Gluteus maximus muscle

Gluteus maximus muscle
gluteus maximus
Posterior Hip Muscles 3.PNG
The gluteus medius and nearby muscles
Structures surrounding right hip-joint. (Gluteus maximus visible at bottom.)
Latin musculus gluteus maximus
Gray's subject #128 474
Origin Gluteal surface of ilium, lumbar fascia, sacrum, sacrotuberous ligament
Insertion    Gluteal tuberosity of the femur, iliotibial tract
Artery superior and inferior gluteal arteries
Nerve inferior gluteal nerve (L5, S1, S2 nerve roots)
Actions external rotation and extension of the hip joint, supports the extended knee through the iliotibial tract, chief antigravity muscle in sitting
Antagonist Iliacus, Psoas major, Psoas minor

The gluteus maximus (also known as glutæus maximus or, collectively with the gluteus medius and minimus, the glutes) is the largest and most superficial of the three gluteal muscles. It makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the buttocks.

It is a broad and thick fleshy mass of a quadrilateral shape, and forms the prominence of the nates.

Its large size is one of the most characteristic features of the muscular system in humans,[1] connected as it is with the power of maintaining the trunk in the erect posture. Primates have much flatter buttocks.

The muscle is remarkably coarse in structure, being made up of fasciculi lying parallel with one another and collected together into large bundles separated by fibrous septa.


Origin and insertion

Muscles of the gluteal and posterior femoral regions, showing origin and insertion of gluteus maximus muscle.

It arises from the posterior gluteal line of the inner upper ilium, and the rough portion of bone including the crest, immediately above and behind it; from the posterior surface of the lower part of the sacrum and the side of the coccyx; from the aponeurosis of the erector spinae (lumbodorsal fascia), the sacrotuberous ligament, and the fascia covering the gluteus medius (gluteal aponeurosis).

The fibers are directed obliquely downward and lateralward;

  • those forming the lower and larger portion of the muscle, together with the superficial fibers of the lower portion, end in a thick tendinous lamina, which passes across the greater trochanter, and is inserted into the iliotibial band of the fascia lata;
  • the deeper fibers of the lower portion of the muscle are inserted into the gluteal tuberosity between the vastus lateralis and adductor magnus.


Three bursae are usually found in relation with the deep surface of this muscle:

  • One of these, of large size, and generally multilocular, separates it from the greater trochanter;
  • a second, often wanting, is situated on the tuberosity of the ischium;
  • a third is found between the tendon of the muscle and that of the vastus lateralis.


When the gluteus maximus takes its fixed point from the pelvis, it extends the femur and brings the bent thigh into a line with the body.

Taking its fixed point from below, it acts upon the pelvis, supporting it and the trunk upon the head of the femur; this is especially obvious in standing on one leg.

Its most powerful action is to cause the body to regain the erect position after stooping, by drawing the pelvis backward, being assisted in this action by the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and adductor magnus.

The gluteus maximus is a tensor of the fascia lata, and by its connection with the iliotibial band steadies the femur on the articular surfaces of the tibia during standing, when the extensor muscles are relaxed.

The lower part of the muscle also acts as an adductor and external rotator of the limb.


Gluteus maximus muscle

See also


  1. ^ Norman Eizenberg et al., General Anatomy: Principles and Applications (2008), p 17.

External links

This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained within it may be outdated.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gluteus maximus muscle — musculus gluteus maximus …   Medical dictionary

  • Gluteus medius muscle — Gluteus medius The gluteus medius and nearby muscles …   Wikipedia

  • gluteus maximus — [mak′sə məs] n. pl. glutei maximi [mak′səmī΄] the outermost of the glutei, a large, rounded muscle that acts to extend the thigh …   English World dictionary

  • musculus gluteus maximus — [TA] gluteus maximus muscle: origin, posterior aspect of ilium, posterior surface of sacrum and coccyx, sacrotuberous ligament, fascia covering gluteus medius; insertion, iliotibial tract of fascia lata, gluteal tuberosity of femur; innervation,… …   Medical dictionary

  • sciatic bursa of gluteus maximus muscle — b. ischiadica musculi glutei maximi …   Medical dictionary

  • trochanteric bursa of gluteus maximus muscle — b. trochanterica musculi glutei maximi …   Medical dictionary

  • gluteus maximus — noun the outermost of the three gluteal muscles • Hypernyms: ↑gluteus, ↑gluteus muscle, ↑gluteal muscle, ↑glute * * * /mak seuh meuhs/, pl. glutei maximi /mak seuh muy /. 1. the broad, thick, outermost muscle of the buttocks, involved in the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • gluteus maximus — noun (plural glutei maximi) Etymology: New Latin, literally, largest gluteus Date: 1831 the outermost muscle of the three glutei found in each of the human buttocks …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gluteus maximus — /mak seuh meuhs/, pl. glutei maximi /mak seuh muy /. 1. the broad, thick, outermost muscle of the buttocks, involved in the rotation and extension of the thigh. 2. Facetious. the buttocks. [1900 05; < NL: largest gluteus] * * * …   Universalium

  • gluteus maximus — glu′teus max′i•mus [[t]ˈmæk sə məs[/t]] n. pl. glutei max•i•mi [[t]ˈmæk səˌmaɪ[/t]] anat. the broad, thick, outermost muscle of each buttock • Etymology: 1900–05; < NL: largest gluteus …   From formal English to slang

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