RunnerRepair Shop

 Call for a free injury screen. 


Weakness of the Hip Abductor Muscles

The gluteus medius muscle is a very important muscle on the outside of the hip.  It is a small muscle which attaches to the top of the femur and has an extremely important job.  It holds you upright as you stand on your leg.  It has to hold 2.5 times your body weight.  If it is too weak, your opposite hip will drop as you run.  (A weak right gluteus medius will let your left hip fall when your right leg is on the ground.)  It will make your brain think the opposite leg is too short and it will land on the ground too hard.  It can make your opposite knee sore because of this hard landing or the ITB on the same side as it gets yanked every time you stand on the weak leg.

History: Most runners cannot remember any specific injury (again).  

 You can have pain in either knee or pain in the ITB of the weak side.  Sometimes you can have pain sleeping on their side.  Sleeping can be painful either side since it hurts to lie on the weak butt.  And, if you sleep on your good side, it can hurt if the weak leg is on your ‘high side’ as it is pulled to the middle every night.  Running on an uneven surface can really make it hurt.  If your weak side is on the higher side of the road, the ‘good’ leg can drop a whole lot more and make you land a lot harder.  It may feel better if your weak side is on the lower side of the slope because this brings the road ‘up to your foot’ and you do not land as hard. 

Self Examination:  Usually you do not see anything when you are just standing in one place.  It is only when you move do you notice the weakness.  OR, you may you stand with more weight on one leg or another.  The butt on your weaker side will jut out more.  A weak Left gluteus medius will let your Left butt slide out more PHOTO

  • Stand in front of a mirror.  If you shift your weight from one leg to the other, you will notice your hip drop when you stand on the weak leg.   VID

  • When you perform mini squats, your weak side will dip lower to the ground because the weak gluteus medius gives away, letting it drop lower than the other side.   VID

  • When you run on a treadmill this hip drop is even more evident.  VID 


  • NSAIDS will help.  Kinesiology to the full length of your sore IT band will help.  LIN 

  • Kinesiology tape ‘star’ to the butt  PHOTO

  • Continue running but avoid aggressive speed work and hill repeats, especially downhill running.

Restore full motion

  • A lot of patients with weakness of the gluteus medius have tight IT bands.  Either the stong or weak side may be tight.

  • Make sure you include stretching all your muscles as part of your training program.  SST VID

    1. Stretching does not have to be part of your warm-up or cool-down.  But it HAS to be part of your training program. LIN 

  • Sequential short-term stretching the hips VID 

  • Standing ITB stretches     VID 

Begin non-weight bearing exercises to restore strength without all the pressure on the joints

Correct running mechanics
Return to running speedwork and hills. 

After you have been able to run on flat ground for a week with your with your normal training and have not had any pain, you can begin to add speed and hill training to your program.

My favorite step, get back to full running! 

Have fun.  Eventually you will bust something else and be back to the website to fix that.  

If you follow the steps on the website for 2-6 weeks (depending on how badly you hurt yourself the first time and on how long you tried to ‘run through the pain’) and your problem does not resolve, then call our clinic for an appointment and we can do something Dr. Google cannot do.  We can complete a hands-on evaluation, in-person evaluation to determine the cause of your pain.


 Call for a free injury screen. 



  • Apply the kinesiology tape to your knee before you start your weight-bearing exercises. LIN

    Start this exercise using both hands to hold the counter to help your balance

      As you get stronger, let go with the with the hand opposite to your standing leg