The glute minimus is frequently worked during squats, deadlifts, lunges, and glute-specific exercises; however, hip abduction exercises and variations can specifically target the glute minimus.

Strong glute and hip extensions, stable knees, and enhanced athletic performance are all benefits of strong glute minimus muscles. To further isolate the glute minimus, other banded exercises such lateral steps and monster walks can be performed in addition to the majority lower body exercises like squats and lunges.

We will go into great depth on how to  train the glute minimus more efficiently in this article. Additionally, there are  10 Best Glutes Minimus Exercises that you can add to any programme to enhance the growth, functionality, and injury resistance of your glutes.

How Do You Activate Your Glutes Minimus? 

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You can move slowly and concentrate on feeling the muscle flex and stretch under load when trying to activate the gluteus minimus, or any other muscle for that matter.

Any exercise on this list should allow you to maintain that level of concentration, but some people find it difficult to do so with heavier loads and/or more complex movements, in which case cables, bands, and isolation exercises can be useful.

Glute Minimus Exercises With Dumbbells 

1. Deficit Dumbbell Sumo Squat

The deficit dumbbell sumo squat is a version of the deadlift that requires the lifter to adopt a wider stance and stand on a platform to extend the movement\’s range of motion.

Having a broader stance enables external hip rotation of the leg while the deficit permits deeper hip flexion angles. When combined, these two elements can produce a powerful exercise that targets the glute minimus and builds the glutes.

How To Do It

  • Grab two dumbbells or one large dumbbell and stand on a platform to create a deficit of 2-4\’.
  • Have the feet turned out and broader than usual to support the weight between the legs.
  • Sit as low as you can while maintaining your wide stance, your weight in your heels, and your upright posture.
  • You will target more glutes as you descend.
  • At the bottom of the motion, pause, then rise up.
  • You can also use pulse reps to maintain gluteal tension without fully standing up.

Pro-Tip

Sit down carefully, and try to concentrate on utilising your glutes to stand up rather than your lower back.

2. Dumbbell Walking Lunge

The dumbbell walking lunge is a fantastic glute-focused workout that works the glute minimus as well as the other sections of the glute.

The action trains the entire glute, so it may not be 100% glute minimus focused, but it will still enable you to efficiently train the full glute, making your glute-focused workout much more effective and efficient.

How To Do It

  • Have one dumbbell in each hand while grabbing a pair of them.
  • Perform a walking lunge while maintaining your posture, letting your knee lightly touch the ground.
  • Get up and continue onward motion.
  • Repeat for reps, being sure to control the lunge\’s descending motion at all times.

Pro-Tip

To allow for a deeper range of motion and hip flexion, which might promote glute activation, you can take longer steps or even slightly step outwards on a slight diagonal when you lunge.

3. Single Leg Dumbbell Hip Thrust

The unilateral exercise known as the single leg hip thrust specifically targets the glutes as a whole. Additionally, because it requires the glute minimus to stabilise the pelvis during this difficult unilateral hip thrust, this is a fantastic glute minimus exercise.

Similar to the double-legged hip thrust, the single-legged dumbbell hip thrust is sometimes carried out with the back supported by a bench to broaden the range of motion and encourage deeper hip flexion and extension.

How To Do It

Put your upper back on a bench to begin.
Put a dumbbell on your hips while standing with your feet together in front of you and your knees bent at 90 degrees.
Put all of your weight on one leg, then bring up the other leg or extend it in front of you so it is not supporting any weight.
Make careful you lift the hips with the glutes rather than by stretching the lower back.
When you reach the apex of the exercise, pause. Then, softly descend your hips.

Pro-Tip

This exercise\’s secret is to swiftly build up a tonne of fatigue, frequently with moderate to light loads and greater reps. Try to keep your resting time to a maximum of 15 to 30 seconds, and keep performing reps until your glutes start to hurt.

4. Dumbbell Bulgarians Split Squat

The unilateral Bulgarian split squat with dumbbells works the glutes and quads. The Bulgarian split squat is a great exercise to increase glute strength and growth even if it is not specifically targeted to the glute minimus.

Perform the Bulgarian split squat with the front foot elevated to widen the range of motion and heighten hip flexion in order to increase glute engagement in this exercise.

How To Do It

Start by putting one of your legs on a bench behind you while holding dumbbells in either hand.
You should place your lead foot around 2-3 feet in front of the bench.
Allow the front leg to bend so that your back knee touches the ground while keeping your back knee bent. Stand up while shifting all of your weight to the lead leg, and repeat.

Pro-Tip

Make sure the back leg is not bearing too much of the weight. In order to put more strain on the lead leg and glute muscles, you should not bear much weight on the rear leg.

5. Standing Cable Hip Abduction

The standing cable hip abduction exercise isolates the glute minimus rather than the entire gluteus maximus.

It is better to do this exercise with gradual eccentrics and controlled speeds because it does not require you to lift a lot of weight.

