5 Side-Lying Hip Abduction Benefits

Side-lying hip abduction is one of the most popular exercises for the hip abductor. Not only does it strengthen the muscles, but it can also improve balance, relieve knee pain, and strengthen glutes.

While side-lying hip abductions may seem like a complex exercise, they are easy to do and great to strengthen the lateral glutes. These muscles are essential for supporting the knee, but they are also the most commonly injured muscles in the body.

The best way to perform a side-lying hip abduction is to sit on a bench or even on the floor. You can use a yoga mat or any other padded surface. A good mat will support your back and help you avoid any painful joint issues.

How to do side-lying hip abduction?

To perform side-lying hip abductions,

  • You need to sleep on your side, keeping your hand as support for a head.
  • Then, lift your left leg and raise it up. 
  • Repeat this for 5 to 10 times for the left leg.
  • You can do this same exercise for the right leg too. 
  • You should feel the stretch in your gluteus medius.
  • Continue doing this exercise until you reach the desired level of comfort. 
  • Stop the practice immediately and contact your doctor if you notice any pain.

Why should you do side-lying hip abduction exercises?

One of the best ways to get the most out of your side-lying hip abductions is to do them with resistance tubing. Loop the tubing around one ankle and step on the other with the ball of your other foot. The closer you get to the end of the tubing, the more resistance you will encounter.

Side-lying hip abductions are essential exercises for the hips, but many ignore them until they become injured. That’s why it’s vital to focus on your training and use the right exercises for your needs.

Make sure you do them at the right intensity and maintain perfect form. Then repeat the exercise two to three times a week, or until your muscles begin to complain.

If you are a runner, you might have problems with your hamstrings and glutes because of your lack of strength in the hip abductors. Therefore, you should strengthen them regularly. They can improve your running speed and performance and help prevent joint injuries.

5 Side-lying hip abduction benefits

Compared to traditional exercises, side-lying hip abduction is an excellent choice for everyday life. It is easy to perform and does not require any bulky equipment.

It is a versatile exercise that works the gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae, and other abdominal muscles.

Here are some of the benefits of side-lying hip abduction.

Strengthen abductor’s muscles

Aside from improving posture and promoting muscle endurance, side-lying hip abduction exercises can help strengthen the abductor muscles of the hips.

While these muscles are often overlooked and are essential for daily activities, they become weak and prone to injury. This results in an imbalanced body that causes pain and poor posture.

This type of exercise requires a neutral spine and is easy to perform.

  • Lie on your back, flex your hips and raise your leg to 45 degrees to get started. 
  • Then roll to the other side and repeat.

Strengthen the inner and outer thighs

Aside from being an excellent way to improve overall posture, side-lying hip abductions also help strengthen the inner and outer thighs.

You can perform side-lying hip abductions anywhere without using bulky exercise equipment. You can do this exercise with or without a mat, but a padded surface will provide more comfort.

Increase lower abdominal strength

While side-lying hip abduction is an excellent way to increase your lower abdominal strength and tone, they’re not suitable for everyone.

They’re best done on a padded surface and are easier to incorporate into your routine than other exercises. For the most effective side-lying hip abduction exercise, you must stand up from the carpet and place your legs at the sides. Your knees should be parallel and your back straight.

Improve posture and leg balance

The abductor muscles are the most common part of the hip and are essential for athletic performance.

Aside from strengthening the gluteus medius, side-lying hip abduction exercises also help improve the posture and balance of the legs.

Reduce knee valgus

The side-lying hip abduction exercise can also help you reduce valgus in your knees. It requires you to raise the top leg while maintaining a stable hip position.

Doing ten repetitions of this exercise can improve your balance and increase flexibility. If you’re a sportsperson, side-lying hip abduction exercises can also help you improve your athletic performance.

A good side-lying hip abduction routine will increase your stamina while improving your balance and core muscles.

Identifying a weak hip abductor

  • The first step in identifying a weak hip abductor is to undergo a thorough physical examination. 
  • Symptoms of an ailing hip abductor include a tendency to overextend the thigh and lean out of alignment. 
  • This is known as a lateral list and can cause tightness in the quadratus lumborum. 
  • The next step is to perform exercises that strengthen the gluteus medius and psoas.

Symptoms of weak hip abductors

A person with weak hip abductors will have the following symptoms.

Difficulty in pelvis level

A person with weak hip abductors will have difficulty keeping their pelvis level in the frontal plane.

Trendelenburg gait

The first symptom of an ailing hip abductor is a Trendelenburg gait, where the opposite hip drops during walking. This leads to a waddling pace.

Difficulty in standing up

Additionally, a person with a weak hip adductor may have difficulty standing up after sitting for long periods.

Tissue adhesions and knee pain

In addition to causing knock knees, weak hip abductors may cause soft tissue adhesions and knee pain. These can be treated using various methods that improve circulation and restore mobility.

Here are some of these treatments: 

  • A physical therapist will help you identify and treat your weak hip abductors. 
  • You may feel knock knees or other joint conditions caused by weakness of the hip abductors. 
  • A physiotherapist can provide treatment.

What does side-lying hip abduction do?

The side-lying hip abduction exercise works the glutes by increasing the abduction of the hip joint.

Aside from addressing the pain in the hips, side-lying hip abduction exercises are also helpful for strengthening other muscles.

It is easy to do and does not require bulky equipment. The gluteus medius and tensor fasciae latae are activated in this exercise.

Also Read: How to massage pelvic floor muscles?

Does hip abduction make hips bigger?

While doing hip-targeted workouts isn’t a replacement for hip-lifting, it will enhance your core strength, coordination, and flexibility. The best way to do these exercises is to use a machine.

Performing these exercises is best done once or twice a week for a consistent and steady workout. Try to do them for at least thirty reps each. For beginners, it’s recommended to do hip abduction workouts using just bodyweight.

Does hip abduction make thighs smaller?

While it may seem counterintuitive, the exercises can improve your thigh size. You should work your gluteal muscles to make your thighs appear slimmer. Your glutes are responsible for the movement of your hips and thigh bones, so working them is critical to your health and appearance.

A good hip abduction exercise works the small muscles in your butt and hips. Repeated use will help you tone these muscles, and it can make your thighs look smaller. It’s also essential to eat a proper diet to help you get the most from your exercises.

To increase the effectiveness of hip abduction exercises, you should do them regularly. You can do these workouts on any surface if you perform them for enough reps. It’s recommended to perform hip abductions on the same day as other lower body exercises.

What do hip abductions help with?

While abductor’s muscles are essential for walking, they can also help prevent or relieve knee and hip pain. These exercises can strengthen and stabilize the hip, critical for proper knee and leg mobility.

The abductor’s muscles are essential for balancing the pelvic region to improve balance and stability. This area requires strength and balance for optimal function.

Weak hip abductors are the cause of many common injuries to the legs. Besides putting extra pressure on the knees, they can also lead to plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy. When you train these muscles, you can reduce pain and increase their strength, which will protect your body from injury.


The side-lying hip abduction is best for beginners because it allows the muscles to work more effectively. It can be challenging at first, so beginners should start out with smaller ranges of motion. As you increase the difficulty of your exercises, add resistance bands or ankle weights.

You can also perform this exercise on an exercise mat. Just make sure you lie on a firm surface, such as a floor mat. A good mat is helpful if you practice side-lying hip abduction at home. Still, an unpadded floor may feel more comfortable.

A side-lying hip abduction exercise is easy to do, but it should be appropriately performed. A common mistake when performing this exercise is to serve the movement too quickly. Make sure you are not raising your head or neck to avoid this. You will only be injuring yourself and the muscles of your lower back.

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