Core Training

Muscle Knockout: Muscles you won’t miss until they’re gone

Introduction to the Muscle KO Series

The purpose of this series is to provide readers with an understanding of how stabilizing groups of muscles work. The more a client knows about how muscles work, the more they can learn from their trainers. This series aims to provide some of that fundamental knowledge.

During the final block of medical anatomy, my classmates and I learned the muscles of the arms and legs. It quickly became difficult to remember exactly what muscle did what and in the company of which other muscles. I found the most effective way to learn how muscles work is to learn about disorders that target specific muscle groups and see what symptoms present in patients.

This article focuses on the insanely interesting (to me) gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which are knocked out in the Trendelenburg gait. Trendelenburg gait is an irregular walking pattern in which the hips sway excessively side to side due to lack of hip stability.

Key Terms:

Abduction: raising the leg to the side, away from the midline

Internal Rotation: twisting the thigh so the kneecap points towards the midline

Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus at Prevail

Many at Prevail Conditioning train their gluteus medius and gluteus minimus whether they know it or not. They are primary stabilizers for walking and all single leg exercises. Many warm-ups include banded movements, like clamshells, that target the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. Lateral band walks and single leg banded hip extension with external rotations also target the abduction and stabilizing roles of the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.



The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus lie deep to the gluteus maximus. Their function is to abduct and internally rotate the thigh. The gluteus medius is particularly important because it is the strongest abductor of the hip muscles. Both muscles begin at the outside 12hipof the hip and descend to the lateral, posterior side of the femur (see figure).

In life, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus contract together whenever a step is taken. When one leg lifts to take a step, both muscles contract to keep the body balanced on the planted foot. Similarly, when one balances on one foot, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus contract to keep the hip level.

Trendelenburg Gait

Trendelenburg gait occurs when the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are weakened, 123hipmeaning abduction at the hip will be weakened. Now when a step is taken, the weight of the raised leg causes that hip to drop. The body then loses stability and leans towards the raised leg. To keep from falling, the lumbar spine bends towards the planted leg (see figure and video).

In the video above, we can see that whenever the patient plants with her left foot, her left hip lurches outward, showing a weakness in the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. This is a common pattern in runners where it can lead to knee and lower back injuries as the hip tilts from side to side every step (Davis et al, 2016).


The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are essential to every step we take. They are the primary hip abductors and critical to athletes’ stability in all single leg exercises.


Washington University Musculoskeletal Atlas

Stanford Medicine 25

Davis IS, Futrell E. Gait Retraining: Altering the Fingerprint of Gait. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America. 2016;27(1):339-355. doi:10.1016/j.pmr.2015.09.002.

Souza RB. An Evidence-Based Videotaped Running Biomechanics Analysis. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America. 2016;27(1):217-236. doi:10.1016/j.pmr.2015.08.006.

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Anatomy Course

Tyler Paras12tyler

B.S. – Cellular Molecular Biology (Westmont)

M.D. Candidate – University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Tyler was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and began training at Prevail in October 2016. While at Westmont he graduated summa cum laude, led a student-run homeless outreach program, and volunteered with Hospice of Santa Barbara.

After Tyler’s mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), he became interested in the cellular mechanisms behind the disease. He conducted his Major Honors project at Westmont on the role of the microbiome in inflammatory arthritis and conducted summers of research at Harvard Medical School studying the role of macrophages in RA. His research has resulted in seven presentations, three at national medical conferences.

Coach Eck’s Training Sessions 2/11/13 – 2/25/13

Prevail Strength Coach Jacob Goodin

Have you ever wondered how Chris “Eck” Ecklund gets his training sessions in despite his busy schedule?  Below are his last eight sessions, complete with the rationale for each lift.  Enjoy!

Coach Eck’s Training Session 2/26/13

by Chris Ecklund, MA, CSCS, USAW

Quick Thoughts:

  1. Early morning session as my schedule was supposed to brutal again today (turned out I had some cancelations so had more time than anticipated).  
  2. I hate working out in the morning.  Takes me forever to get going…but…at least I get to do it, right?!
    1. As such, I didn’t get much done since I got to Prevail later than I wanted and it took me a while to warm up.

Energy System Development is below:

  1. I jumped in with my Adult SPARQ group today since I’m having difficulty getting in any conditioning.  
  2. Great session.  It always makes me work harder and pay attention to my movement patterns when I train with  my clients. (thanks for letting me train with you Wolfy and Liam)

Trainer Workout 7/12/10

After power and balance, the PCPC team tackled a fast-circuit of upper-and lower-body isolations. Check it out.

