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Gluteus Maximus Muscle Origin, Insertion, Action

Muscle Anatomy of the Gluteus Maximus

Origin: Attaches to the superior gluteal line of the ilium, the posterior surface of the sacrum and the side of the coccyx and the length of the sacrotuberous ligament
Insertion: Attaches to the iliotibial tract and the deeper fibers are inserted into the gluteal tuberosity of the femur
Actions: Extends and laterally rotates the thigh
Innervation: Inferior Gluteal Nerve (L5, S1, S2)
Blood Supply: Superior and inferior gluteal artery

Gluteus Maximus Origin, Insertion, Action, Innervation

Gluteus Maximus Actions With Agonists and Antagonists

Primary Actions of the Gluteus Maximus

1. Extension of thigh at the hip


  • Semitendinosus
  • Semimembranosus
  • Biceps femoris (long head)
  • Adductor Magnus (posterior fiber)


  • Psoas major
  • Iliacus

2. Abduction of thigh at hip


  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus


  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Adductor magnus (anterior part)

Secondary Actions of the Gluteus Maximus:

1. Assists with external rotation of the thigh at the hip


  • Obturator internus
  • Obturator externus
  • Gemellus superior
  • Gemellus inferior
  • Quadratus femoris


  • Tensor fasciae latae
  • Gluteus minimus (anterior fibers)
  • Gluteus medius (anterior fibers)

2. Helps to stabilize the knee in extension of the thigh at the hip via the iliotibial band

Information about the cause and effect of gluteus maximus pain:

Gluteus Maximus Muscle: Low Back, Hip, Tailbone, Buttock Pain



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Recommended Anatomy Books:

The Anatomy Coloring Book is one of the best study and reference books for beginning anatomy students. The diagrams are clearly labeled and allow you to see the relationship and placement of the various structures of the body. You will also be surprised by how the act of coloring will help with recall. But this is not just a beginners book, it is also great for practitioners and therapists to have on hand to use with clients and patients to use as a visual reference.

The Trail Guide To The Body is another excellent book to help you learn the musculature of the human body. Though the book is geared toward massage therapists and physical therapist assistants, the book with its illustrations and text helps anyone gain a thorough understanding of the human musculoskeletal system and movement. I highly recommend this book for anyone studying anatomy and believe that MTs, PTAs, and teachers of body movements should have this book in their possession. I also highly recommend this book for the layperson who wants to gain an understanding of the muscle, skeletal system and how our bodies move. This book will not disappoint!

Out of the scores of books in my office, Basic Clinical Massage Therapy is by far the most referenced book in my library. The musculoskeletal system is overlaid on human models allowing you to learn the precise location, origin, and insertions of each muscle. The models are pictured in various poses throughout the book which also helps you visualize muscles in motion and their actions relationship with the skeletal structure and other muscles. Though it is written for massage therapists, it is an excellent book for anyone who wants to learn about the muscular system. MT's will benefit from the recommended treatments for each muscle.


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