Side-Lying Hip Abduction

A Quick Guide to Side-Lying Hip Abductions

also known as

  • Side leg lift
  • Side-lying leg abduction

purpose and benefits

The side-lying hip abduction exercise is designed to strengthen the muscles in your hips and thighs. It specifically targets the gluteus medius and minimus muscles, which are important for stabilizing the pelvis and maintaining proper alignment during movement. By strengthening these muscles, you can improve your balance, stability, and overall lower body strength.

primary muscles used

  • Hip abductors (gluteus medius and gluteus minimus)

secondary muscles used

  • Hip abductor (tensor fasciae latae)
  • Adductor muscles of the inner thigh

How to do side-lying hip abductions

Step-by-step instructions to perform the side-lying hip abduction:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs extended, stacking your hips and shoulders on top of each other. 
  2. Rest your head on your bottom arm, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe.
  3. Engage your core and squeeze your glute muscles.
  4. Lift your top leg as high as you can without rotating your hips or leaning backward.
  5. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, then slowly lower your leg back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and sets, then switch sides and repeat with the other leg.

loading options

  • Bodyweight
  • Resistance bands
  • Ankle weights
  • Dumbbell behind knee
Safety & Precautions

Proper form and technique, combined with an appropriate loading weight, are essential to maximize the benefits of any exercise and minimize the risk of injury.

If you're new to an exercise, start with bodyweight and gradually increase the difficulty as you become stronger. Or consider seeking guidance from a qualified professional to ensure you're performing each exercise correctly for your specific anatomy.