Gluteal Muscles 101
Anatomy of the Glutes

This Gluteal Muscles 101 lesson is all about the anatomy and funtions of the glutes.

Leg Anatomy:
Table of Contents (TOC)

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Plus, you'll find the butt exercises that hit the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus.

This page contains an outline of the anatomy and functions of the muscle group, a list of the most relevant exercises as well as a helpful glossary resource for defining the less-than-obvious terms on this page...

You can use the table of contents (TOC) on the right-hand side of this page to quickly jump between the sections.

Anatomy of the Gluteus Maximus, Medius & Minimus

The gluteal muscles refer to the 3 muscles of the glutes, as seen in the image above. Below is a picture and an outline of the functional anatomy for each of these muscles:

1. Gluteus Maximus

  • Upper Fibers.
    • Origin.
      • Posterior Crest of the Ilium
      • Lumbar Fascia
      • Posterior Surface of the Sacrum
    • Insertion.
      • Gluteal Line of the Femur
    • Function.
      • External Hip Rotation
      • Hip Extension
      • Transverse Hip Abduction
  • Lower Fibers.
    • Origin.
      • Posterior Crest of the Ilium
      • Lumbar Fascia
      • Posterior Surface of the Sacrum
    • Insertion.
      • Iliotibial Tract (IT Band) of the Lateral Condoyle of the Tibia
    • Function.
      • External Hip Rotation
      • Hip Adduction
      • Hip Extension
      • Transverse Hip Abduction

2. Gluteus Medius

  • Anterior Fibers.
    • Origin.
      • Anterior Surface of the External Surface of the Ilium
    • Insertion.
      • Posterior and Lateral Surface of the Greater Trochanter of the Femur
    • Function.
      • Hip Abduction
      • Internal Hip Rotation
      • Transverse Hip Abduction
  • Posterior Fibers.
    • Origin.
      • External Surface of the Ilium on the Posterior Surface
    • Insertion.
      • Posterior and Lateral Surface of the Greater Trochanter of the Femur
    • Function.
      • External Hip Rotation
      • Hip Abduction
      • Transverse Hip Abduction

3. Gluteus Minimus

  • Origin.
    • Below the Gluteus Medius Origin Point on the External Surface of the Ilium
  • Insertion.
    • Anterior Surface of the Greater Trochanter of the Femur
  • Function.
    • Hip Abduction
    • Internal Hip Rotation
    • Transverse Hip Abduction

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The Best Butt Exercises Known to Mankind

Here are some of the best exercises for working the gluteal muscles, as a group:

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Glutes Anatomy Glossary

Use this gluteal muscles glossary if you have troubles understanding the terminology within this page. I've divided it into two categories: "Functions" and "Anatomy."

Functions

  • Hip Abduction. Moving your leg outward and upward to the side. This leg movement is perfectly exemplified by a male dog, when using a fire hydrant as a restroom.)
  • Hip Adduction. Moving of the leg toward the center line of your body. You can perform hip adduction by clenching you thighs together.
  • Hip Extension. Moving your leg backward; or moving your hips forward. The "leg backward" motion is exemplified by attempting to hit the back of your head with your foot (by kicking backward). The "pelvis forwards" movement is demonstrated perfectly a simple pelvic thrust.
  • Hip Flexion. Hip flexion refers to the movement of bringing your thighs or knees towards your torso. Hip flexion is demonstrated by the marchers in a marching band or in the military.
  • Internal & External Hip Rotation. Rotating the leg or pelvis either in an inward- or outward-pointing direction. Inward rotation is exemplified by pointing your toes towards eachother. Conversely, outward rotation can be experienced by pointing your toes away from eachother.

Anatomy

  • Anterior. Front.
  • Femur. The thigh bones.
  • Ilium. The largest and highest bone on the pelvis.
  • Iliotibial Tract. Also known as the IT Band; a long fibrous tissue that travels down the femur to the tibia.
  • Lateral. On, or extending toward, the outside.
  • Lumbar Fascia. A thick sheet of fibrous muscle, which covers the "lumbar" region of the lower back.
  • Medial. On, or extending toward, the inside.
  • Pelvis. The hip bones.
  • Posterior. Rear, or back.
  • Sacrum. A triangular bone at bottom of spine, the bottom of which is connected to the tailbone.
  • Tibia. The shin bones.

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