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Gluteus maximus

The gluteus maximus (Latin: musculus gluteus maximus) is the largest and most superficial of three gluteal muscles, the others are called the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Besides the gluteal muscles, muscles of the gluteal region also include the tensor fasciae latae muscle. The gluteus maximus extends between the pelvis and femur, and it forms the surface anatomy of the gluteal region or buttock.

Gluteus maximus
OriginGluteal surface of ilium behind posterior gluteal line, posterior surfaces of sacrum and coccyx, sacrotuberous ligament, thoracolumbar fascia
Insertion Iliotibial tract, gluteal tuberosity of femur
Action Thigh extension and external rotation, thigh abduction (superior fibers)
InnervationInferior gluteal nerve (L5 - S2)
Blood supply Inferior and superior gluteal arteries



The gluteus maximus muscle originates from several sites. It arises from the gluteal surface of the ilium behind the posterior gluteal line, posterior surfaces of the sacrum and coccyx, sacrotuberous ligament and thoracolumbar fascia.



The gluteus maximus inserts onto the iliotibial tract and gluteal tuberosity of the femur.



The gluteus maximus muscle provides extension and external rotation of the thigh at the hip joint. The superior fibers of the muscle are responsible for thigh abduction.



The gluteus maximus is innervated by the inferior gluteal nerve (L5 - S2) that arises from the sacral plexus.


Blood supply

The gluteus maximus muscle receives arterial blood supply from the inferior and superior gluteal arteries. Both are branches of the internal iliac artery.