Circuit 1
6 Slideboard Push Up (place hands on slideboard, slide upper-body to floor and push up, pulling arms back together)
Inverted Bosu balance triangles 30s each leg
6 Dumbbell Push Press
Side Bridge with leg raise 30s hold each side

Circuit 2 (Upper-body Emphasis 8-10 each)
Bent Over Flys
Bicep Curls
Front Raises
Tricep Dips on Bench
Lateral Raises
30 second rest

Circuit 3 (Lower-body Emphasis 8-10 each)

Dumbbell Squats
Single Leg RDL
Lateral Walking Lunges
Single arm tightrope dumbbell carries

These are to be done in quick succession with 30s-1 minute of rest at the end of the circuit. 

Questions about the program? Ask any PCPC Trainer! Be sure to pace yourself and complete in a safe manner at your own risk. Consult a physician before beginning any exercise program.  Enjoy!

Trainer Workout 5/7/10

Here’s another one to enjoy.  Remember, always use loads, tempos and speeds you can maintain perfect technique with.  Poor movement with load = Pain.

Strength and Power
1a. Hang Clean 3×3-6
b.  Non Alt Bent Leg Quadruped Opposites w/MiniBand and Band Resistance 3×8 each, 30-60 seconds recovery

2a.  BB Dead Lift 3×8
b.  Push-ups on Bosu (with leg lifted) 3×10-40
c. Rotating Push-ups on Wobble Board Rotating 3×3-8 each
d.  Reverse Crunch on Bench with SB 3x 8-12, 30 seconds recovery

3a. Foot Elevated Split Squat SB – Foot Elevated Push Up 3×2/2 8-12 total
2. BB RDL – BB High Row 3×2/2 8-12 total, 30 seconds recovery

Metabolic Conditioning:
Each Station 30 secs

1. Mountain Climbers on slide
2. Jump rope
3. Cone Clock Drill
4. Box Jumps Up and Down
5. Sled pushes with 50lbs

One min rest. Repeat 2 more times.

Consult a physician prior to beginning any exercise program and stop at the onset of any pain or dizziness.

Trainer Workout 5/10/10

Every week the trainers at PCPC do a “family workout”. We take turns planning the workout and spend about an hour trying new moves and testing out different techniques. Here is the circuit from last night. Give it a try and feel free to add weight or repetitions:

Core (three sets at 30s per station):
a) Side Plank with hip abduction
b) V sit-ups
c) Russian twist
d) Supermans
e) Bosu bridge with knee cross punch

Upper body (3 sets):
a) Pronated Pull-ups, 9
b) DB Push press, 6
c) Feet elevated push-up, 6
d) Inverted row with feet on swiss ball, 6
e) Pike push-up, 6

Lower body (3 sets):
a) Crossover squats, 5 each
b) Lateral lunges, 5 each
c) Slideboard Leg Curl Hip Lift
d) Lateral hurdle jump x30
e) Lateral Slideboard conditioning, 30s

Some of these exercises can be viewed on our video site:

As always, please use caution when attempting any exercise routine. Complete at your own risk and check with a medical professional before commencing physical exertion.

Quadruped: Hip Extension Bent Leg Dowel Parallel

One of the primary torso (core) training exercises that should be included in any well-rounded strength training program is an Anti-Rotational exercise. Quadruped (sometimes referred to as Bird Dog) exercises fit into that category. The torso’s ability to absorb stress/forces as well as efficiently transmit stress/forces from upper to lower extremities (and vice versa) is vital to maximizing performance and minimizing mechanical breakdown (i.e. disc injury). Of primary importance in this exercise is the ability of the body to gain postural endurance through glute medius, multifidus, quadratus lumborum and transverse abdominals as well improving scapular stabilizers. Finally, improving glute max activation is a common need aiding in decreased low back pain.

Coaching Points:

1. Hands under shoulders, knees under hips (hip – shoulder width max).

2. Neutral spine and shoulders retracted.

3. One knee on Airex pad and one knee off (and off ground as well)

4. Dowel runs parallel to spine with 3 points of contact (head, shoulder blades, glutes) to be maintained throughout.

5. Extend heel to ceiling (activate glute but do not arch spine).

6. Make the body long from the top of the head through the opposite knee.

7. Hold for 1-5 seconds and repeat.

Prevail Conditioning