Simple Glute Medius Exercise for Runners

I’ve received a few emails asking me to elaborate on one of the glute medius exercises I demonstrated on Instagram a few weeks ago…

The video above describes and demonstrates how to preform the hip hitch exercise, one of my favourite glute medius exercises for runners.

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Hip Hitch Exercise for Glute Medius

The hip hitch exercise is remarkably effective when performed properly, and really quite simple once you get the hang of it.

However, there are a couple of subtleties to the exercise that need to be appreciated, for you to get the most from the drill and avoid using the wrong muscles, such as tensor fascia lata or quadratus lumborum (lower back muscles).

Ideally, you should feel a co-contraction between your glutes, and your abdominal muscles, rather than feeling the movement come from your lower back.

Once you get the hang of the movement, aim for 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg, focussed on form.

Learn how to engage glute medius

The hip hitch provides a great functional progression to the more basic side lying leg raises (shown in the video below), which are great for teaching runners how to engage glute medius.

The side lying leg raises also build intrinsic awareness of what using glute medius should feel like, a proprioceptive awareness you can then take into the hip hitch exercise.

These are a great place to start!

Let me know how you get on in the comments below…

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How to Activate Your Glutes Before Running
Last updated on March 18th, 2021.


  1. A very helpful video, James, as always.
    Just a small question: how much strength training a week should we do? 2 x 20 minutes, 5 x 10 minutes or….more?
    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Eva,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. The answer to your question will vary from athlete to athlete, and at different points in an athlete’s year. If we’re talking ‘in season’ I’m an advocate of little and often… so perhaps 15-20mins 3-5 times weekly. Out of the competitive season, I’d suggest more structured 45-60min sessions in the gym incorporating more heavy strength work.

      I hope this helps.


  2. James I have torn the Illiacus muscle in the hip, have laid of for 9 weeks now but will need to do some type of rehab for that. I first want to rectify before I start with your running training program which I could not use yet due to injuries. Please assist.

  3. Hi James, love the stuff. Have you any experience and views on neural glides? I have had glute issues on and off for a while; have done many glute strengthening exercises and there has been significant improvement but still sometimes plays up. Driving a car can get fairly uncomfortable on one side during a long journey. The comment was made recenetly by a physio I heard speaking that it could well be a nerve issue not muscular, and to try looking up sciatic neural glide. Wondered if you had any experience re this.

  4. Hi James,Thanks for all the videos I have found them very helpful to strengthen muscles after niggling injuries.I have been suffering with my achillies , not during or straight after a run but it wakes me overnight with a dull ache which goes away when I walk about for a while Any thoughts would be appreciated