Gluteus maximus muscle

Last revised by Jason Ma on 6 Apr 2023

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

Summary
  • 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)

  • bursa:

    • ​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.