Anatomy of the Glutes
Gluteus Maximus, Medius, & Minimus

This page gives an overview of the anatomy of the glutes (butt muscles).

The 3 muscles are the maximus, medius, and minimus.

These muscles move the hip and are important for maintaining hip stability. In addition, they help to stabilize the pelvis and core.

Of course, they all work during walking, running, hiking, and jumping, and they work during leg exercises like squats and lunges.

The 3 Butt Muscles: Maximus, Medius, and Minimus

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest muscle in the body. It pulls the hip backwards (hip extension) and rotates the hip out to the side (external rotation).

It is an important for hip stability, and strong hips helps to protect and stabilize the knee and the lower body.

The maximus is the most superficial muscle and it covers up the other 2 muscles.

The Medius is located just underneath the maximus, and it is oriented more on the side of the hip than at the back of the hip.

The medius pulls the hip out to the side (hip abduction), turn the hip inwards (internal rotation), and stabilizes the pelvis over the hip when you are standing on one leg.

The Minimus is located underneath the medius, and it has the same functions as the medius.

pictures of the glutes

Importance of Working the Butt Muscles

It is important for both men and women to work the butt muscles. The butt muscles play a major role in maintaining good alignment throughout the lower body.

Butt exercises are especially important for athletes involved in running or jumping sports. And for people who participate in recreational sports activities, hip strength can help to decrease the risk of lower body injuries.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine includes the butt muscles in their conversions about core training. If the pelvis is stable, the hip will be more stable. If the hip is more stable, the knee will be more stable. If the knee is more stable the ankle and foot will be more stable.

The butt muscles really do anchor and stabilize the lower body, so strong butt muscles are important for everyone.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT

Learn exercises for the glutes and butt muscles.

Or Return to the Overview of Leg Muscle Anatomy