Gluteus Maximus

What is Gluteus Maximus?

The human body is made up of a complex combination of different types of muscles. Amongst these muscles, the heaviest and the largest one is known as the Gluteus Maximus. This muscle is superior to all the other gluteal muscles that are present in the hip joint section of the body. Hence, it represents the largest muscle situated in the hip joint and has about 16% of the entire area of the cross-section. 

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Due to the sheer size of the muscle, there is a large amount of force generated by it. The evolution of the muscle took place from the hip’s abductor which can still be seen in some of the lower primates to this day. The muscle development is in association with the changes in the pelvic region along with the erect posture that we have today. The main function of it is to maintain the posture that we have. In this article, students will get to know what is gluteus maximus and other details as well. 

Origin and Anatomy of Gluteus Maximus 

There are certain fibres situated in the gluteus Maximus that are perpendicular to one another. These fibres tend to line up in a particular direction of pulling which provides a course-like structure and a quadrilateral shape to the muscle. There are 2 different layers that exist in the muscle and these tend to pass down to the attachment of insertion. 

The Gluteus maximus tends to cover all the different gluteal muscles except one and that is the Antero-superior third section of the Gluteus medius. The part that is not covered by the gluteus maximus can be seen as a particularly safe area. 

There is the presence of ischial tuberosity deeper in the lower regions of the gluteus maximus. Whenever the thigh of a person is properly flexed, there is a superior form of movement that occurs in the lower border of the Gluteus maximus. This can result in the exposure of the ischial tuberosity. 

Gluteus Maximus Origin and Insertion 

The origin of the gluteus maximus takes place in the posterior gluteal line that is present in the ilium of the body. There is a portion of the posterior and superior bone that is also a part of the gluteus maximus. Apart from that, the posterior section of the sacrum’s lower portion is included in the gluteus maximus muscle. The sides of the coccyx along with the aponeurosis situated in the erector spine and the gluteal aponeurosis are all important portions responsible for the origin of the gluteus maximus. 

This muscle basically attaches itself to the thoracolumbar and the association occurs through the raphe. With the help of this attachment, the muscle is able to have a connection with the contralateral Latissimus dorsi and the ipsilateral multifidus. This also forms the oblique as well as the deep myofascial slings that one can see in the human body.

The muscle has a larger proximal section as well as the superficial fibres situated in the distal section. The proximal portion of the muscle forms about three-quarters of the entire structure. This portion is inserted into the iliotibial tract while other fibres tend to insert in an indirect manner through the intermuscular septum into the femur’s linea Aspera. From a detailed study of the attachments of gluteus maximus, students will be able to gather all information regarding the sections that exist in the muscle. 

Gluteus Maximus Function 

One of the major functions of the gluteus maximus is to ensure that the hip joint is properly functioning and is able to laterally rotate and extend. Furthermore, there are some upper fibres located in the gluteus maximus muscle that can actually abduct the entire hip while the lower fibres tend to abduct the hip. Since the muscle is a pretty powerful and large extension of the hip joint, it helps in some of the most powerful movements of the limbs as well. Some of the main examples of such movements include stepping into steps, running, climbing, etc. However, one very important thing to keep in mind about this muscle is that it is not used in the process of normal walking. That is why most people tend to do the gluteus maximus exercises in order to tone the muscle and increase its functioning. 

The hamstrings in the body along with the gluteus maximus tend to work together in order to provide an extension to the trunk of the body. This is done by pulling the entire pelvic region backwards. For example, if a person is standing up from a position of bending forward. The muscle also provides some eccentric control when this movement takes place. 


The above-mentioned article provides a detailed explanation of the gluteus maximus structure and the functions that it has. Students can use this information to know more about the muscle.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is gluteus maximus?

Ans: The gluteus maximus can be defined as the muscle that is the largest as well as the heaviest one in the entire human body. The muscle can be considered superior when compared to all the other muscles in the body of a human being. This is due to the fact that it is one of the largest. When it comes to talking about where is the gluteus maximus located, it can be said that the location of the muscles is in the hip joint. This large muscle has about 16% of the entire cross-section area. The muscle is characterized by the sheer size that it has and hence the amount of force generated by the muscle is pretty huge as well

2. What are the functions of the gluteus maximus muscle?

Ans: The gluteus maximus muscle is generally responsible for the maintenance of the hip joint. It ensures that the hip joint is able to rotate laterally and is able to extend properly. The presence of the upper fibres in the muscle tend to help the hip abduct and the lower fibres are responsible for helping the hip adduct. Since the muscle tends to be very powerful, it is used in some of the most powerful movements of the limbs such as running, climbing, and stepping into steps. Apart from that, the hamstrings along with the gluteus maximus muscle tend to help in providing an extension to the body’s trunk. So, these are some of the main functions of the muscle.