I saw this one on @bretcontreras1 feed the other day, and had to give it a shot myself. And wow, it’s a doozy. As we have highlighted before, the side plank has the highest MVIC of any bodyweight exercise for the glute med. Adding movement on the top leg FURTHER enhances the amount of muscle activation due to the challenge of controlling the pelvis. The two keys when moving your leg are to:
✅ Maintain a full on contraction of the glute, continually driving your knee into the bench. Do not let your hips sink.
✅ Keep your hips still. Do not let them rotate forward or backwards.
The best part of this exercise is the 2-for-1 bonus of a sidelying hip abduction of the top glute in addition to the sideplank for the bottom glute. Furthermore, by doing this exercise off a bench we can increase the range of motion the hip must go through, thereby increasing the demand and difficulty of the exercise. Keys for this aspect of the exercise are to:
✅ Internally rotate the leg. A study by McBeth 2012 found that hip abduction + ER actually produced less glute med activation and more TFL activation and hip abduction alone. Also, internal rotation will bias the anterior portion of the glute med.
✅ Bring your leg down in front of your body then raise your leg behind your body. This motion induces a bit of extension which should biomechanically favor the hip extensors over the hip flexors (TFL).
Shoot for 2 sets of 20-30reps. Progress by using an ankle weight or a band around the knees. Regress this exercise by only performing a side plank OR side-lying hip abduction instead of both together. Tag a friend looking for glute med gains!!