to stay healthy." And my response is always the same. That's almost impossible to say because every individual is different. However I will say that everyone should exercise this one muscle - the gluteus medius.

The gluteus medius is a lateral hip muscle and is located on the outside posterior aspect of the buttock region. The glut med, as it's also called, function is to lift the leg out to the side (abduction). But it is also responsible for holding the pelvis level during standing and walking. This stability offers support for not only the hips, but also the spine, knees and ankles. Without the stability from the glut med, one can develop injury to the back, hips, knees and ankles. Additionally, weakness of the glut med cab lead to balance issues, gait problems and postural deviations. So how do you exercise the glut med? Here are three simple exercise you can try at home to help strengthen the glut med.

Side-lying Hip Abduction. Start by laying on your side. Bend the bottom knee and straighten the top leg. Bring the top leg slightly back While keeping the abs tight, lift the top leg up and down, making sure to activate the muscles in the side of the hip. Repeat 2 sets of 20.

Modified Side Plank. Start by propping yourself up on your side with your elbow and forearm. Next bend your knees and slide them back so your thighs are in-line with your body. Then pull in your abs and lift your hips up off the floor, so you are supporting yourself on your knees and elbow. Hold for 29 seconds and repeat 2 times on each side.

Monster Side Steps. Using an exercise band, tie it around your ankles snuggly. Then, keeping your toes pointed forward and your knees slightly bent, step sideways for 20 steps. Then repeat in the opposite direction. Make sure to keep your trunk level and upright. Repeat 2 sets.

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