Gluteus Medius and Tensor Fascia Latae muscle activation levels during multi-joint strengthening exercises

Abstract Aim: To compare the activation of GMed and TFL in four multi-joint exercises in strength training protocols and to verify if the level of muscle activation is indicated for strength gains in resistance training protocols. Methods: Eleven recreational lifters had normalized muscle activation of GMed and TFL assessed during ten maximal repetitions of four multi-joint exercises: (1) bilateral supine bridge (BiBRG); (2) bilateral supine bridge with hip abducted (BiBRG-AB); (3) unilateral supine bridge (UniBRG) and (4) single-leg squat (SLS). Results: A load of exercises was significantly greater for the BiBRG and BiBRG-AB compared to the UniBRG and SLS (p<0.001). We observed that GMed activation was significant greater compared to TFL among the four exercises (p=0.004) [BiBRG: Δ=26.2%; BiBRG-AB: Δ=27.3%; UniBRG: Δ=24.5% and SLS: Δ=18.8%]. Additionally, GMed activation was classified as moderate (<40%iMVC) and TFL activation was classified as low (<20%iMVC) in all exercises. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that GMed is more active than TFL in all analyzed exercises. However, the level of activation observed for GMed was below that recommended to strength gain in resistance training programs.