The Gluteal Muscles or more commonly referred to as the Gluteus Muscles are located on the Buttocks and are made up of three individual muscles, the Gluteus Maximus, the Gluteus Medius and the Gluteus Minimus. Their names are derived from the Greek glutos meaning buttocks and the Latin Maximus (great), Medius (middle) and Minimus(least).
As the name suggests the Gluteus Maximus is the largest in size and thickness and most superficial muscle of the three gluteus muscles and as a result of the largest mass it contributes most to forming the shape of the buttocks as we know. It is one of the strongest muscles in the human anatomy and is primarily responsible as a major extensor of the thigh (bringing the leg back to a straight position), assisting you to walk, run, climb stairs, lift your leg in a sideways motion and helping to maintain an upright posture whilst standing. The Gluteus Maximus muscles originate from the Posterior portion of the Ilium, the posterior part of the Iliac Crest, the Sacrum and from the side of the coccyx. The insertion attachment points of the Gluteus Maximus are as follows, the Gluteal Tuberosity of femur and the anterior of the Tibial Condyle via the Iliotibal tract.
The Gluteus Medius is a thick fan shaped muscle lying over the smaller Gluteus Minimus and underneath the larger Gluteus Maximus muscle. The primary function of the Gluteus Medius is shared with the Gluteus Minimus and that is to abduct the thigh at the hips, medially and laterally rotating the thigh at the hips as well as stabilizing the body when one foot is raised off the ground during walking and running. The origin attachment points of the Gluteus Medius muscle are from the outer surface of the Ilium between the posterior and anterior gluteal lines. The insertion point is via a short tendon (which the Gluteus Medius muscle has narrowed to form) attaching to the lateral and superior surfaces of the Greater Trochanter.
The Gluteus Minimus is the smallest and deepest of the three Gluteal muscles. As with the Gluteus Medius, the primary function of the Gluteus Minimus is to abduct the thigh at the hips, medially and laterally rotating the thigh at the hips as well as stabilizing the body when one foot is raised off the ground during walking and running. The origin attachment points of the Gluteus Minimus muscle is from the outer (external) surface of the Ilium between the anterior and inferior gluteal lines. The insertion point is the Anterior surface of the Greater Trochanter.