How To Do It

Affix an ankle strap to the cable clip\’s end while putting your outside leg through the loop.
Step out a foot or two from the cable post, making careful you maintain your grip on the post with your inside arm for balance.
Lift your outside leg outward with it in the loop while keeping your body still.
Your toes should either slightly bend outwards or remain pointed in the direction you are facing.
Lift your leg as high as you can while maintaining a straight, extended knee
At the apex of the exercise, pause, and tighten your glutes.
Reps should be performed by gradually lowering the leg.

Pro-Tip

Use lighter loads and concentrate on finite glute control and muscular contractions with this exercise. Avoid using too much momentum and concentrate on raising the legs solely with the glute minimus.

6. Wide Stance Cable Pull Through

A hip hinge exercise that targets the gluteus maximus, glute minimus, and hamstrings is the wide stance pull cable pull through. Additionally, this exercise is an effective hamstring and glute development workout for all fitness levels.

By adopting a slightly broader stance and rotating your toes outward to induce external rotation at the hips, you can more effectively isolate the glute minimus.

How To Do It

In front of a cable system, arrange yourself such that the cable is in the lowest position.
Grab a rope attachment (or other handle attachment), and while holding the rope in front of your body at the hips (arms straight, facing away from the cable stack), have the cable flow through the legs.
Perform a hinging motion, similar to a Romanian deadlift, by stepping away from the machine so that you have tension on the cables.
More hamstring and glute work will be done in the exercise if you can maintain a flat back and straight knees.

Pro-Tip

Focus on the top half of the movement. If you are looking to get a great hamstring workout, by all means go the full depth, however by restricting the movement to the top half or so, you can really emphasize glute engagement and hip extension.

7. Lateral Banded Walk

The dynamic lateral band walk is a wonderful warm-up exercise for the glute minimus since it targets the muscle specifically.

The band around the feet, ankles, or even low shins might be used for this.

How To Do It

Wear a hip circle or tiny band around your ankles.
Keep your knees straight at all times when standing tall.
Although you can perform these while squatting down into an athletic stance, keeping your knees locked and standing tall will better isolate the glute minimus.
Step outward with your outside foot a little distance, then step your leg inside a short distance to bring your posture back up to hip width.
Repeat this for as many reps as necessary, then walk back while putting your opposite leg in front of you.

Pro-Tip

Consider taking tiny, methodical actions rather than big ones. Take your time with this activity.

8. Monster Walk

Similar to the lateral banded walk, the monster walk has you moving forward or backward while wearing a band around your hips, knees, or shins in an athletic stance.

This dynamic exercise works the glute minimus and hip flexors in particular to warm up the hips.

How To Do It

The high thighs, knees, or shins should be wrapped in a hip circle or miniband.
Your feet should be somewhat wider than hip width as you face forward.
Enter an athletic posture by slightly bending the knees and hips.
Keep your feet at least hip-width apart as you gently advance, moving as though you were creeping, to maintain stress on the bands.
For steps, keep moving forward.
Additionally, you may try walking backwards.

Pro-Tip

Similar to banded lateral walks, but with the added benefit of being able to target the entire hip and knee complex rather than just the glute minimus by crouching down.

9. Side Lying Banded Hip Abduction

This exercise is very similar to the standing cable hip abduction and may be performed by lying on your side with a tiny band around the ankles. To make this action more challenging, you must lie on your side and keep your knees straight.

To obtain a strong contraction on the glute minimus, perform this exercise slowly and deliberately while holding the leg at the height of the movement.

How To Do It

Lay on your side on the ground to begin.
Straighten your knees and wrap a little band around your ankles.
While lifting the top leg against the tiny band\’s resistance, keep your knees straight.
Pause at the apex of the exercise, then squeeze the glute minimus on the side.
Repeat the movement for reps while maintaining the bands\’ tension, then switch sides.

Pro-Tip

This exercise is excellent for specifically targeting the glute minimus. Try to perform them for a high number of repetitions, and for added glute minimus stress, add lengthier pauses at the top of the exercise.

10. Wide Stance Banded Hip Thrust

The wide stance banded hip thrust is a hip thrust performed with a band around the knees and the back resting on a bench (or the floor). Both higher band resistance (more tension) and the ability to turn your toes out more for greater hip external rotation are achieved by the wider stance.

Allow the knees to turn outward and point in the same direction as the knees, as with any wide stance movement. Avoid letting the band cause the knees and legs to fall inward.

How To Do It

Start by sitting on a bench or the floor with your upper back there (the bench will provide you more range of motion and make this exercise more effective).
Walk your feet outward to slightly wider than hip width and turn the toes out 15 to 30 degrees while wearing a tiny band or hip circle around the knees (or just above them).
Knees should be bent between 90 and 110 degrees.
Glute contractions should be used to raise the hips.
Slowly descend, then raise the hip snack upward, being careful to prevent the bands from causing the knees and legs to collapse inward (valgus).

Pro-Tip

Other hip thrust exercises, including those with weights and bars, can be added with this. For certain people who might find it difficult to locate their glutes without the band, wearing a tiny band or hip circle throughout the action will aid to promote glute engagement.

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