Gluteus maximus muscle

Last revised by Henry Knipe on 06 Sep 2022

The gluteus maximus (plural: glutei maximi) is the largest muscle in the gluteal region and overlies most of the other gluteal muscles.

  • origin
  • insertion: gluteal tuberosity of the femur and iliotibial tract
  • gross anatomy: 
    • thick flat sheet of muscle sloping from the pelvis down across the buttock 
    • fan-shaped muscle with a posterior third lying deep to the posterior recess of the ischioanal fossa 
  • action
    • powerful extensor of flexed femur at hip joint
    • lateral stabilizer of hip joint
    • lateral stabilizer of the extended knee joint
      • by tightening the iliotibial tract 2
    • lateral rotator of the thigh
    • abduction at the hip (upper fibers)
  • arterial supply: superior and inferior gluteal arteries
  • innervationinferior gluteal nerve (L5, S1, S2)
    • ​between the muscle and ischial tuberosity (ischiogluteal bursa)
    • between the muscle and greater trochanter (trochanteric bursa)
    • between the muscle and upper part of the vastus lateralis (gluteofemoral bursa)
  • antagonist
  • variants
    • fusion of gluteus maximus with tensor fascia latae
    • additional slip of muscular attachment to the gluteus maximus from the ischial tuberosity

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: gluteal muscles (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.